Last Modified: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:54 AM
The revolution will be Twitterized.
For a long time I was a stick in the mud when it came to Twitter, which I simply saw as a haven for people who couldn’t spell and used too many abbreviations. And I still think the 140-character limit is some sort of communist plot.
But I have learned the reality is if you’re not on Twitter, you’re bound to be caught outside the loop.
Last week McNeese athletic director Tommy McClelland took to Twitter for what he called a “Town Hall Meeting” in which anyone could submit a question and he would answer.
If you are on Twitter, it was a pretty neat opportunity to interact with a Division I athletic director. And if you aren’t, you’re probably just finding out about it now.
Those who were following McClelland received some valuable information about the McNeese athletic department and its future.
Perhaps the biggest question facing McNeese and every other upper-level FCS program these days is whether it is worth making the move up to the Bowl Subdivision.
Even Liberty University, which has never so much as reached the FCS playoffs, announced its intention to move up last week. Of course, Liberty is a private institution, so it is in a better financial position to make that mistake.
McClelland reaffirmed McNeese’s commitment to competing at the FCS level in as few characters as possible.
“while there are teams making the jump to FBS, there are also teams coming in from D2 & or starting FB for the 1st time... which does create some sort of balance. Nationally speaking voids that are created by FBS departures will always be filled. McNeese has & will continue 2 B a major player in FCS. We have a great sense of who we are & we’ll try to be the best at it.”
At the same time Liberty is intent on moving up to the FBS, Idaho and New Mexico State may be left with no choice but to move down as the Western Athletic Conference bleeds to death. College football is an insanely volatile world right now, and McClelland’s pledge to stay the course makes sense. Some of those jumping to another raft are finding that there is no raft at all.
McClelland also discussed the renovations taking place at Burton Coliseum.
“New lighting, new roof, new outer shell, upgrade to restrooms and concessions, & ADA improvements. The effect on MSU basketball will be minimal in terms of construction. But positive on fan/player experience & recruiting.”
And since no contemporary conversation in Southwest Louisiana is complete without a Josh Ledet reference, I even asked about the odds of seeing the American Idol star perform the National Anthem before a McNeese game.
“It is my understanding that Josh is under contract with Fox now and for the remainder of the year. It’s a great idea... and I hope we can get him sooner than later. He is going to be a huge celebrity for years to come. Maybe even a concert?!?”
It wouldn’t be an unprecedented move. Several years ago Middle Tennessee State boosted its football attendance numbers by sandwiching a game with an Outkast concert.
Maybe there will be some way to fill Burton in conjunction with a doubleheader with its regular tenants. Or perhaps the Cowboys and Cowgirls could do Midnight Madness for the first time ever with a couple Ledet numbers thrown into the mix somewhere.
That’s all speculation at this point. Sometimes Twitter is able to provide a more immediate return.
As the McNeese baseball team entered its 19th inning of action on Sunday afternoon and all of us started longing for home, I tweeted “Seth Granger, you’re a senior. End this thing.”
One batter later, Granger stepped into the batter’s box. And a pitch later he turned on a change-up that was last seen bouncing off the roof of the track and field complex.
I would have preferred such a premonition the week that the Mega Millions drawing was $656 million, but it did make watching Granger circle the bases that much cooler.
When I told him about it afterwards, he said, “Keep on tweeting!”
Might not be a bad piece of advice for us all.