Explaining the Twitter scuffle with J.J. Watt

Those of you how pay attention to Twitter (and plenty of you who don’t) possibly have paid attention by now to the squabble that emerged after the latest effort by Texans defensive end J.J. Watt to get people to pay attention to him.

As the U.S. Men’s National Team prepared to face Argentina in the Copa America on Tuesday, Watt tweeted a photo of himself in a soccer jersey roughly 10 sizes too small, shoulders pulled back and chest thrust outward, with this caption: “Kit is a bit snug, but ready if called upon.”

It was the kind of circumstance that falls within the confines of an article I wrote in April, regarding Watt’s overall view on social media. In a nutshell, his position is: “Look at me, unless you don’t like what you see. If that’s the case, what are you looking at?”

When guys who are seeking attention get attention, they shouldn’t complain about the attention they’re getting. Which is why I tweeted this in response to Watt’s latest look-at-me-what-you-lookin’-at photo: “Why does everyone always want to talk about me? I’m just minding my own business and seeking no attention at all.”

Said Watt in response: “[Y]ou do know how Twitter works, right? If you don’t want to see it, stay off my page. Take your saltiness elsewhere.”

Here’s how Twitter works. People post messages, photos, etc., and anyone who follows that account will see it. Some of them will “retweet” the message, so that anyone who follows the retweeting account will see it, too. That’s what happened here; Watt tweeted it, the Texans retweeted it, I saw it, and I reacted to it.

Watt’s not objecting to the fact that I saw his latest attempt to make a given topic all about him, while also showing off his pecs, delts, lats, abs, bis, and/or tris to the world. He’s objecting to the fact that I reacted to it in a way he didn’t like. And that’s where he continues to be deliberately obtuse about social media.

It’s not a one-way slide show blasted into the eyeballs of a Clockwork Orange audience. It’s an interactive process, and anything you post can (and often will) be used against you.

“I think we have social media and people want to see access, they want to know what you’re doing, they want day-to-day, what’s going on in his life?” Watt said in April. “Then every single thing you do becomes a story, whether it’s a tweet, whether it’s an Instagram post, whether it’s a Snapchat, every single thing becomes a story so I think if people don’t want to see what I’m doing they should probably stop following me.”

He’s basically (and clumsily) looking for an exemption from any and all criticism for what he posts. And that would be a great thing to have. I’ve said plenty of arguably (and actually) dumb things on Twitter over the years. Would I have preferred that those who justifiably criticized me had simply not looked at what I said? Hell yes.

But Twitter isn’t a private photo album or scrapbook that only friends and family and fans can access. Unless the account is protected, anyone can see it. For Watt, who has 2.13 million followers, posting a photo on Twitter is roughly the same thing as taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times. Then, as the copies of the Times get passed around to people who didn’t buy it (which is the newspaper equivalent of retweeting), more and more people will see it. They possibly will then react to it, via the equivalent of a letter to the editor that is instantly published for anyone with a Twitter account to see.

Watt doesn’t want that. He wants only the praise, and none of the criticism, for anything and everything he says and does on Twitter and other social media. And if he doesn’t want people to react negatively or skeptically to what he’s doing, he probably should stop using social media.

[Photo credit: Twitter.com/JJWatt]

48 responses to “Explaining the Twitter scuffle with J.J. Watt

  1. i think most people are just confused as to why his post warrants any criticism? its a picture of him in an autographed soccer jersey so he can remind the world of how cool and muscular he is. not sure how this is any different then someone posting a picture of their brand new man cave to show someone how cool and rich they are. neither deserve criticism.

  2. There was a similar series of events that unfolded in a dream like sequence in a Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” . Where one of the principle protagonists , Liza , was asked by the King (of England) if there were any little thing that could be done to put things to rights , off the top of her head , that he could do , for her ?
    As it turned out there was , poor Enery Iggins …

  3. He’s such a Dufuss…but I guess when You are Defensive Player of the Year…You get to be a Dufuss.

  4. People saying JJ is right, remember, he is the one who got on Mettenberger’s jock for, get this, posting to social media.

    And, if I read the above correctly, Florio doesn’t follow Watt. He follows the Texans who re-tweeted Twatt.

