On May 29, 2018 the online media outlet The Ringer published a blog (which is short for weblog) claiming some stuff about Bryan Colangelo and how he maybe possibly has a spare Twitter account or five that he uses to address things that make him sad. I don’t know if it’s true or not.
If it’s not true, the real victim here is Bryan Colangelo. For the past day and a half, he’s had his name dragged through the internet mud like a dead pigeon caught in the axle of a backhoe at a construction site. And for what? “Likes?” “Retwits?” Someone quoting your tweet and adding “????” I’ll expect an apology from each and every one of you.
However, if it is true, the real victim here is Bryan Colangelo. He’s been extremely stressed lately, and this is the last thing he needs right now. He has a team to run, and he drafted Ben Simmons, so therefore he is a Philadelphia sports hero.
It’s just a shame, you know? Colangelo has had nothing but tough luck since he’s come into the league.
For one, he had a job in Canada. Not only that, but he was given “Executive of the Year” recognition by people much smarter than anyone who writes articles on the internet or comments on them. Then he was stabbed in the back and a bit of the shoulders by his former pupil.
For two, he’s had to deal with people calling him “Colon Jello” behind his back for his entire life, and that’s extremely rude.
For three, ever since his dad gave him the job of Sixers General Manager and Best Son in the World, he’s had to deal with people claiming that he didn’t earn it. There is no greater meritocracy than nepotism, and I won’t hear any arguments to the contrary.
So here we are now. The poor man has to deal with his alleged top-secret, muckraking, alleged, online, internet, alleged, web-based Twitter accounts being put out into the world in unflattering form. Sure, it’s embarrassing as a player to have information you thought was guarded by your team revealed publicly to vilify you, but it’s probably more embarrassing to be caught as the person doing it. Colangelo is the real victim here. Just because the situation is entirely his construction (allegedly), doesn’t mean it’s his fault. And if some of the things he said or “liked” come off as scared, racist, or misogynistic, that’s just banter.
Stay strong, Beautiful Bryan. The city of Philadelphia is here for you.
So now what?
Luckily, there are plenty of other executives out there with burner accounts trashing their players who haven’t been found out yet. Once people in positions of power are no longer able to say anything they want without consequence, we know the first amendment is dead. The good people of real America even have a tombstone prepared right next to the graves of George Washington and Richard Nixon just in case this does come to pass.
We can prevent this, though. I have advice.
Make sure that your fake twitter accounts are extremely different from your normal ones
If your “main” has a distinguishable avatar, make sure you eliminate any of the identifiable traits. Change your name to something ridiculous and unlike you. The further you get away from your true identity, the more likely you can be considered an impartial, outside source.
Notice how my third burner has completely changed the color of the hat. Also, my name isn’t Mark. It’s Matt. It’s hard to believe, but it’s actually me running that account.
Say absolutely nothing that can be interpreted as an personal opinion or statement of presumed fact
There is nothing there. Nothing. I don’t even know what I was trying to say. That’s as far as the thought went before turning around to look at me and say “We’re done here.” It’s the perfect cover.
Vary your language
One of Colangelo’s big problems (allegedly!) was that his language was so similar among his the five accounts in question. Something about slobbering self-pity seems to leak through from time to time. Note the tweets above. Placing them side by side by side does reveal a bit of a straight line, but it’s far too complex to be picked up by any sort of computing machine or Al Gore Rhythm or whatever they’re called. Be like me.
No one is going to question that, and as a result I am now on short list of Pistons Head Coach hires, I assume. No one has contacted me yet, but I know I’m busy, so I can only assume other people are can be busy too. It’s called empathy.
The more gravitas the fake account, the better. Try to keep it a step below “God Themself” or “President Barack Obama,” but don’t be afraid to test the limits. If you’ve followed the steps above, no one will think to question it anyway.
Hit back stronger
Make people fear you. Fear is good. It’s the purest of impulses outside the manic lust for Stardew Valley characters.
He will bear my children.
What were we talking about?
