The NFL and social media have been on a collision course for months. In one corner, you’ve got players like Chad Ochocinco that have spent the offseason connecting with and entertaining their fans, hoping to shed some light on their lives and perhaps add a little cachet to their marketability.
In the other corner, you have Roger Goodell, who has decreed that Tweeting from games is an evil sin that may help gamblers, even though gambling on sports doesn’t exist nope no way never (even if he didn’t say that, that’s what it comes down to). Today, the battle of fun vs. authority begins. Who’s winning?
PRO FOOTBALL TALK is reporting that the NFL isn’t just idly threatening to do something about in-game tweeting. No, they’re mobilizing their army of killjoys, fines and suspensions at the ready:
ESPN reports that the NFL will be actively monitoring Twitter pages maintained by players for potential violations of the rule that prohibits the use of social media web sites from 90 minutes before kickoff until after press availability has concluded.
The man to watch most closely in this regard is Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco, who claims he has found a loophole in the policy. He’ll likely find out that there isn’t one, and the lesson will cost him $5,000 or more.
There is literally no reason that giving fans insight from games would be in any way detrimental to the league. As if the NFL’s crushing of Delaware’s gambling proposal wasn’t evidence enough, the only reason the NFL cares about Twitter is that it might affect Vegas betting lines. The NFL and the oddsmakers want to control the lines of information that come out of the teams, regardless of their validity, and by extension, control the money. Because at the end of the day - that’s always what it’s going to come down to.