If a Hollywood script writer were to brainstorm ideas for an action movie, it probably wouldn't be unlike Die Hard where the protagonist, against great odds, perseveres by sheer will to beat the evil-doers. Granted. That's basically the premise for every Hollywood action movie since the 70s (with minor details like a retiring cop that lost his wife due to his job and overabundance to drink the sauce), but it might actually apply here.
This time the protagonist is Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. The antagonist? Twitter; the evil application that's consuming the world, putting careers at risk because of the temptation to speak one's mind without a filter. Lewis sees the risks it poses, tempting his players. He hates it. Not even a little bit of Twitter. How about 10 characters limits, coach? Remember what we did to Carson last year? Lewis wants to wrap Twitter up in a blanket, stab it, burn it in jet fuel, detonate it with a ten kiloton bomb and send it through the Stargate directly to hell.
Lewis launched the first salvo Wednesday night during an interview with Lance McAlister on 700 WLW's Sports Talk. Innocently asking a question fans want to know, Lance asks about Dre Kirkpatrick's injury, which surfaced seemingly out of nowhere earlier this week. After saying "It's really a minor injury," Lewis went into a fatherly rant:
"Unfortunately too much has been made of this again. We're going to fix this whole Twitter thing here in a second, so I can’t wait for that. I’m sick and tired of it. Our guys don’t understand how to use it and we’re going to fix it."
Twitter. You're on notice.
Lance finished the interview with a light-hearted question that we shouldn't expect the Bengals head coach on Twitter anytime soon. Lewis said, and we're summarizing here, "Only to shut it down."
When the players prepared for their first practice of the 2012 training camp on Friday, word spread from the great beat writers that cover the Cincinnati Bengals, that Twitter is essentially shut down to Bengals players, specifically when talking about the team. We assume the only acceptable tweets for sometime will be similar to Adam Jones' "Hello World" every morning. Lewis says that the issue is mostly about maturity and how Twitter won't help the team win football games.
"I don’t see how tweeting is going to help us win a football game. So it’s part of being selfless right now. It’s not best for our football team to be involved in that. It’s best that we just take care of ourselves and not announce what we’re doing or not doing, or who did this or who did that, and commenting on what’s going on in other spots. Let’s be football players."
Lewis, for his part, didn't single-handedly Borat the decision. He took council from the team leaders, who agreed that Twitter didn't help the team win games.
It appears to have made an impression. On my timeline of Bengals players that I follow, none have typed a single tweet since practice concluded on Friday.
As for the fat side-kick at the end of the day with a smashed twinkie in his pocket that saves the protagonist just before he's shot by a revived henchmen? Mike Zimmer. Right?
Your move, Twitter.