Jon Rothstein blocked me on Twitter.
I don’t know when and I don’t know why, but it happened at some point. It came to my realization on Monday night when my timeline was filled with college basketball Twitter personalities roasting a particular tweet. I’d been seeing the responses, but the tweet in question was said to be unavailable.
I figured it was the classic “immediately delete your Bad Post as it gets viciously dunked on by the masses” move. However, that wasn’t the case. I switched over to the Mid-Major Madness account, and realized the tweet in question had come from Jon. Naturally, I switched back to my account to see what was up, and discovered that Jon had hit me with a block.
I don’t know when it happened, but this was the last tweet I included him in from my account:
I don’t know what he tweeted to garner that response since I can no longer see it, but it was probably something related to his rampant campaigning against players testing the waters of the NBA Draft process. I was assuredly not the only one taking the opportunity to dunk on him. In fact, my tweet was pretty tame compared to what others send him on a regular basis without earning The Block.
That’s what happens on Twitter. Someone tweets a bad opinion, and then it gets quote tweeted into oblivion as folks try to craft a witty response to steal some engagement. We’re all guilty of it. I know I sure as hell am. The dopamine rush of a 1/2/5 slash from tomahawking on someone’s bad opinion is too much to pass up. We see it happen to any account from Kanye West to Jon Rothstein to the damn President. The quote tweet, in its entirety, is bad.
This is where the Jon Rothstein Twitter Experience crosses into problematic territory. Everybody loves Jon during the NCAA Tournament. He’s tweeting “This is March” with a frequency unseen to mankind, and he’s coming up with wacky phrases to describe your favorite program. It’s all Good and Fun. But it’s the other 11 months of the year that can truly test one’s patience, particularly the early months of the offseason when player movement is at its apex. He has an opinion and he sticks to it, and the vultures on Twitter swoop in to get their jokes in as fast as possible.
This offseason has felt particularly toxic in general. The National Media Types — you know who they are — have seemingly become opposed to any and all player movement. It doesn’t matter if it’s from transfers or players wanting to test the NBA Draft waters, these college basketball reporters almost always seem to be against the players being able to express their rights. That’s not right, and it’s becoming a daily occurrence online.
This leads us to Jon, which is what Mid-Major Madness staff writer and Jonposting enthusiast Ben Goren likes to call a problematic fav:
“Jon is really easy to simplify into a walking meme, which he is to some degree,” he told me. “But also a big part of the Rothstein experience is that he has some really bad opinions. Remember that article he wrote about a player getting a second chance after being accused of sexual assault? That’s the big one. There’s also his continued assertions that players rights are meaningless and that they shouldn’t be allowed to transfer or declare for the NBA Draft unless they’re going to be a First Round pick. He is, obviously, wrong. You can make a great living playing abroad, and kids should 100 percent take that opportunity if they want it. It’s important to see Jon for what he is: a college basketball reporter who needs to stay in the good graces of athletic departments to get his scoops. Because of that, he’ll go to any length to defend the NCAA order. That means seeing college athletes as little more than cattle.”
This is the overarching dilemma that the most prominent reporters bring. They are, in a simple sense, an outlet for athletic departments to control information in a manner that benefits them. And these reporters will continue to do so as long as it gets them access to information.
Which leads me back to the original purpose of this article. Jon blocked me on Twitter, and I’m unsure how to feel about it. On one hand, it makes my life here slightly more difficult. Jon tweets out a lot of relevant information that this site needs. He is, by all accounts, very good at his job of being a reporter. That has never been in question.
But there’s also the relief of not having the bad opinions and other nonsense polluting my timeline. We’re all guilty of hate following an account. You can’t stand their posts, you ask yourself why you’re still following them, and your Online Experience would probably be better if you could just give them up. But you can’t, and you only grow more and more enraged with each subsequent post. Just cut the chord. You’ll be better off for it.
So maybe it’s a blessing in disguise to get blocked by Jon. I can still get the necessary information I need from other sources, and I’ll still see Jon’s tweets that I need to see one way or another. If your life revolves around someone’s Twitter account, you’re the problem, not them.
So consider this a goodbye to the catchphrases, the strange euphemisms, and to the “This is March” tweets. Maybe someday we’ll meet again.
Until then, stay hungry and humble, Jon.