ADVERTISEMENT

Rand: History through a Twitter lens

  • November 18, 2012 - 11:23 PM

The greatest part about being on Twitter while watching a sporting event is that it gives you real-time access to the unfiltered thoughts of fans -- and even lets you let off a little steam in the process.

Unfortunately, of course, this is also the worst part of being on Twitter during a game.

The lack of perspective that emerges when everyone is allowed to make their knee-jerk thoughts public is alarming. We've often wondered how people would have reacted to certain athletes or situations in the past, had Twitter -- founded in 2006 -- been around in different eras.

All we can do at this point is speculate, but that probably makes it more fun. Here are guesses at what some "average" fans might have said on Twitter:

TWEET: This guy is just like the rest of the stiffs they've tried. 1-10? #FireAlvarez

Situation: Year 1 of the Barry Alvarez Era at Wisconsin (1990), when a team with a long tradition of losing football continued that with another dismal campaign. Of course, Alvarez went 5-6 his next two years and then took the Badgers to the Rose Bowl in his fourth year. Sometimes, patience is rewarded.

TWEET: He has 254 at-bats in five seasons! Why are we wasting a roster spot on this guy?

Situation: The end of the 1958 season, when Harmon Killebrew had played very sparingly during parts of five MLB seasons with the Senators. He then hit 42 home runs the next season, the real start of what would become a Hall of Fame career.

TWEET: Looks like the Twins have found their leadoff hitter. I like everything McCracken brings to the top of the order.

Situation: This would have been tweeted on June 9, 2001. Quinton McCracken, a journeyman outfielder, had five hits and four walks in his first 20 plate appearances for a .450 OBP. In his next 50 plate appearances, he had nine hits and one walk. He never played again for the Twins.

TWEET: Morris has already thrown 118 pitches! Is Kelly crazy!?!?

Situation: Game 7, 1991 World Series, before Jack Morris went out for the 10th inning and shut down the Braves one more time. You know it would have happened.

TWEET: Don't take a knee! No! The Vikings are doomed!

Situation: 1998 NFC title game, end of regulation. OK, so sometimes the tweets would have been correct regardless of the era.

MICHAEL RAND

© 2014 Star Tribune