HEISER: Susquehannock grad Edsall caught up in Twitter controversy


Everyone needs to take a Twitter chill pill.

It seems as though there's a small army of the easily angered trolling the popular social media site just looking for an opportunity to vent their outrage about one benign post or another.

York County's own Randy Edsall is the latest to get caught up in an Internet dust-up gone viral.

The Susquehannock High School graduate and University of Maryland head football coach enjoys tweeting inspirational quotes. They are mostly meant to motivate his players.

On Sunday, his account (@randyedsall) featured the following adage:

"If you have talent with teamwork, you've got a chance to be a championship team."

Nothing remotely controversial there, right?


The man that Edsall attributed the maxim to was none other than Duke head men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.


That's when the trouble started.

Duke basketball was, for decades, the single-most-despised opponent to visit the College Park campus. Terrapins' fans, in large part, simply can't stand Krzyzewski and Co. It doesn't matter that Maryland is now a Big Ten member and the longtime Atlantic Coast Conference rivals are no longer in the same league.

The bitterness, at least in the minds of many Maryland fans, still remains.

Some of the Duke haters in Terp Nation quickly took to Twitter to lambast Edsall for having the audacity to post a positive motto from the Blue Devils' boss. They immediately went on 140-character rants to chastise Edsall.

That quickly caught the attention of several well-known regional and national websites, such as baltimoresun.com, csnwashington.com, washingtonpost.com and si.com. From there, the story took on a life of its own.

To his credit, Edsall has hung tough, and as of this writing, has not taken down the post.

Was it the smartest thing that Edsall has ever done?

Probably not.

He's been at Maryland long enough to know how Terps' fans feel about Duke and Krzyzewski.

It would have been just as easy to quote someone such as John Wooden or Pat Summitt. I'm sure they've said plenty of inspirational things.

At the same time, however, posting an innocuous message from one of the most respected coaches in college basketball history is not exactly a felony, either.

Twitter can be a fun way to add to your sports enjoyment. You can often learn information first (although it's not always reliable) and you can also trade amusing comments and tidbits with like-minded fans and friends.

Unfortunately, there's a sizable Twitter faction that seems to thrive on constantly expressing indignation about one sports topic or another. This week, Edsall got caught up in one of those firestorms.

Fortunately for him, it will quickly pass. That's how it works in social media. Today's villain is often forgotten by tomorrow.

Still, people just need to relax and stop looking for a reason to be offended.

We'd all be better off.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.