|by David Hood|
However, with apologies to Rick Reilly at Sports Illustrated, perhaps the biggest sign of the Apocalypse that I’ve seen recently is that former Clemson coach Danny Ford is on Twitter.
Ford is old school. Ford is blocking and tackling. Ford is chewing tobacco, and the block C on the Clemson cap. Ford is mesh jerseys and ACC Championships.
And now, Ford is on Twitter as part of the Coaches Cabana show that he is doing with Mark Sturgis during Clemson football games this fall. He even got a crash course on Twitter from a family member a little over a week ago because he wants to make sure that he is the one answering questions.
“I had an old flip phone before I started doing this with these guys,” Ford told TigerNet Saturday afternoon. “And now I have an Iphone and a Twitter account, and things I’ve never heard of in my life. And now, I’m trying to learn how to do it. But this is going to be fun. We will look at the Clemson games, and we will comment on it and answer people’s questions. So it should be fun.”
Ford said that he stayed away from technology as long as he could.
“I told people when they called me and said, ‘Give me your email address that I don’t email, I don’t Twitter and I don’t Facebook,” Ford said. “But now I have changed because of this Twitter deal. They say the market on this is the 25-to-35 age group, and they all go in the stadium on their smartphones and they start tweeting each other and texting each other. It’s just another way to second-guess a coach, I guess.”
The Coaches Cabana is launching in 14 markets with 14 name-brand former college football coaches this fall. The former coaches will be providing color commentary for the 2013 season. The show is a live-stream of the coaches commenting on the football games in real-time as they are occurring. The coaches will also be responding to questions asked on Twitter as they dissect the game, the plays and football in general.
Ford said that doing the show should be a lot of fun, and his intent isn’t to second-guess the Clemson coaches, but rather to provide insight.
“It’s just football. They just run it a little bit quicker these days,” he said. “But it’s still football. It’s still blocking and tackling and fundamentals. But I’ve told Coach Swinney that I don’t want to be a hindrance to his football program, and hopefully I can help his football program. But you have to tell the truth, too, you know? They will make mistakes, and when they make a mistake, you have to tell the truth and say they made a mistake. “
Ford then laughed and said that he has the luxury of a 25-second tape-delay, and shouldn’t make mistakes, a far cry from his coaching days.
“But, I shouldn’t make a mistake, because I’ve already seen the play,” he said, smiling.
Ford said that today’s coaches have a lot of headaches they have to deal with because of the advent of social media, but they also have an advantage.
“I know they do all of their recruiting by that, and a lot of their reading on that,” Ford said. “You know, we used to get all of our articles by the newspapers. The girls would come over and cut out articles on prospects and we would read them that way. They can read about them almost right away on the internet now, and we couldn’t do that.”
To follow Coach Ford on Twitter, it’s @CoachDannyFord.
Coaches Cabana coaches
Barry Switzer - Oklahoma
Jackie Sherrill - Texas A&M
Fred Akers - Texas
John Fourcade - LSU
Johnny Majors - Tennessee
Ray Goff - Georgia
Galen Hall - Florida
Danny Ford - Clemson
Milt Tenopir - Nebraska
Max Howell - Ole Miss
Jay Paterno - Penn State
Pat Jones - Oklahoma State
Bill Oliver - Alabama
Jack Crowe - Auburn
David Hood can be reached at email@example.com