I'd like to begin by thanking you for one of the most entertaining basketball seasons I've experienced as an Ole Miss fan, ever. I'm going to confess that I'm not a huge fan of basketball. I played basketball a little, but I'm a short Asian guy so surprise, it was never really my sport. I do love Ole Miss though and I was actually in school when Ole Miss went to the tourney in 1998 and the famous Valpo shot occurred. That memory still hurts.
All of this to say that because of your fire and personality I started to watch and enjoy Ole Miss basketball again.
Now I don't know you. I watch you shoot 3 after 3, I follow you on twitter, I read about you on sports blogs and I saw your really nervous and awkward interview with Charles Barkley, but I don't know you. But you seem pretty honest and "real" so I'll go ahead and make some assumptions.
1. You want to go pro. Hence the "I want to make that money" statement and really who doesn't want to go pro if they're competing at the college level.
2. You enjoy the attention.
3. You're overall a decent person.
Knowing these 3 things, I'd like to offer you some advice. It's free because I'm a booster, so do what you want with it. If you really want to make a big splash and get some attention from the pro teams, now's the time to make a change or at least act like you're changing.
The crazy eyed, bad boy image will only take you so far. Eventually people are going to get tired of it and the only thing that will attract more attention is crazier antics. But there is an inverse relationship between crazy antics and fan love. People that once supported you will begin to turn. You'll get national attention for kicking an elderly person down the City Grocery stairs, but not the type you want.
America loves the bad boy persona. Think of all of the movies and tv shows where the hero is the bad boy that doesn't give a damn about anyone or anything. Swag. Yeah, that's cool. But America loves even more the bad boy with a heart of gold. The bad boy that reforms just enough that everyone goes "aaawwwwhhhh, he really does care." He said he doesn't but that's just the rough exterior. Deep down he's a good guy that wants to make good. We eat that shit up.
Step 1. Publicly apologize for the double bird salute on twitter. You're going to catch heat no matter what, so go ahead and beat them to the punch. Say, "I want to apologize to my fans for my rude behavior at the end of the game against LaSalle. I let my emotions get to me when I heard a fan call my sister a bad name. I shouldn't have acted the way I did and I apologize to all of the fans, but especially Ole Miss for not representing you the best way possible." I'm not sure if that's 140 characters, so you may have to use two tweets.
It's milk toast and maybe you're not that sorry, but we'll love it.
Step 2. Take a break from twitter for about a month. No more pictures of you drinking or bragging about winning pong. You can still do it, just don't let anyone get pictures of it and post it on twitter. There has to be a dark period where we don't hear about you and can imagine in our heads that you went into a great depressive funk where you contemplated your future, your existence and behavior and suddenly it dawned on you that you need to be a better person. You need to make a change!
Step 3. After a break, anything you put up there is good guy image. "AYEEE, can't wait to volunteer at the shelter. I love puppies!!!" "Man this test is going to be killer." and then "Woo aced that test. I guess studying pays off after all." There will be quiet murmurs as people take notice that you've gone from beer to books (that'd probably be the title of a blog post). People will start to wonder, fans will start to believe.
Step 4. Begin posting about how hard you're practicing for next season. Talk about how you're hitting the gym every day, getting up early to run. We're talking Rocky running up the stairs preparation.
Step 5. When basketball season gets here, it's all about your team. Any time anyone asks about you, you answer about the team. You say how hard the team has been working or how motivated everyone is. Call out each team member by name and talk about their specific accomplishment. This is called the "Peyton" maneuver.
Step 6. When playing your 1st SEC game, get excited but don't do anything to taunt the fans. Act like you're about to die to pop your jersey, but you thought better of it and didn't because you know that would be un-sportsmanlike behavior. Fans will be sort of sad at first that you didn’t "go ham on those Auburn rednecks" but people will start talking. Has Marshall turned a corner? No more Marshall Madness? When you get interviewed after winning and leading the team with 30 pts, talk about how you have “matured” as a player and you’re taking better quality shots.
Step 7. When you've won the SEC championship again, dedicate that shit to Jesus. Game over.
Bottom line, you'll get more fans and more NBA attention as a bad boy gone good then a bad boy --> worse boy. More fans = more money.