With the Internet, twitter, facebook, and other social networking sites athletes are way more accessible to fans these days than they were in the past. This can be a good thing, but also a very bad thing. I posted a story a few weeks back about DeMarcus Cousins getting phone calls from Mississippi State fans after his cell phone number was posted online. Well now it seems as if Devan Downey has been receiving messages from Kentucky fans. Does it shock me? Not in the slightest. But does it bother me, hell yes.
Sports can bring out a lot of passion in people, both good and bad. And while the Kentucky fan base is the most passionate fan base on the nation it can also come back to bite them. When Kentucky lost their first game of the season some Kentucky fans went straight to the Internet and twitter and were extremely negative toward the players. This is a case where passion get the worst of them.
I am a grown man. I enjoy watching these kids play basketball, but I also keep in the back of my mind that these kids are just that, kids. We put so much pressure on the shoulders of young men who are just 18,19,20 years old. If I were under that much pressure I don't think I could do it. I think as fans we need to keep that in perspective.
I am not singling out Kentucky fans here, I think this is an issue across the country. But with the growing direct access to college athletes I can see this becoming a major issue in sports.