By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Life as an NFL player is not just the fancy cars and fancy parties that you see on “Ballers.” Nope — sometimes professional athletes are just like you, sitting on the couch, trying to get other people to get mad online.
For proof, look no further than Cam Heyward.
The defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers settled in for a nice night of watching Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. Once the Cavs quickly turned the game into a blowout, Heyward grew a bit bored.
And so, he decided to force Boston sports fans to pay the troll toll.
Heyward’s tweet came when the Celtics made a mini-surge at the end of the third quarter, a stretch that at least gave the home crowd something to cheer about. Heyward knew what he was doing.
The interesting part is that rather than just leave it there, Heyward started going back and forth with fans who gave him some guff. And his responses were pretty much in line with what every angry sports fan tends to argue on the internet.
First, he made the false equivalency of comparing an NFL playoff game to a seven-game NBA series.
Then he said the results of the Patriots’ 36-17 win over Pittsburgh in the AFC title game would’ve been different if Le’Veon Bell hadn’t gotten injured early on.
Also, Heyward lamented the absence of Martavis Bryant … who was suspended for the entire season.
And then, as people tend to do online, deflation jokes were made.
There was also a dig at the Patriots for employing Aaron Hernandez for a few years.
As professional athletes tend to do in spat with mere common folk, Heyward insulted the athletic abilities of some of his detractors.
Heyward suggested that Patriots fans prepare themselves for a loss vs. Pittsburgh this season, because Ben Roethlisberger will be under center.
(With Ben Roethlisberger starting at quarterback, the Steelers are 3-6. Since 2013, they’re 0-3, outscored 112-66 in those games.)
WBZ-TV sports producer Joe Giza authored a worthy retort to Mr. Heyward.
And by the end of the night, after the Cavs had completed their thorough victory in Boston, Heyward celebrated a bit.
Heyward said he was joking. It was likely just the result of being bored and holding a phone.
Yet — credit where credit is due — Heyward looked like a season vet out there in the Mad Online game. Between the GIFs, and the laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emojis, using a multitude of LOLs and ending it all by saying “JK,” it was a master class in messing with people on Twitter.
But still, it wasn’t a loss for those battling Heyward with facts. And really, they did better on Twitter than they might if confronted in person by the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Heyward.