So... You've Encountered an Internet Troll

DJ Byrnes's picture
May 22, 2013 at 7:20p

I remember the first time I realized Mark May enjoyed goading Ohio State fans. I was sixteen-years-old, and Ohio State was on the cusp of its first national footballing title since 1968. Nobody knew that yet, however, especially Mark May. I'm too lazy to Google his exact quotes, but I remember him basically saying Ohio State didn't deserve to share the field with the star-studded Miami team.

The 2003 BCS Title Game showed just how much Mark May's opinions are worth.

Not to be outdone, Mark May has continued his trolling of the Ohio State fan-base for a decade. That's stamina and constitution you usually don't find outside of terrorist organizations. On one hand, I'm impressed. On the other, I'm not, because Mark May is a run-of-the-mill troll.

It's all a calculated ploy. Outside of "the Buckeye Empire" or whatever nitwitted, interchangeable phrase you want to paste on Ohio State's fanbase, there is no love for Ohio State. It's the most hated team in the country. Ohio State fans have hated Mark May since the 2003 championship, so what's he got to lose with his incessant needling of an already obnoxious fanbase? Don't worry, I'll wait.

~*~*~*checks watch~*~***and when i say "watch" i mean cell phone***~*~*~

... The best medicine for a troll is to simply ignore them. I know this, because I've trolled people practically since I was able to type. I've been blocked on Twitter by everybody from Bill Simmons to Clay Travis to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Adam Schefter. I'll put my trolling accolades against anyone's this side of the Sun. It amuses me when millionaires like Bill Simmons have to block somebody because they questioned their interpretation of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement with banter. Were I Bill Simmons, he of Grantland and ubiquitous NBA on ESPN TV presence, there's nothing somebody on Twitter with a cat avatar could say to anger me.

This rustic wheelhouse is where the troll derives all his powers. Mark May probably prints out the abuse tweeted at him and uses it as masochistic pornography. His tweets may be ghostwritten by a third grader, but with every RT -- no matter how ironic -- his personal brand grows. (Yes, even this 500 word post is feeding into his troll-powers, but alas, such is the price of this PSA.)

Doubt me? Mark May probably cleared well over 500,000 dollars last year. He's literally laughing all the way to the bank on us.

We must quit taking the same bait Mark May has been laying since the winter of 2002. It's over a decade old, and he's not even giving Ohio State fans the courtesy of shaking up his routine. He's not even trying anymore; he's on troll auto-pilot. Frankly, it's insulting, and I wish more Ohio State fans would see through his bullshit facade. The faster that happens, the faster Mark May fades into irrelevance, which is where that goof belongs. He is not worth our time, our energy, and especially not our hate.

This is Ohio State fans to whom I'm talking though, so I doubt I'll ever get that lucky. Perhaps Mark May is the troll we deserve.

Comments Show All Comments

Hovenaut's picture

Nah, Ohio State is the team Mark May deserves.

Ignoring him is no fun, especially since we're doing so well.

But that's just me.

harleymanjax's picture

500 word post and not one mention that MARK MAY WEARS WOMEN'S UNDERWEAR?

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

jestertcf's picture

Well done DJ. I wish I could see the tweets that lead to you being blocked.
Note: Satire and Tombstone quotes do it for me whenever I get blocked.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

NW Buckeye's picture

Internet trolls are easy to ignore.  Mark May is also easy to ignore - heck, he has probably increased viewership on BTN more than anyone can imagine.  I will gladly watch BTN on Saturdays instead of anything featuring Mark May.  Where I have a problem with trolls is when they go out of their way to grace the likes of 11W.  Yes, I can chose to ignore them, but I generally read a few lines before I know to skip over their comments.  And, I have been drawn into discussions before I realize just how much of a troll they are.  However, I think the mechanisms now in place do a good job of getting the ban hammer out for the trolls.  Just wish Mark May would post his drivel on here so we could all see him get the hammer!!!  LOL

gobucks96's picture

Agreed. I just don't watch ESPN on saturdays anymore..

faux_maestro's picture

I only tune in if the Bucks are on. Or during the occasional golf tournament. My skin crawls the entire time.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Been saying this for years. Just turn him off and ignore him. Sticks and freaking stones people. And if I may show my age, one thing I have learned from the so called real world, is that the only people that say things that require attention are the people that desperately need attention. 

Read my entire screen name....

headina's picture

Hall of fame list of blocks on twitter. I have been blocked from CNN and am constantly censored on as well. The funny thing is I never use profanity or anything that is offensive, I just speak my opinions. Gotta love it. 


KingKosar's picture

Hate to say it, but Mark May wasn't the only one dogging Ohio State vs Miami (FL) in 2003.
Jim Rome was saying the exact same thing.  (I sure wish they had the video of that out there somewhere so I could throw that back in his face...again.)

Phillips.449's picture

Trev Alberts to name another.  Now there is a good example of what happens when someone gets ignored.  They get the axe!

bigbadbuck's picture

And it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

gumtape's picture

Rome is from LA and he was stating that usc should have been playing miami.
Really only two guys who picked osu ftw, the late joel buchsbaum of profootballweekly, and pete fiutak who many see as another hater but they forget this. He also stated that 2007 osu vs lsu that georgia should have been our opponent that year.

High and tight boo boo

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Beano Cook predicted OSU to be in the national championship game before the season started - probably the only non-Buckeye to do that

Yeti's have feelings too.

jestertcf's picture

You're in good company DJ. Ramzy was instablocked by Craig James.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

hodge's picture

Bravo DJ, bravo. I honestly wonder if he even believes half he shit he says, or if espn's just paying him to be a contrarian to everything Lou Holtz stands for. 

bigbadbuck's picture

It doesn't really matter if he believes it or not and I don't really think he's just being contradictory to Lou Holtz either....I just think the troll marches to his own drummer

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

Phillips.449's picture

"That's stamina and constitution you usually don't find outside of terrorist organizations."
Is it bad that I giggled at this statement?

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Fat Urkel doesn't even have a mind of his own.  He is paid to be a contrarian.  He doesn't think for himself.  And Mark May wears women's underwear.

Class of 2010.

jeremytwoface's picture

Speaking of trolls, looks like the 11w staff is doing some spring cleaning today... Wiping out threads and blogs like it's nobody's business.

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

Dr. House's picture

as long as the friday zombie thread stays i will be happy

Boxley's picture

It's all a game to attract viewers, happy or angry ones, it still counts as viewers. Holtz is his counterpart in the good cop, bad cop, routine. It is all made up in advance.
Frankly I do not care for their entire program, so I do not watch them.
I refuse to participate in their game of taunting. I only responded here because it is a 11W thread, by DJ.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

Maffro's picture

I must be doing a pretty good job then, considering I haven't listened to a word that Mark May's said since like 2005 and thus have absolutely no knowledge of his vendetta against OSU outside of what I've read in passing on this site and elsewhere a few times.

Toilrt Paper's picture

You must be a real man to ignore trolls.

AJW_16's picture

He and every other troll work the same. Ignore and you will be fine. During halftime of an ESPN telecast there is most likely another game on another channel, or you and your buddy have probably gone through your first six, and so a beer run will be warranted. I know its pie-in-the-sky thinking, but if the collective OSU fanbase tuned out his awful-ness, we'd all sleep better at night.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

tdible2132's picture

Me no likey internet trolls.

KingKosar's picture

Always remember, when in doubt:

darbnurb's picture

His troll power comes is fueled from both sides.  Those of us who hate him, but tune in anyway (like not wanting to look at a accident scene, but doing so anyway).  And those that hate us so they tune in to agree with him.  ESPN is making so much money off of OSU because virtually everyone either loves or hates the Bucks.  

BuckeyeBeth's picture

My dad taught me as a very little girl that people either LOVE/ADORE the Buckeyes - or DESPISE them... and that there is very little in between. I have never forgotten it - and it's probably even more true today.
Truth is, Mark's completely irrelevant. Except for the fact that the more he behaves this way (and other analysts act similarly), the more ESPN looks like the Fox News of sports.  Remember when ESPN was kinda awesome?
I just hope that when Mark passes, the airbrush-wielding makeup artist who does his face every Saturday is willing to come to the funeral home and make him up one last time. That s**t is flawless. (Doubt me? go find a pic of Mark taken while signing footballs and stuff when he's not working for ESPN - doesn't even look like him).
Finally, as much as it pains me to say - I agree with all the above. Don't feed the troll.

Success - it's what you do with what you've got.   - Woody Hayes

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Excellent article!  This person you speak of is now out of my mind.  No more power to the troll.  Time to make him irrelevant. 

Phutatorius's picture

Some thoughts:
Back in 2002, Trev Alberts was sitting in Lou Holtz's seat, and I recall him being more knee-jerk critical of the Buckeyes than May.  If anything, May was riding along in the sidecar.  So not only does May fulfill the role of Buckeye-baiter lazily, without reference to facts or logical argument, and with a resoundingly tone-deaf delivery (i.e., he comes off as angry and mean, rather than earnest), but what's worse, he wasn't even the first to take up the gig.  He just stepped into Alberts shoes after he left.
I, too, am in favor of ignoring the guy, but I realize it's so very hard to do.  He's not a serious commentator -- at least not on this subject.  He's doing a schtick.  This much became apparent to me when Pryor completed something like 12 of 15 passes in the first half of a game freshman year (two of the INCs were drops), and I eagerly tuned in to the halftime show, expecting to see May grudgingly allow that it was a good performance, only to watch him single out the one legit bad pass and declare he "wasn't ready for the college game."
(Not that I'm particularly in love with Terrelle Pryor.  I'm just citing it as evidence of May's disregard for evidence, on the subject of OSU.)
May epitomizes the problem with ESPN: its dual purposes of journalism and entertainment are often incompatible, and the Worldwide Leader's answer is simply to mash those two objects together so that we can't tell when it's trying to deliver one or the other.  May's gig is twofold: to offer something in the nature of observational "expert" commentary on all but one of the teams in the FBS, and then to put on a crazy hat and rant unaccountably about Ohio State.  Let's not kid ourselves: he gets paid for both of those deliverables.  How he got there and why it's Ohio State, as opposed to any other big program that is loved by its massive fan base and detested by all others, is something we could explore, but why?
The point is, we should all know by know that when he has his crazy hat on and is ranting about Ohio State, he's not making serious arguments.  It's criticism at the level of Pee Wee Herman's "I know you are but what am I?" -- and I don't see why we should concern ourselves with it.  If it were artfully done, you could admire it.  If it were based in sound argumentation or manifest football expertise, you could tip your hat and say, "that's your opinion, sir, and you articulated it well."  But it is instead visceral and unsupported by logic or evidence.  The best argument I've heard for Why We SHOULD Care About Mark May is that his opinions might shape media perception and indirectly harm the Buckeyes' bowl prospects (or for that matter OSU's compliance and enforcement profile).  But do serious people really take him seriously?  I know the Dennis Dodds of the world aren't much more thoughtful than May, but I am sure they do their lack of thinking all by themselves.  I don't see May as much of an influence on national-level media thinking.
So we're left with the question of Why We DO Care About Mark May.  I can only speak for myself, because, sadly, I do care.  I DO find him unbearable, and try as I might, I can't avert my eyes from him.  The best reason I can come up with for why is that even if we accept that he is required by personal grudge/ the wiring of his cerebral cortex/ his contract with ESPN to take shots at OSU at every turn, you wish he'd be good at it.  I'll readily accept a national-media foil, if he/she brings something to the table.  May just, doesn't.  Any one of us could walk onto the ESPN set and verbally dismantle the Michigan or Alabama football programs in a more entertaining, substantive, and glib way than Mark May does for Ohio State.  So why does he get to hold down this gig?  Because he's built up his "brand" of lazy, one-sided commentary?  Seriously: Baghdad Bob was a better entertainer.