Jibber Jabber – Pre-fasting hijinks


Chad T. Jones, Public Affairs Officer

Saturday is the first day of Ramadan, which, for those of you who are unaware, is the holiest month of the Islamic year.

According to Islamic tradition, Ramadan is the month when the Qu’ran was first revealed and also when Jesus was raised to Heaven. Yes, Muslims believe that happened.

Nowadays, most people know Ramadan as the time when folks like me go hungry.

Of course, there is way more involved with Ramadan than fasting. But going 16 hours a day, every day, for 30 days without food or drink or cussing is weighing on my mind. So I find myself indulging a bit in the things I’ll be “missing.”

For example, I’ve eaten a few Original Chicken sandwiches with cheese from the BK on post even though it’s not Zabiha (basically Islamic kosher). I’m also binging on “House of Cards,” “Iron Fist” and a few other TV-MA shows since my Netflix account will be inactive. I’m also wearing out Future’s new album, “Future,” since my music selection will be paired down to the sweet sound of Quranic recitation.

By the way, if you haven’t heard “Mask Off,” do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

I get the irony of preparing for a time of abstinence by gorging on loads of whatever I’m abstaining from. Some might even call it hypocrisy. I call it human nature.

There’s a reason Mardi Gras is before Lent, and people avoid the gym or take an extra piece of cake before their New Year’s resolutions kick in.

Human nature, and a person’s ability to rationalize almost anything, is funny like that.

Take the recent story of Golden State’s center Zaza Pachulia.

Last week I mentioned how gutless it was for Pachulia to use a dirty play to hurt Spurs forward and MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard.

However, since Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sounded off on Pachulia’s actions, things have turned uglier because some “fans” decided that unsportsmanlike conduct on the court deserved the unhumanlike response of threatening Pachulia’s family via Twitter.

Seriously, who other than psychotic sports fans could rationalize this kind of behavior? And remember, I’m asking that as a psychotic sports fan who has said a few things in the name of sports that I regret.

I’m sure my son had never heard half the words I screamed after Michigan was robbed by Ohio last season, and in my younger days, I probably cheered for players on the opposing team to “stay hurt” during a game I wanted my team to win.

So maybe, in the spirit of giving the benefit of the doubt (another requirement during Ramadan), the Twitter threats toward Pachulia’s loved ones are just an extension of that. No one can argue that social media has made it much easier to pop off sans consequence.

So, in an attempt to keep you (and maybe even me) from making the same mistake, let me share some social media rules, which I’m sure our New Media Manager Ganesa Robinson would approve of:

1) Read the article or see the action you are posting on. It is very easy to get caught in the headline, tag or one person’s comments on an incident. Take a look for yourself before you judge.

2) Fact check. Just because one, two or four people say something, it doesn’t make it true. See those who say climate change isn’t a fact, or Ohio actually got the first down in overtime.

3) Don’t post angry. If you’re posting things in anger, they are probably going to read angry and illogical.

4) Consider the person on the other side of the text. For example, how else would Pachulia react to threats against his family?

5) Re-read your post before you hit send. Auto-correct is not always correct, and what you’re thinking in your head is not always what makes it to the screen, so read your post.

Trust me, even though social media plays loose with grammar rules, a misspelled word or missed punctuation can make you look more like an like “arse” than an Aristotle.

Ramadan Mubarek to all!

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.

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