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Does the NFL Need to Clamp Down on Tweeting?


Most were, I think, amused by the recent Twitter face-off between Darren Sharper and Visanthe Shiancoe, which started with Sharper threatening to take out Brett Favre‘s ankle in the season opener, and ended with Sharper challenging Shiancoe to wager his game check on his statistical output for the same game.

I said most were amused. But not all.

Tom Powers, Pioneer-Press columnist, didn’t find the tweet-off the least bit funny. In fact, he thinks the NFL needs to clamp down on such online trash talk.

“Why is this being tolerated?” Powers writes. “This is like a hard-throwing pitcher threatening to hit somebody in the head. Would that be OK, too? And if that pitcher made his intentions public, wouldn’t Major League Baseball be upset?

“But for some reason, the NFL doesn’t seem to care about what’s going on here.

“My guess is that the league is looking the other way on purpose, tacitly approving this nonsense in an effort to hype the nationally televised opener. And I guarantee that on opening night in New Orleans, the great Twitter feud between Darren Sharper and several Vikings will be mentioned before the TV broadcast is 30 seconds old.”

Powers goes on to cite other recent high-profile examples of current and former NFL players casting the league in a bad light by their off-field activities.

“Apparently, the NFL has not had enough bad publicity as a result of Ben Roethlisberger‘s disgusting actions,” Power writes. “Or retired icon Lawrence Taylor‘s high-profile liaison with an alleged underage prostitute. Or Shaun Rogers‘ stroll through an airport with a loaded gun. Or any of the half-dozen or so domestic violence cases since Super Bowl XLIV. Or any of the half-dozen or so DUIs since then.”

I’m sure Tom is not trying to claim that smack-tweeting is as bad as alleged sexual assault, gun possession or DUI. What he’s saying is, considering those other highly-publicized cases, the NFL needs to be extra-diligent about policing what its employees say and do in public.

So, no good-natured online back-and-forth between two members of rival teams.

I don’t want to say that Tom Powers is an old crank but…well, he is old, and he does seem kind of cranky.

And obviously, he is not a fan of Twitter.