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#hungryformorefootball: Lords tweet to victory

By Olivia Legan

The next time the Kenyon football team comes together for a huddle, it might not be on the field. They may be surrounding a computer, strategizing their next tweet. Thanks to the Lords’ football team, the social networking site now brings the student body hilarious and inspiring tweets to show enthusiasm for the gridiron.

According to Head Coach Chris Monfiletto, a dwindling interest in the football program prompted the coaching staff to create an official Kenyon Football Twitter account over the summer. Many players now tweet about games from their personal accounts.

“A lot of us just had Twitters already,” Defensive Lineman Derek Bauer ’14 said. “Before [Monfiletto] got here, we didn’t tweet about football that much. He got here and they made a Twitter account, and we kind of followed suit.”

In a world dominated by social media sites like Vine, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, why choose Twitter? According to Receiver Jake Genachowski ’15, Twitter is the easiest site to update and post frequently to.

“Twitter is kind of a better platform to express what you want to say,” he said. “It’s more accepted to rant on Twitter or go on, put whatever you want on there because you don’t feel like you’re flooding people’s feeds. That’s kind of what it’s there for.”

Consistently tweeting about the game has become a sort of ritual for the team. According to Pierre DuBois ’17, his feed floods with “pump-up” tweets on Fridays before games.

One of the team’s popular sayings is “the juice is hot.” This phrase often accompanies players tweets as “#thejuiceishot.”

Defensive Back Sam McQuiston ’16 wrote in an email, “ムJuice’ is the extra stuff that flows through us which makes us competitive, driven, angry and motivated. It comes from a different place for each player, and is made ムhot’ by different things. ムGetting the juice hot’ is building up that fire inside of you and making that awesome juice pump.”

On Sept. 6, before the Lords played Allegheny College, Bauer and his teammates experienced an unconventional sense of camaraderie, all thanks to Twitter.

“Last week, a lot of guys…were tweeting about getting pumped up for the game,” Bauer said. “When we got to the hotel we were down in the lobby and a lot of guys were tweeting then, especially the freshmen because it was their first trip.”

While the individual players tweet what’s on their minds, the official Twitter serves a different purpose. The coaching staff uses the account to contact alumni, keep tabs on potential recruits and get ideas from football coaches at schools like Stanford, Vanderbilt and Northwestern Universities, according to Monfiletto.

“I try to get ideas from those schools because they’re similar to us,” he said.

The Lords are kept on what Bauer describes as a “long leash” when it comes to their individual Twitter accounts. Considering that the site is rife with embarrassing, grammatically incorrect tweets from professional athletes, a certain amount of trust is placed in the players. According to Genachowski, players are reminded they represent Kenyon Football in everything they do.

“Coach once told me that if it’s after [midnight], don’t even think about tweeting it,” DuBois said. “If you think about doing something after 12, just don’t hit the send button.”

Genachowski also recognizes the danger that comes with having a wide Twitter audience.

“There are guys who do really stupid things like the whole thing with [Texas A&M Football Quarterback] Johnny Manziel. Recently he tweeted that he can’t wait to get out of college and play professionally, which immediately blew up into a major news story, when even five years ago that wouldn’t have happened,” Genachowski said. “He probably would’ve said that to his friend and that would’ve been the end of it.”

Besides accidental slip-ups, “Twitter-battles” are also common on the site. The players, however, agree they are above such activity.

“None of our guys have ever been nasty towards another team,” Bauer said. “We mostly just worry about ourselves.”

For a model of good Twitter behavior, Bauer follows James Harrison of the Cincinnati Bengals, who Bauer says tweets pictures of himself getting acupuncture the night before a game.

Another Twitter role model for the Lords is President Sean Decatur. Decatur used his Twitter account to tweet to the team before the game against Allegheny, and according to DuBois, it meant a lot.

“When we’re headed to the game in the bus and we see that, that gives us a sense of pride in the community, in Kenyon College,” Dubois said. “We’re not only representing the Kenyon football team out there on the field, we’re representing the entire College as a whole.”

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