Ducks’ specialists use a Twitter account to show-off sense of humor
In late August of this year, senior kicker Aidan Schneider, senior long-snapper Tanner Carew and several other members of Oregon’s special teams were lounging around in Oregon’s facilities when an idea popped up.
Start an Oregon Specialist’s Twitter account devoted to highlighting what is arguably the most entertaining group of players on the Ducks’ roster.
The group had seen other specialist accounts from other schools — Northern Arizona University, Boise State University, University of Minnesota and University of Michigan all have similar pages — and decided to make their own.
So far, it’s been a hit.
The page has gained 784 followers in the little over a month that it’s existed. The posts, which range from catching special teams coaches sleeping to showcasing their specialist skills, usually garner hundreds of “likes” on Twitter. The account also offers some insight into one of the more undervalued groups on this Ducks’ team — a group that may host some of Oregon’s funniest personalities.
“It’s pretty funny,” senior kick returner and wide receiver Charles Nelson said. “Most people don’t know what [the specialists] do anyway.”
The first mention of the account was back on Aug. 27, but the origins can be traced back to a video that the program released of a mic’d up Schneider from a fall practice. In the two minute-long video, Schneider showed why some of his teammates consider him to be the funniest guy on the team.
“4.40, forty?” punter Blake Maimone asks Schneider in the video, inquiring about his 40-yard dash time.
“4.30,” Schneider quips back. “Give me some credit.”
Later in the video, as Schneider stretches, he points up to the sunny sky and tells long snapper Devin Melendez, “Hey, Devin, you can see the moon.”
That video amassed 253 “retweets” and 1,030 “likes” on Twitter and catapulted Oregon’s specialists into the spotlight, even if for a short time.
Five days later, the account started.
None of Oregon’s specialists will reveal who started the account, or even who specifically runs it. But apparently, only two people have access to it and content ideas are usually crowdsourced.
“Yeah we all kind of contribute a little bit,” Schneider said. “Everyone kind of comes up with content and we have little powwows in the player’s lounge when we have some off time.”
He added, “We have a lot of fun messing around and joking around all the time and kind of wanted to share that with people.”
That isn’t to say that they don’t take their jobs seriously. According to them, a specialist’s duty comes down to two main things: attention to detail and repetition. If you watch them during practice, you’ll see them working on their techniques over and over again, which is exactly what special teams coordinator Raymond Woodie wants from his unit.
“I mean you tell those guys, ‘This is what the plan is, this is what I want you to do,’ and they go out and do it,” Woodie said. “And then you just leave them alone. You don’t mess with their psyche.”
With Oregon out to a 3-0 start, don’t expect the content to slow down anytime soon; the account also highlights the success of non-specialists.
But if there are any suggestions for content out there, the specialists would love to hear them.
“We’re open to suggestions right now,” Schneider said. “We’re kind of workshopping it. But you’ll definitely see some stuff coming out soon.”
Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @JustGusMorris