JF represents the the University, the football program and himself with the utmost of class. Injuries, an O line of 2nd and 3rd string players, 2nd string tailback, no TE, a ridiculous schedule and an OC that could not look up out of his pre determined play book all had a part the performance last year. James would be the first to say he was disappointed in last year. Pinkel has NEVER given the #1 QB spot to anyone until August, including Chase Daniel. I am glad James is part of the Tiger team, and he will be the starter this year.
Missouri quarterback James Franklin came into the 2012 football season with high expectations. In 2011, the dual-threat signal-caller posted 21 touchdown passes (against 11 interceptions) and 15 rushing TDs. He was expected to be the top new QB in the SEC last year.
But things started badly with Franklin needing offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder. Coach Gary Pinkle did Franklin no favors when he stated publicly that his quarterback had eschewed a painkiller shot before a September date with Arizona State. Franklin threw just 10 touchdown passes and rushed for none during his injury-plagued campaign. In addition, “Johnny Football” happened at Texas A&M, making Franklin’s SEC debut appear even worse.
Unfortunately for Franklin, he now quarterbacks in the age of Twitter and Facebook. Fans are no longer limited to sharing their frustrations via boo birds. Now they can reach right out and smack their school’s players around via the internet. In Franklin’s case, some have.
According to The Columbia Tribune, last month Mizzou’s quarterback tweeted some words of encouragement to Tiger hoopster Phil Pressey. A few MU fans — can they really be called fans? — had tweeted insults in the direction of the point guard. Franklin responded with this: “So much for One-Mizzou: if a family member messes up you should positively support them, not make them feel awful! Keep your head up Phil”
At that point, fans began showering Franklin with insults, too. He tried to respond with humor:
Fan: “You’re right. Keep strong and be positive. And maybe you’ll be 3rd string next season”
Franklin: “3rd string? Thanks! I was only giving myself a chance at 4th”
Fan: “from one failure to another lol”
Franklin: “yes, we are huge failures! At least we get a free education right? I forgot that not everyone fails, my bad”
Fan: “you gotta be kidding me!! Pressey is in the same category as you. Suckass when the games on the line. #georgia”
Franklin: “haha no, no one is in as bad of a category as me”
Fan: “coming from the king of clutch himself… At least he doesn’t always seem to be hurt when the games get tough”
Franklin: “I’ve always wanted to be a king yeah, but I just love faking injuries to get out of tough games”
Fan: “have fun sitting on the bench next year.”
Franklin: “thanks, I will try! But I may get hurt…benches are rough”
Now, as this writer has learned via our own MrSEC.com comment boxes, responding to anonymous posters in any way, shape, or form usually leads to trouble. Regular readers of this site know, too, that I’m in agreement with the growing number of college coaches who ban their players from Twitter. No good can come from college athletes using social media to engage and interact directly with upset fans. So some of the blame for this episode does lie with Franklin.
But the truly sorry part of this story is the fact that people who claim to root for Missouri have tried to insult and damage the confidence of a player who needs their support. What exactly is their goal? Just to hurt another human being?
I’ve personally never understood the concept of booing, so tweeting nasty comments directly to an athlete seems even more classless. And if the player is on your favorite team it seems even more pointless.
Franklin had a disappointing 2012. Many he expect he’ll lose the starting quarterback job to Maty Mauk before 2013 opens. But while in Columbia, Franklin has already had to deal with knee and shoulder injuries. You would think that he would have earned himself a little compassion, if not respect, from Tiger fans.
But in the age of Twitter and the internet, you’d be wrong.
As for the “fans” doing that all that negative tweeting, they’d better hope recruits don’t read their cowardly, trashy comments and decide those folks are representative of the entire MU fanbase.