With news that Western Michigan University Head Football Coach PJ Fleck is leaving the Broncos for a bigger school that will not be named, I was reminded of this odd story of when he blocked me on Twitter. I have a lot of respect for Fleck. This story is too good to not share. It was February, 2015 and Western Michigan's men's basketball team had just won the MAC championship, meaning they secured a spot in the NCAA March Madness tournament. I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, excitedly favoriting and retweeting posts, when I saw one from PJ Fleck.
Huh I thought I haven't seen a tweet from PJ in a long time.
I clicked on the profile and this popped up:
I was shocked.
Blocked by Coach Fleck? What did I do?
I had no idea. I was critical of Fleck during his first season at WMU. He came in and changed our traditions: cut down on the marching band and replaced their songs with a DJ, played the Chicago Blackhawks song whenever they scored a touchdown (we're Red Wings country here) and more. Oh yeah, they also had a 1-11 season.
Uh oh, what did I tweet?
So I searched through the archives and all I could find was this:
He blocked me over something so small as saying I was having a hard time rowing the boat? They were 1-11...
Fast forward to the December. An article from Sports Illustrated on Fleck detailed a day-in-his-life and the drink he ordered every morning, called "the coach."
sugar-free Red Bull with ice, five strawberries, a banana and whipped cream -- double-blended.
My friend Kyle and I joked about getting one for months. Since it was around the holidays, and I had a bunch of gift cards and there wasn't a lot of work to do, we were going to order some. Since we worked downtown Lansing, the state capitol and home of the coffee chain, we had multiple choices. We first went to the "Senate Biggby," explained the order to much confusion. But it didn't matter: they were out of bananas. We went a couple blocks away to the "House Biggby" explained the order again. They had bananas but no clue about the drink, which was a little surprising since they have so many odd drinks that don't really look much like coffee at all.
We got the drink, it was something like $12 or $14 for both of them. As we were leaving, we took selfies and tweeted them. The drink wasn't that bad.
It was then retweeted by a friend who works at Biggby, and then retweeted by Fleck himself. He probably didn't see my original tweet because he blocked me. I was upset.
He can't be retweeting my content to boost his brand if he blocked me!
My friends came to the rescue and started an #unblockfritzklug campaign (did I mention it was a slow time around the holidays?)
Within minutes I got a follow notification from Fleck. I was unblocked.
I've come to like Fleck a lot and will miss him. Like any fan, I am a little hurt but I think it's best for his career. This reminded me of this bizarre moment in the beginning of a young coach's carrer.
But now I really wonder... What I said was something a preschooler would say, how many other people did he block?