Twitter has gotten pretty much nothing but positive press since it became the most ubiquitous American trend since the Macarena. There are downsides to Twitter, although they are fairly specific to athletes. Fans who may previously been limited to ranting about them online or on talk radio can now heap scorn on their targets directly, an avenue that Browns fans are using to assail Braylon Edwards.
Edwards has been the target of much abuse from that fanbase since he was traded to the Jets last week. While their anger is certainly a justifiable response to being in Cleveland and rooting for one of the NFL's biggest and unfunniest jokes, it's probably better directed at Browns owner Randy Lerner than at a wide receiver who you claim not to like anyway. At any rate, Edwards took to Twitter to ask fans to cool it.
"I would appreciate it if disgruntled Cleveland fans would stop sending messages. Fact of the matter is I'm a jet now. Go tweet Josh Cribbs."
Naturally that unleased the hounds. Edwards had his mother insulted alongside his ballcatching abilities, got called a jerk by a 15-year old and was compared to diva receiver Leon from the old Bud Light commercials. The last one's actually pretty funny, even if you're a Jets fan hoping that Edwards continues to be the offensive weapon he was against the Dolphins on Monday night.
It's nothing new. One of the most popular Twitter memes on the day of the Edwards trade was one that had people coming up with mock packages that the Browns received in return. A Michael Vick Petco card, a two-year beeper plan and a combination Crocs/Snuggie offer were some of the highlights. The difference between the two things, of course, is that one is having fun without directly targeting Edwards while the other is, in some cases, pretty insulting.
Understandable as their disguntlement may be, Browns fans kind of come off as the characters in the countless movies and TV shows about someone who left a small town to try their luck elsewhere and are hated by those who were left behind. They aren't actually hated because they left, they are hated because everyone else was still stuck there waiting for their own chance to enjoy life. Who knows, Browns fans, a quarterback who can complete three passes in a game may be right around the corner. Keep the faith!
As for Edwards, you might argue that if he's really upset about getting messages from Browns fans, there isn't much reason why anyone needs to know that he thinks Peter King is a great writer or that practice went smooth. It's as easy as not being on Twitter, something many an adult has been able to do without and something we're confident Edwards could live with as well.