Fox Sports’ Tim Brando isn’t shy with his opinions, particularly when it comes to Tennessee.
Brando had choice words for UT fans in the aftermath of Sunday’s Rocky Top Rebellion, referring to the Vol fan base as “vile,” among other choice descriptors. He personally guaranteed that no successful coach would dare accept an offer to make the move to Tennessee, a program that he said is ruled by “loons.”
After picking a fight with UT fans on Twitter, Brando was in no mood for debate. It was hard to blame him, though, because he quickly found himself losing the fight. Vols fans were quick to use his own words against him by dredging up past tweets. Among them:
On Jan. 15, 2010, Brando tweeted with regards to the Derek Dooley hire: “The reaction from Tennessee fans tells you all you need to know about fans. They know a little, think they know a lot. Dooley a great hire!”
On Dec. 7, 2012, he was at it again, tweeting: “Tennessee fans bemoaning the hire of Butch Jones prove again how much fans really DON’T know and think they know a lot. He is a great hire!”
If those two tweets are any indication, it turns out that UT fans know more about football than Brando does, as they were twice right and he was twice wrong.
Presented with those tweets, Brando began blocking his newfound Twitter critics. And he tweeted that he would block any other UT fan who was hateful or engaged in a lengthy diatribe. In other words, he would block any fan who turned his own tactics against him.
As it turned out, it didn’t take quite that much to earn a block from Brando. I made a rather innocuous tweet referring to the dredging up of the old tweets, saying: “This is why Tennessee fans are winning the internet. @TimBrando berates them for their criticism of Schiano, and they turn his own words against him. Well done.”
It was hardly a flame-bearing tweet or a personal attack on Brando, but within minutes he had blocked me. Moreover, he also blocked every person who retweeted my tweet.
It’s interesting that Brando is so quick to ruthlessly attack an entire fan base, then even quicker to block them when they respond — even in cases where they aren’t being necessarily argumentative or attacking him. If one didn’t know better, it would seem that Brando wants an echo chamber on Twitter — one where he can spew his vitriol and be met only with nodding heads.
I’ll admit that I’ve blocked a handful of people on Twitter over the years, mostly when they’re unnecessarily resorting to personal attacks against me or people who try to turn the simplest of tweets into constant arguments. But Brando took it to an entirely new level. Here’s the way Twitter works: You don’t receive push notifications when someone retweets a tweet that mentions you, unless you follow them. Which means Brando wasn’t receiving a notification every time someone retweeted my tweet that mentioned him. Which meant that he was taking the time to stalk the responses to that tweet and block each person who retweeted it.
That’s a bit excessive, and a little odd. Who has the time? I can’t imagine being so thin-skinned that I would sit and watch tweets disagreeing with my opinion so that I could block every person who agreed with the disagreeing tweet.
Brando’s behavior is even more ironic when you consider that without an audience, his Twitter account serves him no purpose. The more people he blocks, the more his audience shrinks.
It’s interesting that someone who is so quick to use their social media platform as a bully pulpit to berate those they disagree with is so fast to block anyone who dares to speak back. That person is Tim Brando. He must be a real pleasant man to go to dinner with.