Bret Bielema may be into his 2nd month as head coach at Arkansas, but it sure seems like he can't leave Wisconsin behind quite yet…. at least on Twitter. You see the man that professed being humble, doing the right thing, and being smart on Twitter, well that same man has ben engaged in a not-so humble or smart "Twitter War" with the fine folks of the Badger State.
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) January 2, 2013
There were two ways Bielema and his wife, Jen, could've handled it. First they could've just ignored the trolling statements from unhappy, celebratory, or mocking Wisconsin fans and moved on. Or….
Instead, they've apparently decided to show their true colors to Badger fans, burning their final bridges to a school, a football program, and athletic director that gave him his start as a hand picked successor to the legendary Barry Alvarez. How has he done this?
By being about as petty as the random trolls we all come across in the world of Facebook and Twitter. That's the part of the story that's truly amazing, especially considering he uttered these words on August 12, 2012 at the Badgers pre-season media day:
I tell the kids do what's right, don't do anything that will cause or draw attention to yourself other than the reason you want to normally do it. Rule of thumb is don't put anything on Facebook or tweet anything that you don't want your mother to read. It's pretty good. Me included. So I think it is tough for a 19-, 20-year-old kid, I read some of the stuff people reply back to me obscene, stupid, immature people.
And obviously you gotta not respond. And I fortunately don't have time to read them. Once in a while my wife gets on there and gets agitated.
But we always just tell our kids to take the high road. Don't respond back to anything or don't get into these Twitter fights.
You see so many kids across the country that engage in these back and forth between fans and other people. You end up looking like a moron. So just kind of keep it simple.
Anyone else finding a lot of irony in this statement considering what we've already demonstrated? If not, continue on, we promise it just gets richer and more bizarre by the moment.
So let's just set the stage for you with one of the random interactions this man has gone into with fans from Wisconsin, shall we?
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) January 21, 2013
Now, I get defending yourself or trying to move on to the new things in your life, but responding to passionate Wisconsin fans – a fan base who for the most part couldn't stand the guy to begin with – isn't exactly a good look for someone trying to build a reputation and a repoire with a fan base in Arkansas that is easily about 1000% as rabid as what's at Wisconsin (not to say UW fans aren't passionate, but there's passionate and then there's "SEC crazy").
How bad has it gotten? Well, he's interacted with sports personalities back in Wisconsin, random fans, oh and has the time to apparently go digging into the accounts of those who are trolling him to troll them in return. Remember our first example, well check out what Bielema dug up on our buddy @jay_skebba –
“@jay_skebba: I love how Kaepernick has bible verses tatted all over his arms, yet everyword he says is an f-bomb. Punkass"Stay classy
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) January 21, 2013
So, if I'm an Arkansas fan I'm a little worried that my head football coach has the time to look up the profiles and tweets of fans back in Wisconsin. After all, he's got a lot of recruiting and staff putting-together to do, right?
Not to mention the fact that his wife has even gotten in on the trolling as well.
For those of us who have had the "pleasure" of covering Bielema for any length in time this may not be surprising, as we've seen his petty, childish, and really, REALLY thin skin. Apparently that thin skin has rubbed off on his wife, Jen as well.
Just how thin? Try responding to a tweet that was a joke about your husband's clock management thin-skinned….. Like this one here:
Bret Bielema thought that was poor clock management by the Patriots at the end of the half.
— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) January 21, 2013
Jen Bielema managed to respond to that one with some less than kind words for Mr. Oates, who covers the Badgers for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, but were recently erased from her twitter account, but not from those who retweeted it!!
So, to recap, we have a head coach who's managed to not only engage folks from Wisconsin who were hating on him, but to look up their profiles, dig into their tweets and get his wife in on the act. Ya, that screams CLASSY!
Hey, if looking like a classless, egomaniacal, thin skinned jerk is what you were going for you accomplished that. Too bad you forgot that you only have this new fangled job because a certain coach was all of those adjectives and more. So, perhaps, maybe, just maybe, digging yourself into a Twitter War and burning your bridges with the fans and adminsitration of the university you just left isn't the smartest of things to do?
Especially if you're trying to make the Razorback nation forget about what that other jerk did to them. I mean, call me crazy if you want, but acting like a 15 year old who's been dumped by your first love isn't exactly the way I'd want my new relationship to get it's start.
After all, it only serves to make you look like a moron – and it's not me calling you that – it's you from August 12, 2012 calling you that.