- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Twitter can be such a wonderful thing.
Wanna know what's new in the world of, well, anything? Check Twitter. Looking for funny one-liners pertaining to what's hot in the news? Check Twitter. Want to know what any celebrity is thinking at this exact moment? Check Twitter. Want to read about the rumors of Kim and Kanye naming their baby after yours truly? Put it on Twitter because that would be awesome.
Well, it looks like new Arkansas coach Bret Bielema isn't a stranger to letting people know how he feels in the twitterverse. He's very engaging and entertaining, but he might have taken things a little too far with his recent Twitter spats with Wisconsin fans.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Dave Heller has detailed recent "battles" Bielema has been in with bitter Wisconsin fans since he left Madison to coach the Razorbacks shortly after the Badgers won the Big Ten title. Obviously, Wisconsin fans aren't too happy about Bielema moving down south, Bielema lets some of them know he isn't interested in seeing their frustrations litter his mention box.
One user mocks Bielema for thinking he can compete in the SEC after failing to win Big Ten games. Bielema responded by telling the user to "Check stats, and go back to sleep."
As someone who has been through his fair share of petty Twitter quarrels, I laughed when I read that. Should he have responded like that? Being that he's the head coach at a major university, probably not. But, come on, that's pretty funny.
He told another Twitter user to think before "you tweet stupid things," referred to one person as having a weak mind and told someone to "Enjoy life alone."
He even retweeted a tweet referring to there not being enough money for Bielema to appropriately pay his assistant coaches while he was at Wisconsin and later went into someone's timeline to pick out a tweet about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick that he is apparently upset with. The tweet wasn't even directed toward Bielema, but he felt he had to say something.
I get it. I've been there. You want to stand up for yourself on social media. It's a pride thing, but you have to realize that people are just trying to get a rise out of you. Bielema could have taken the high road, but he didn't. Players are ridiculed all the time for constantly giving how-not-to's when it comes to using Twitter, and Bielema strays into that territory a little.
He provided some entertainment, and I love to see a coach leave his robot lifestyle, but he has to know that Twitter users are only going to come at him harder and more often now that he's in SEC country.
His own fans will at times and you better believe fans of the other 13 schools will make sure he knows exactly how they feel about him as a person and his Hogs. It won't always be pretty, and he has to take it in stride. For the most part, these were harmless (although telling someone to enjoy life alone stings), but so were most of the ones directed at him.
They'll be more, ummm, colorful from SEC fans.
1dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
2dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney