TDELL

As I avoid graduate school applications, I thought I would share some of the happenings of the past ten days and Billikens.com.
A couple of weeks ago a user, TDELL, on my site posted the following

thetorch where did you play college ball, probably no where. This is a new coach with a new system, everybody’s saying how good of a coach Majerus is, I dont see it anybody can run around and set screens you dont have to have talent to do that. Majuerus doesn’t want any fancy stuff just plain basketball. Tommie played well his first two years now all of a sudden he’s not, its not Tommie it’s the coach. I’d rather have Sodie.

Source

TDELL is the user name of Tommie Liddell Jr, Tommie Liddell III’s dad. Rick Majerus, SLU’s coach, has challenged Liddell III this season and many users believed that TDELL’s post was an expression of discontent. As message boards do, people went back and forth about this issue and it somewhat died down in conversation.

Then Bernie Miklasz, the main sports columnist in St. Louis wrote the following in his “Bernie’s Bits,” which ran in Saturday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch (both in the paper and online):

Tommie Liddell III’s father, Tommie Liddell, is active on the Billikens.com message board and doesn’t appear to be a fan of St. Louis U. coach Rick Majerus. In a recent posting, Liddell the elder wrote: “Everybody’s saying how good of a coach Majerus is. I don’t see it. Anybody can run around and set screens. You don’t have to have talent to do that. Majerus doesn’t want any fancy stuff, just plain basketball. Tommie played well his first two years now all of a sudden he’s not. It’s not Tommie, it’s the coach. I’d rather have Sodie.” (Sodie is former SLU coach Brad Soderberg).

Source

This obviously brought more attention to the issue. People question Bernie about checking his sources. He stated on his forum something to the effect that he made sure that TDELL was Tommie Liddell Jr. TDELL then on Billikens.com said he had lent his username to a friend, another poster. A little broo-ha was had, but the issue died down again.

Then midday today, CBS Sportline put this on the front page of their college basketball section
CBSSportsline College Basketball Page Screenshot

This was the beginning of the following article

Thread of reality is biting Liddell III in the back

Gary Parrish Nov. 27, 2007
By Gary Parrish
CBSSports.com Senior Writer

I am sitting at my laptop right now and wanting badly to visit the message board connected to a column I wrote from last week’s football game between Arkansas and LSU. Some guy with the screen name ChopShop started a thread titled Bush League Journalism. He used 684 words in a post that beat me up pretty good, and he was wrong in so many places that I want to go on that board and just destroy the idiot.

Liddell III has had problem this season, and this latest situation won’t help. (AP)
Liddell III has had problem this season, and this latest situation won’t help. (AP)
First, ChopShop wrote that I was the same columnist who spent all last season raving about Ohio State before it lost to Florida in the BCS title game. Problem is, I never filed an OSU football column last season, meaning it didn’t happen. So he’s just wrong.

Then, ChopShop wrote that contrary to my column suggesting otherwise, LSU shouldn’t feel disappointed. Problem is, when a team starts ranked No. 2 anything less than playing for the national title is by definition a disappointment, meaning LSU should feel disappointed. So he’s just wrong again.

I want to tell him both those things and more, but I can’t because if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that no known person can argue or unleash vitriol on a message board.

Nothing good comes of it.

It’s like hiring Isiah Thomas.

And I bet Tommie Liddell Jr. would back me on this theory.

You probably don’t know Tommie Liddell Jr., but he’s the father of Tommie Liddell III, whom you might know if you follow college basketball. The 6-foot-4 wing is a junior at Saint Louis University, one who thrived under former coach Brad Soderberg but has had trouble adjusting to new coach Rick Majerus. Liddell’s averages in minutes, points, rebounds and assists are all down under Majerus, and after a subpar effort against Detroit earlier this month somebody calling himself TheTorch torched Liddell on the message board at Billikens.com while claiming he was “half the player” he was in his first two years of college.

Twenty-three posts later, TDell fired back.

TDell is well known at Billikens.com to be Tommie Liddell Jr.

“Everybody’s saying how good of a coach Majerus is, I don’t see it. Anybody can run around and set screens. You don’t have to have talent to do that. Majerus doesn’t want any fancy stuff, just plain basketball. Tommie played well his first two years, now all of a sudden he’s not. It’s not Tommie. It’s the coach. I’d rather have Sodie.”

The next post came from SLUNick.

It read, simply, “Uh oh. Not good.”

And just like that we had controversy, all because a father was presumably pissed to the point of logging onto a message board where sometimes-loony fans — and in many cases, often-times-loony fans — tend to gather and be irrational with each other.

It’s a fascinating thing, these message boards. But it’s also a dangerous place for people who are known and truly in the know, because there’s no way to win an argument and without anonymity you might as well be posting your thoughts on a permanent billboard by the time they are linked, forwarded, e-mailed or otherwise passed around the country.

That’s how I learned of this, by the way.

(What, you thought I spent my afternoons trolling Billikens.com?)

Somebody called, asked if I had seen it, so on and so forth. Naturally, I was intrigued, and by the time I tracked down the post I found another from TDell where he was half-heartedly suggesting that maybe — just maybe — he didn’t actually file the original post that was critical of Majerus, that perhaps one of his buddies used his password and did it. Of course, that’s about as believable as Paris Hilton telling Larry King she has never used drugs despite there being pictures of her smoking weed.

Somebody posted under my name is the 21st century version of the dog ate my homework. It doesn’t matter that Liddell Jr. didn’t return the phone message I left at his home Monday night or that Majerus declined to discuss the subject through a school spokesperson. The damage is already done, as it were.

Tommie Liddell III is the player whose Dad blasted Rick Majerus.

Rick Majerus is the coach who got blasted by his player’s dad.

So let this be another warning to everybody out there — mothers, fathers, brothers and cousins. Be careful about what you write and where you write it, what you say and where you say it.

Technology is a beautiful thing, but it has also led to Nick Saban making headlines because he was recorded goofing on Cajuns, Kobe Bryant making headlines because he was videoed making an off-the-cuff comment about Andrew Bynum, Gilbert Arenas making headlines because he blogged about what he’d like to do to Mike Krzyzewski and TDell making headlines because he went on a message board and criticized his son’s new coach.

As for me, I already understand why not to get involved.

And ChopShop, if you’re reading, just know you’re lucky.

Source

So now this little issue has gone from a post on Billikens.com, to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, to now CBS Sportsline’s College Basketball page.

I have commented very little on the situation. I thought SLU would contact me regarding it, asking me to do something like remove the post or prevent conversation.

Sorry I am not commenting more about it here, but I just sort of wanted to share and document the situation a bit.

Billikens.com has proven to be quite the hobby.

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