Oh, social networking. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (just kidding; no one uses MySpace) -- all tools that can connect us to millions of people we would never otherwise know, all of them sharing interesting tidbits, links, advice, and wisdom. We as a society know more people than ever in 2009, and we're just getting started. Social networking is great ... until it gets us in trouble. And like the intern who called into work sick and showed up on Facebook the next day in a dress, the Calipari family is having a wee bit of trouble keeping their Web 2.0 game tight.
The first instance was Calipari's Twitter call-out of ESPN's Pat Forde last week. Responding to Forde's perfectly reasonable analysis that Kentucky had been slightly hypocritical by at first avoiding Calipari and then hiring him -- that two years of losing had made them desperate to win -- Calipari got Forde's name wrong and accused him of "trying to sell more books," a not-at-all-veiled reference to Forde's co-authorship of a book with Calipari rival Rick Pitino. (This was before this week's Memphis scandal, by the way. How right was Forde?)
Today, Deadspin unearthed Calipari's daughter's Facebook feed, which of late has been riddled with anti-Forde status updates, including shots at his journalistic credibility and, strangely, his hair. Not to get all personal here, but insulting someone's hair is a right lost to any relative of John Calipari. Fair's fair.
Anyway, just a few hours after Deadspin posted the story, Calipari issued the following series of tweets:
Understandable all around, but see that apology there in the middle? That's probably something Calipari should have done before his daughter joined the fun. Forde has been getting absolutely hammered by UK fans since that tweet (it's important to note that he's been a consummate professional through the whole thing, and wrote an incredibly fair piece on the Calipari revelations today). Calipari's daughter's status updates are probably some of the least impolite stuff written about Forde in various corners of the Internets recently.
But things were different last week, weren't they? Last week, Calipari could whip his followers into a frenzy with little worry about the repercussions. He could pretend not to know one of the college sports writers at a high-profile national Web site. This week? This week everyone has a job to do, and things are not so black and white. Funny how fast that changes.