With tonight’s news of the release of veteran starting right tackle Eric Winston, the Kansas City Chiefs community was immediately into full on speculation mode as to what this release would mean for the team.
And by team, I mean starting left tackle Branden Albert.
Just the day before, the franchise tag was put on Albert, assuring that the Chiefs have the option to either sign him to an extension, trade him, or simply pay him in 2013 and have him continue to play left tackle. But with this latest news, the Chiefs corner of the Twitterverse began to bombard Albert with questions about moving to right tackle.
There was discussion last off-season about Albert moving to right tackle before Winston was signed, and the Chiefs drafting an offensive tackle. Instead, the Chiefs chose to bring in Winston as he was far more talented than any potential rookie in the 2012 draft class.
As Albert was dealing with onslaught of questions and comments from Chiefs fans, he did his best to engage fans and respond. However, Albert was adamant that he was not moving to the right side.
All this did was to further push Chiefs fans to press him harder and as anyone who uses Twitter understands, when people have the protection and anonymity of the internet behind them, they can be brave and be insulting.
After multiple exchanges, Albert had finally had enough, and deleted his Twitter account.
My take — People on Twitter are ruthless. You have to have thick skin. But, Albert broke the cardinal rule: He engaged. He chose to dive head first into the debate and realized quickly scores of passionate Chiefs fans were not the group he wanted to cross.
I don’t have any sympathy for Albert. In this age of social media, if you aren’t ready for the backlash, it’s best to just avoid it altogether. At some point Albert can get a new Twitter account and fans will come back, but for tonight he’s the villain and he’s retreated to his lair.