Above you see Jimmy Kimmel tweeting at Anthony Bennett, the top unsigned basketball player in the class of 2012. Tweeting at recruits is popular these days, and now we have our most famous example yet.
So what do we make of this?
On one hand ... Tweeting at 18-year-old kids will never not be creepy and sort of pathetic. Sometimes the creepiness masks an actual crime -- like what happened at Ohio State over the past two weeks, if you want to go down the rabbit hole -- but usually it's just anonymous people in the ether tweeting at slightly-less-anonymous high-school prospects to tell them how badly their school needs them. Sometimes, after a recruit goes somewhere else, rival fans lash out at him, which gets really pathetic and gross. Fans tweeting at recruits is stupid.
On the other hand ... If I were on national TV like Jimmy Kimmel, I'd DEFINITELY use my influence to try and help my alma mater land a superstar high-school player. Like, constantly.
You or me tweeting at some 18-year-old kid is sad and weird; someone like Kimmel tweeting at him is kind of awesome, because said 18-year-old might actually get a kick out of it. And ultimately, who cares? 18-year-olds aren't choosing colleges based on Twitter, and Kimmel was just screwing around responding to a fan. Do we have to take ourselves that seriously?
What I'm saying is, hundreds of fans tweeting recruits is kind of creepy and sad, but if you find the Kimmel tweet equally upsetting, you might be as obnoxious and sanctimonious as the NCAA.
(Speaking of which ... It's fun and harmless, so that tweet's probably an NCAA violation somehow.)
(So is this article, probably.)
(God bless college sports.)