If you're a high-profile athlete who turns in a bad performance, there's a good chance that misguided fans will take to Twitter to hurl insults (and even worse) at you. And if you're a person who shares the same name as that athlete? Well, there's a good chance you'll end up with some collateral damage as well.
Nashville television reporter Chris Conte has repeatedly learned that all year as Chicago Bears fans made another Chris Conte the scapegoat for the team's dismal defense. It reached a fever pitch on Sunday night after Conte — the one who plays safety at Soldier Field for the Bears — blew a coverage that allowed a 48-yard, game-winning touchdown from Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers to receiver Randall Cobb. The play put the Packers in the playoffs and kept the Bears out.
Chicago's Conte has already learned his lesson about Twitter, having deleted his account in November when the abuse got to be too much. But Nashville's Conte still resides on Twitter at @chrisconte and he soon saw his @ replies fill up with hatred and vitriol meant for Conte the football player. We can't embed most of the profane messages here, but clicking this link shows that some of Chicago's worst human beings sent tidings of death, slurs and hopes for the transmission of STDs.
Here's what looks to be the tamest one:
Luckily, those people (and $100 they were some of the same morons who confused Josh McCown with Cade McNown earlier this year) were soon drowned out by tweeters who saw the humor in the two men sharing a name and decided to have a little fun with it (while still continuing to vent in some instances):
@chrisconte can u point me in the direction of the inadequate FS of the chicago bears who just watched randall cobb sprint past him???— Chalky White (@ddot11003) December 30, 2013
. @chrisconte maybe if you focused on football 100% instead of dabbling in journalism my Bears would still be playing you JERK!!!!!— Johnny Football (@PurpleArgyle) December 30, 2013
@chrisconte On a positive note, you're probably the most well-known Nashville news reporter in Chicago right now.— Jim Weihofen (@cubfan531) December 30, 2013
@chrisconte I know you don't play for the bears, but still the Chris conte that does really sucks at his job. Keep up the good work.— Gabriel David (@gabrield91) December 30, 2013
In the end, though, the whole episode proved that any publicity is good publicity. Here's what Chris Conte (Nashville edition) had to say about the ordeal:
So far this whole Chris Conte Bears debacle has netted me 100+ followers and about 250 retweets. http://t.co/LCh43GfSmf— Chris Conte (@chrisconte) December 30, 2013
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