Mothers always try to impart upon their children the importance of such life lessons as ‘If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all’.
Well, in the age of Tweeting and various other anonymous social media outlets, such sayings are being casually ignored in the spirit of trying to be a ‘die hard sports fan’.
Case in point: Chris Jones, currently committed to Mississippi State but having taken a recruiting visit to Ole Miss, told reporters at ESPN and CBS that fans of both sides of the intense intrastate rivalry have been sending him death threats online.
Read that again: Fans of a a game have been sending death threats to a teenager.
“It was a crazy weekend,” Jones said. “I received death threats, insane messages, you name it. I mean it has not been as stressful as people would think it has been. I have tried to handle it in the most comfortable way possible, so it has really been alright for me, and in the end, I am very blessed to have this opportunity to play for either in-state school.”
Of course, Jones is right. He is extremely blessed. Very few high schoolers in the nation measure in at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds. Of those select few, even less possess the first-step quickness to be consistently disruptive as a pass rusher.
That is why Jones is rated as the No. 6 defensive end in the country, and the No. 2-overall prospect in the entire state of Mississippi. All of this being said, he believes himself to be an adult and able to make his own decisions.
In this regard, he is absolutely right.
“This weekend I really felt like I was at the point where I need to make a lifetime decision, and I am grown up enough to make my own choice without anyone telling me where I can and cannot go,” Jones said.
Jones has not rescinded his commitment to coach Dan Mullen and Mississippi State, the program he has been committed to since June. However, he will not officially sign his letter of intent until National Singing Day, on February 6.
In his stature, Jones is physically bigger than nearly the entire Twittersphere. Further, and through his words, he is proving his is bigger mentally than all the crazed fans out there who feel they are in the right in harassing a young kid who is simply trying to decide which college to go to.
“I think I have my mind made up,” Jones said. “I am excited about the people I will be surrounded with at that program. I have not told my parents, and I am not going to worry about making them or anyone unhappy. I am ready to make the best decision for me. Some people’s feelings might get hurt, but sometimes you cannot make everyone happy. A couple people might get angry on Facebook and Twitter, too, but that is life. I will announce my decision on signing day, and I do not plan to tell either school before then.”
Our mothers said one thing, but we don’t even have to listen to their wisdom here. Instead, such juvenile individuals should try to take a lessons from the juvenile movie, Anchorman (which we love, by the way, but that’s neither here nor there).
In the movie, news anchor Ron Burgundy signs off from his newscasts with the catchphrase, “You stay classy, San Diego.”
Please Mississippi football fans, just try for 10 seconds to keep things classy.