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Zach Kirksey Should Heed His Own Advice

Ole Miss outfielder Zach Kirksey doesn't take kindly to our negative Tweetin', Rebel baseball fans.

After this past weekend's series loss to Mississippi State (yep, I realize I'm a few days behind on this), Kirksey didn't particularly like the tone many of us Rebel fans decided to take in our 140-character outbursts, and felt a need to retaliate to a few folks in kind. 

Take for example, this tweet apparently in response to a suggestion that Ole Miss Rebel baseballers lack discipline (I presume we're talking about discipline at the plate, and that's all I can do because @wjmiles keeps his Tweets locked up and I'm not creepy enough to request a follow):

Yeah that's exactly what the problem is. Why don't you come teach me some discipline?

Why don't you, wjmiles?! Cameron Posey, who seems like your typical Ole Miss Rebel student, got his comeuppance:

walk on try outs are next semester. you can use my glove if you don't have one. We'd love to have you on the team

Yeah, Cameron. You aren't allowed to criticize the performance of baseball players because you're not on the baseball team. It's just like how you can't say that a movie sucks unless you've directed one yourself or how you can't critique a meal at a restaurant unless you've been to culinary school. These are unwritten rules, bro. Follow them.

Here's what Cameron said which really set Kirksey off, in case you're wondering:

It's one thing to not have talent. That's not your fault. It's another thing to just not give a shit. You are representing a university.

I don't know what "representing a university" has to do with this, but I think that his criticism was certainly honest, passionate, and astute enough. I do think our players give a shit, in that they hate losing ballgames, but I can see where a fan might think that there's not enough, I dunno, passion or something out there on the diamond. So I'll give him a pass here. 

is your mouth as brave as what you type on twitter? Quit while you're ahead little guy.

No, Zach, you should quite while you're ahead.

This is really where the point of this post comes from. A lot of folks want to coddle college athletes. They call them "kids" - they're not - and feel that they, as "amateur athletes" - they're not - are exempt from fan criticism. Trust us, they're not. If we are going to so quickly heap our praise onto them for their successes, why shouldn't we freely offer criticism, even  it is mildly scathing, when and where it's appropriate? We fans invest a lot of time, emotion, and money into our celebration of athletics, so I hardly think we should be exempted from occasional bouts of grouchiness which may result from said fandom.

If Posey's frustrated that we lost to State, again, then let him get his Tweet on. And if Kirksey wants to take such criticism seriously and even take offense from it, that's almost expected. And sure, he has the right to Tweet back at Posey or any of us, but should he?

I say no. Respond to the boo birds by turning shit around and proving them wrong. Don't waste your time addressing them individually on Twitter. Zach, you're a college athlete who I presume is aiming to become a professional one. You're going to receive a lot of criticism from a lot of people if this is the career path you've chosen. Just remember, they (and we) are jealous that you've got the an opportunity to play ball at such a high level and that, considering such, you're a vicarious form of entertainment for a lot of folks. You're already ahead, so don't feel the need to drag yourself down to our level.

Now get your ass in gear and beat Arkansas this weekend, will ya?