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A GUIDE FOR COACH-FRIENDLY CONSPIRACY THEORIES THAT WON’T GET YOU IN TROUBLE

Sunday night, Washington State head coach Mike Leach surprised some (though, perhaps not those who had been paying attention to Leach’s personal history) by tweeting out a heavily-edited video of former President Obama, supposedly in the interest of “discussion”. There was, predictably, immediate blowback, with many incredulous that a 57-year-old man in a near-dictatorial job who also talks about pirates a lot could have questionable political opinions.

But Mike? We understand.

Not the video, mind you. That’s stupid as hell and easily proven to be false. What we do understand is the desire as a head coach to prove yourself a free thinker, an iconoclast, someone who doesn’t just accept what they’ve always been told. It goes hand-in-hand with innovation. Many thought the Air Raid was a gimmick at first, and now it’s widely accepted at all levels. Maybe the next great football breakthrough (the All-Pass-Interference Offense?) is out there for the taking, as long as we open our minds.

You can’t be wading into territory like this, though. Politics are a minefield for head coaches. Many, like Mike Leach, are state employees. All are answerable to the public - fan bases, donors, recruits - you start dipping your toe into this stuff, you’re gonna get in trouble.

That’s why (with the help of Buckeye fan and harmless-conspiracy-aficionado @M_Toney) we’ve assembled this handy guide of perfectly acceptable, probably harmless* conspiracy theories you can embrace without repercussion.

(*I make no guarantees, a number of things that seemed lighthearted and fun in the first two paragraphs took a hugely problematic turn in the third)

SO YOU: Want to prove that you’re a free thinker

DON’T TWEET: A fake video of the ex-President purportedly demanding submission to a “global order”

DO TWEET: That the years between 614-911 AD did not actually occur, and the entire Carolingian period - including the existence of Charlemagne - was a historical fabrication conducted by Holy Roman Emperor Otto III in order to have his reign (falsely) occur in the year 1000 AD and thus legitimize his claim to the empire.

HOW YOU CAN USE THIS: “Sure, we haven’t won a national title since 1997, but it’s actually 1721, so there’s only good things ahead for us!

I’M ONTO YOU, FAKE-ASS KING

SO YOU: Want to encourage the questioning of authority

DON’T TWEET: That the Denver airport is the home of a secret base for the New World Order.

DO TWEET: That the Titanic was not actually the Titanic, but a heavily-damaged ship named the Olympic that was hastily repaired and renamed after an accident and sunk as part of an insurance scheme

HOW YOU CAN USE THIS: “Sure, we went 3-9 last year. Or did we? Nope, that was actually Illinois dressed up as us. OPEN YOUR EYES, THE WHOLE BIG TEN WEST IS AN INSURANCE FRAUD SCHEME.”

BIG, SLOW, MAGNIFICENT, AND DOOMED: LOOK, IT’S WISCONSIN

SO YOU: Want to show that science can change, and what we now believe to be true may someday be proven false

DON’T TWEET: That global warming is a myth

DO TWEET: That the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland is a portal to another dimension, or possibly a star gate to awaken Osiris

HOW YOU CAN USE THIS: “But men, the only large colliding I want to see is you blocking those gaps, and we’ll open a stargate straight to the College Football Playoff!”

“HEY, SWITZERLAND, CAN YOU DISPLAY THE NUMBER OF NATIONAL TITLES MICHIGAN HAS WON IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS SO WE CAN SEE IT FROM SPACE?”

SO YOU: Want to prove that history is not always as we’ve been taught

DON’T TWEET: That the moon landing was faked

WAIT, WHY? THAT’S NOT POLITICAL: Because Buzz Aldrin will punch you.

DO TWEET: The moon itself is not real!

WON’T BUZZ ALDRIN PUNCH ME FOR THAT TOO?: Yes, probably, but at least you made it count.

HOW YOU CAN USE THIS: “You can clearly see the moon during most bowl games. Ergo, bowl games do not exist, and therefore, we did not miss a bowl.”

AS REAL AS THE CHERIBUNDI TART CHERRY BOCA RATON BOWL, WHICH WE DID NOT QUALIFY FOR

SO YOU: Want to sow distrust of celebrities and popular culture

DON’T TWEET: That [celebrity] is part of a global illuminati

DO TWEET: Any of these theories relating to the Beatles, such as “Paul died” or “everyone but Paul died”

HOW YOU CAN USE THIS: Just start talking about the Beatles and everyone under 65 will stop listening, then you can say whatever you want.

LOOK, IT’S JOHN, PETE, GORP, AND RANGO

SO YOU: Just want to blow people’s freaking minds

DON’T TWEET: That thing your buddy Carl tagged you in on Facebook that’s from FREEDOMEAGLENEWS.FART

DO TWEET: FINLAND IS NOT REAL.

HOW YOU CAN USE THIS: “Gentlemen, as you can see, Finland is actually a secret fishing spot that the Japanese and Russians have conspired to keep hidden from the world’s view, and anyone who thinks they live in Finland actually lives in East Sweden. Now, if they’ve fooled us on something as big as a country, why wouldn’t they fabricate a school? We did not lose the Foster Farms Bowl after all!”

OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE.