Brady Quinn’s Twitter Apology for Tim Tebow Comments Proves Regret Is Often at Heart of Athlete Tweets


Brady Quinn's Twitter Apology for Tim Tebow Comments Proves Regret Is Often at Heart of Athlete TweetsBrady Quinn called out Tim Tebow. Actually, no, maybe he didn't. OK, he said it, but he didn't mean it. Wait, does he mean it?

If you got lost throughout that bit of rambling, it's probably a feeling similar to what you'll feel these days while keeping up with the kids on the Twitter machine, and the Facebook, and all that social media jazz. It can really be a bit overwhelming at times, as the "he said-she said" game continues to reach new levels in the age of digital media.

The recent controversy surrounding Quinn's comments about Tebow in a GQ article is the latest example that social media is changing the sports landscape as we know it. It isn't a completely new concept, but tweets have quickly become THE go-to platform for athletes, altering the state of journalism incredibly.

Many athletes use Twitter to interact with fans, others use it to break personal news, and still others use it as a direct avenue to "clarify" what they meant or said when backlash strikes. The latter is exactly how Quinn used the social media website on Tuesday, as he backtracked on the comments he reportedly made to GQ recently about Tebow's run with the Broncos this season.

"If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me," Quinn told GQ. "When I get that opportunity [to play,] I'll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?"

Quinn also reportedly told GQ that he thought the fans had a lot to do with Tebow, who leapfrogged Quinn on the depth chart, getting a chance to start for the Broncos.

Understandably (given Tebow's popularity), Quinn's comments made headlines nationwide, leading Tebow-haters to rejoice, supporters to shake their fists at the heavens and others to say, "Who the hell is Brady Quinn?"

Nevertheless, it was obvious from the onset that Quinn was going to have to respond to the article at some point, which he eventually elected to do via (of course) Twitter.

Quinn called Tebow "a great teammate," said that he was "happy for him and what he accomplished," and stressed that the comments in the GQ article were "NO WAY" reflective of his opinion of Tebow and the Broncos.

Now, let it be known, I'm not saying Quinn's Twitter apology/clarification/"oh crap" moment wasn't genuine and very much real. It probably was, although no one truly knows but Quinn himself.

But the whole situation speaks volumes about the impact of Twitter. Undoubtedly, Quinn's Twitter account was monitored more than ever after the GQ article came out, and not because he somehow made the leap from a terrible quarterback to a mediocre signal caller overnight (even Twitter has its limitations).

Instead, it was because of the anticipation of how Quinn might respond to his apparent screw up. And that type of wait-and-see reaction has become the norm for many sports fans.

You read/hear something. You react. And then you head to Twitter to wait for the athlete in question's reaction.

On Tuesday, sure enough, Quinn tweeted, and he tweeted more than your run-of-the-mill 140-character tweet. He tweeted as much as his heart desired until his message was hammered into the rest of Internet-using civilization.

There's nothing wrong with Quinn taking to Twitter, there's nothing wrong with athletes using Twitter in general, and there's nothing wrong with us hanging on athletes' every word on Twitter.

But Quinn's five tweets — and many tweets from athletes — can be summed up in one word: regret.

That word is essentially at the heart of all things Twitter these days, as it pertains to sports figures. We've seen athletes tweet things that they regret soon after, and we've seen athletes express regret via Twitter.

It's truly amazing how traditional journalism has taken a backseat. In many cases, its tweets surrounding events (or stories) that end up making more headlines than the actual event itself.

This isn't to say there's some evil that exists out in the Twitterverse, but it certainly muddies the water when it comes to who and what to believe.

Was Quinn's clarification on Tuesday legitimate, or was he simply playing the GQ interview back in his head and thinking to himself, "I probably shouldn't have said that?" We'll never know, but the possibility for either has led many — including myself — to take more and more things with a grain of salt.

Tweet on.

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