  5. Athletes and social media are a dangerous mix anyhow. Then again an athlete could post a picture of Mother Theresa holding a puppy in a field of daisies and countless commenters would still find a way to bitch about it.

  6. You do know the shirt he’s wearing was given to him and signed by the USMNT, right? It’s not like he went out of his way to go buy a shirt 10 sizes too small as you put it.

  7. I don’t think they make shirts that fit him.
    I’m a 44 extra long, XXL and off the rack shirts don’t get much bigger than that.
    Watt probably has a 60 inch chest so any shirt he wears will be pretty tight.

  8. Funny. I would have responded –

    “Why would the USA soccer team want you, this is a big game and you always disappear in them”

  9. Florio, what exactly is your problem with Watt? Is he a show off…sure he is. Is he a tad arrogant,,,sure he is. But lets be real here… as the creator of PFT which happens to have an “arrest meter” you should know first hand there are certainly a lot worse things that a player can be doing then showing off in a too small shirt autographed by the U.S mens soccer team. Pick your battles!

  10. htown1035 says:
    Jun 22, 2016 12:46 PM

    You do know the shirt he’s wearing was given to him and signed by the USMNT, right? It’s not like he went out of his way to go buy a shirt 10 sizes too small as you put it.
    —————————
    You are right. He just went out of his way to squeeze into it, take a selfie and post it.

  11. The question isn’t does JJ Watt do things just for the attention? He does. The question should be, why in the world do you care what he does for attention? Follow up question, since you obviously do care, why do you feel the need to be the attention police and call him out on it? Ignoring someone is still the best way to make them disappear…or at the very least disappear from your life. When I see re-tweets from teams of things or players that I think are ridiculous, I ignore them, why waste your time? Unless you are doing this for attention…..ohhhhh, now I see.

  12. This is exactly why I hate social media. People say things and post things to someone’s account that they would never say to their face . On top of that I don’t know why the response was even necessary, it added nothing of value and could be interpreted as antagoni1stic.

  13. Social Media……I don’t get it….

    I could care less about people crying about it

    The only thing I enjoy about it, is when someone posts something that gets them fired.

  14. I for the life of me, can’t understand why anybody would care what somebody else is doing, and/or where they’re doing it.

  15. “He’s objecting to the fact that I reacted to it in a way he didn’t like. And that’s where he continues to be deliberately obtuse about social media.”

    ————-

    Wonder if he knows what obtuse means.

  16. So you wrote an article to explain your position regarding your salty comment to JJ Watt who was complaining about your salty comment to him on Twitter? Really????

  17. mcwest1 says:
    Jun 22, 2016 1:39 PM

    I for the life of me, can’t understand why anybody would care what somebody else is doing, and/or where they’re doing it.
    =========================
    Thank you, my exact sentiments. I think Dennis Miller once said something like “I’m as disinterested in the details your daily life, as you are interested in mine” something like that. So true, I barely care what my friends do on a weekly basis…but I’m not a twenty something…

  18. Mike,

    The majority of people on here know that if this was done by an employee of ESPN you’d be all over them for stooping so low.

  19. May he should try being a team player on defense and not just going for stats. Maybe then he’ll be on a good team and not so desperate for attention.

  20. And none of this even takes into account his utter disregard and disrespect for the players and alternates on the team, all of whom have worked and sacrificed to be there. Watt may be nice guy but he’s about 13 years old emotionally and he’s becoming a total bozo.

  21. sonhoodoo says:
    Jun 22, 2016 12:20 PM
    People saying JJ is right, remember, he is the one who got on Mettenberger’s jock for, get this, posting to social media
    —————-
    Absolutely, but that was a couple of years back. He thinks people have forgotten that 🙂

  22. j0esixpack says:
    Jun 22, 2016 12:58 PM
    Tom Brady wouldn’t have done that

    ————–

    Brady is too old for a Twitter fight.

  23. People will side with him because he’s a celebrity, or plays for their favorite team. But he needed to be put in his place. He’s such a fraud.

  24. I respect the hell out of Watt as a football player, he does everything the right way. But it’s glaringly obvious what a complete tool the guy is. You could see it on Hard Knocks that he’s a phony, and you could tell his teammates don’t really like him.

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