January 1, 2016

Hey...Wait A Minute!

During Washington Wizards local television broadcasts this season, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (the amalgamation of the old CSN Washington and CSN Baltimore) has added a new feature for hard core Wizards fans tuning in at home. At some point during the game, a "Wizards Twitter Question" is posted on screen and discussed briefly by either the in studio staff or broadcasters extraordinaire Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier. Then using Twitter and the hashtag #WizardsTalk, fans can offer their thoughts in response to the question du jour and maybe see their words posted during a time out or some other stoppage of play late in the game. CSN is leveraging social media here to increase fan engagement. I think it's a great idea. God knows the Wizards need more fan engagement.

This past Tuesday, the Wizards were in Toronto to face the home town Raptors in the final game for both teams in calendar year 2015. The game itself was one of those plodders that it didn't seem like the Wizards stood a chance of being competitive let alone winning. But as things go sometimes in the NBA, the Wizards actually had a shot to pull it out in the last minute despite no Washington bench player scoring in the first half and Toronto outrebounding the Wiz by 11 and shooting 22 more free throw attempts. Since it was the last game until the new year, the Wizards Twitter Question that night was "What is your fondest Wizards memory from the year 2015?"

Now I have a few fond Wizards memories in this past year, as well as some I'd rather forget, and despite having never participated with Comcast in their Twitter question, I thought this particular question was one I could get at pretty easily. I picked as my fondest 2015 memory the last game of the 2015 playoffs that the Wizards won, game three of the second round vs. the Atlanta Hawks clinched at the buzzer on Paul Pierce's insane game winning bank shot. Why not, right? What an amazing moment punctuated by Pierce's drop-the-mic interview with ESPN's Chris Broussard. In my response to Comcast Wednesday night, I just let Pierce do my talking.

So it gets to be the fourth quarter and the Wizards are still hanging on for dear life and Steve and Phil re-visit the Wizards Twitter Question during a timeout. And guess who's up first but yours truly with my Twitter handle and everything. Woo hoo!!! On a late December evening of 2015 I get to mark about 10 to 15 seconds more of my 15 minutes of fame in the books. Good for me!

But wait a minute, I didn't write that!

The tweet displayed on screen attributed to me read "Did you call bank?" "No, I called game" as shown above. But that's neither a correct recounting of the end of the Pierce-Broussard interview, nor is it what I wrote in my tweet. True, Broussard does ask "Did you call bank" but Pierce's response was "I called game! GAME!" Not "No, I called game." And Pierce's response to that last question is just what I wrote in my tweet. Nothing more, nothing less.

So what gives? Did someone at Comcast actually re-write my tweet or was it just an innocent mistake attributing my name to someone else's message (for the record I can't imagine this last theory is true)? Did the staffers over at CSN feel my tweet didn't have enough context? If that's the case, I'd heartily disagree. Any committed Wizards fan should instantly recognize Pierce's quote and instantly think of last May. And what about my branding? I can't have mis-quoted interviews attributed to me out there in the atmosphere. I need my name cleared!!! There was no "no" in Pierce's quote!

So I'm not actually upset about my branding. The only brand I need is to be known as a die-hard Wizards fan who shows up every game giving his all to cheer on the Wiz through thick and (unfortunately mostly) thin, whether it be a home game at Verizon Center or elsewhere in the country on the road. But I do think the whole thing is interesting. There's no logical explanation for this in my mind. I wonder if it happens to other people? I'll probably be blacklisted over at CSN for this and never get another tweet posted on their broadcast. So be it. Happy New Year, Wizards fans. Orlando tonight. I'll be there and I'll probably be tweeting.

My ACTUAL tweet.

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