Does anyone remember how public feuds worked before the internet? I guess people just had to say shady things about each other in interviews that ran in print newspapers, and then hope that the target of their shade read that particular newspaper? Seems, well, unsatisfying.
Thankfully, we have Twitter, the social media site whose instant gratification factor makes it not only a great platform for narcissism as performance art and a really splashy way to blow up your life, but also the ideal method for exchanging snarky insults with public figures. And when you've got two public figures involved? You, my friend, have an entertaining Twitter feud.
Most hilarious recent case in point: San Jose's own Smash Mouth -- the band famous for the inescapable 1999 single "All Star," some painful covers on the Shrek soundtrack and a lead singer who's somehow achieved the feat of being even more disliked than his food-world doppelganger Guy Fieri -- decided to weigh in on a tweet by Chronicle sports writer John Shea about Coco Crisp, the former A's outfielder who was traded to the Cleveland Indians earlier this fall.
Worth noting, maybe, that this is not the first occasion on which the person behind Smash Mouth's Twitter account has seemed like he might have too much time on his hands. This hilarious report by Ashley Feinberg at Gawker (RIP) details the impressive amount of time and energy this account spends sounding incredibly defensive, refuting even mild criticism from random people online.
What took this interaction to the next level, however, was whomever was running the A's Twitter account close to midnight on Oct. 28, when the (rather lame) original diss took place. This person went "You know what? You'll never know if you don't go." And they went. The organization has since deleted its tweets, so we're going off text captured by Consequence of Sound, but the sparring included hits such as:
Your mileage may vary, but my personal favorite part is when Smash Mouth continues to try to make salient points about the team's strategy, and A's pitcher Sean Doolittle (who was also up at this hour with nothing better to do than make jokes) decides to chime in.
Did you know Sean Doolittle was great at Twitter?
I did not know Sean Doolittle was great at Twitter.
In any event: it appears someone on the Athletics' PR team thought said online shenanigans were, as they say, "not a good look," because the team's tweets were gone the next morning. In their place, there was a peace offering:
Now, I'm going to overlook my obvious bias to note that truly, no one here comes out looking like the sharpest tool in the shed. While I agree the A's social media person might have run his or her tone by a colleague before engaging in an all-out Twitter war with a notoriously and publicly sad aging retro band, the real social media crime here is that the A's deleted their tweets.
Why? Because if we learned anything from the Great Red Lobster/Beyoncé Social Media Fail of March 2016, it's that people want nothing so much as authenticity from their favorite brands, sports and celebrities. That means sometimes looking flawed -- immature, silly, or over-the-top. You know, like people are. The social media team at BART earned accolades earlier this year for doing just that: being candid, communicating like actual human beings might.
And how do actual humans feel about Smash Mouth?
...okay, so that one was maybe a little harsh. But I'd like to give Smash Mouth enough credit to think that they can take a joke. Isn't that part of the social contract when you pick a fight on Twitter? You just ... don't get to take yourself that seriously. Especially in the middle of the night. Maybe especially with a professional sports organization.
And you know what they say: If you can't take the heat, you probably shouldn't be walking on the sun.