Deny delay delay deny
It’s important to note that all of the tweets and accounts I’ve referenced in regard to myself are purely coincidental. If they appear to be about me or are about me, that’s only because so many people really want me to succeed in life and for me to have limitless opportunities and/or money.
If that’s not the case, they were made up and are fictional and are meant to be seen as humorous entertainment. I am really good at jokes, and you should respect that.
Beyond that, these tweets are the work of someone shadowy group who wants to hurt me personally like I’ve hurt so many others (allegedly). They are fraudulent, despicable depictions of what it would be like if I were to engage in burner account activities which I never would as I have too much respect for myself and for all of you.
Or if that’s not the case, it’s really not that big a deal anyway. Everyone does it. The people who say they don’t are actually the people who do it the most, and if they do it the most how could you trust their opinions? I think the best thing for all of us is to admit both sides are at fault and move on.
And if that doesn’t cut it, I would like to apologize if anyone has taken the above tweets the wrong way. It was never my intention to insult anyone or cause harm. I can see now that what I’ve said could be taken differently than how I had intended, and though I will not explain what my intentions were, I will expect you to assume they were benevolent.
And if you won’t assume that this was a collection of simple, innocent linguistic missteps, I will assume that I deserve a second chance. After all, at no point in this process would conscience have kicked in to mention that any of this was in any way unprofessional or borderline criminal. As such, we will consider this collection of errors as one single, larger error, thus affording me a second chance, if by definition alone.
And if you won’t grant that second chance, I’ll pretend that you did, or someone who I’ve decided speaks on your behalf has. At this point I will begin radio silence except for brief appearances in which I’m doing charitable acts or saying nice things about people I would have previously decried. See? Now that everything about me is out in the open, I’ll show you I was actually a great guy the whole time.
However, if you’re still following my story with a grimace after I’ve tried repeatedly to sweep it under the rug, then maybe that’s not on me. Don’t you have something better to do with your time? Maybe the problem is you.
And besides, now that so much time has passed, I can begin to say that the reaction to my malfeasance was terribly out of proportion. I’m also really hoping the majority of the people don’t remember exactly what happened or what I did. I have a plan to retell the story with slight variations of key points over and over again. I might laugh about it once or twice. I might intimate that I’ve had discussions with the aggrieved parties and that they say that everything is water under the bridge. After all, they’ve moved on. Why haven’t you?
If one of those parties comes out to say something to the effect of “uhh, no. Matt still hasn’t given me an apology,” I’ll either go with radio silence or say something to the effect of “I wish they would just reach out to me so we can discuss this in private,” thus moving the burden of contact from me, the guilty, onto anyone else, including the wronged. I’d love to talk, after all. Why won’t they give me the chance?
Also, remember all those things I did in the past that were great? Remember when I was voted “Twitter Personality of the Year” by a group of my peers when I was working in Windsor, Ontario? I mean come on. It’s not like the bad things I did really outweigh the good things I did, right? Right. In fact, anyone who doesn’t portray me in at worst a neutral light probably has an axe to grind. There is no such thing as simply remembering that I’ve done something egregious. There is something personal behind it, and they’re attacking me. At this point, I’m the victim.
And I will keep implying that from now on. That is how I will disengage from conversations that mean to portray my past accurately. I might even convince myself that the story I’ve made up in my head is true. With enough practice, I might even begin to take genuine offense at any other retelling.
If all goes well, I’ll either fade away or take a different, more insulated position without ever being made to admit any real culpability or facing any real punishment. In fact, if I learn anything from this experience it won’t be what I’ve done wrong but how better to get away with it. All it takes is ample patience, persistence, and a bit of narcissistic self-interest. I’m a person of power, after all, and there’s no system in place to adequately deal with me when I operate outside of expected norms. Ultimately, my punishment will be having my dirty laundry aired out for the world to see.
I won’t enjoy it, but I’ll outlive it. After all, public shaming doesn’t work when someone has no shame.
Thank you. You’re welcome.