DESTIN, Fla. — One of the biggest stories of the offseason concerns a guy who resembles Jim McElwain laying naked on top of a dead shark in back of a boat.
You also couldn’t have been more disgusted than the real Jim McElwain, Florida‘s head football coach.
“I think its an indictment upon society to be honest with you,” he said during the SEC spring meetings here at the Hilton Sandestin.
Of course it is. The man who has won consecutive SEC East titles — a family man with a couple of national championship rings — suddenly found himself disproving a negative.
” … It effects family, it effects my employer because of something that is totally not true or has any basis,” McElwain continued. “I will say this: At least it [looked like] me and not someone else in our program. I’ll take [the hits].”
McElwain, 55, is a stand-up guy like most coaches in his position. He’s used to putting out fires, making snap decisions, taking blame when it is fair. But in the blink of moment, he became a social media victim.
The photo, of course, was not of McElwain. One report said had he had been “vindicated.” Of what? Vindication is defined as, “clearing someone of blame or suspicion.”
Except there was no blame to clear, no crime committed. The only connection was our brains seeing a resemblance and somehow believing McElwain was capable of such a pose.
Unfortunately, the default setting on the Twitterverse was that had to be Florida’s coach. Right?
These days there are scandals conjured out of mid-air, followers to attract, Facebook accounts to be filled up. Who cares if any of it is straight made up? Accountability has taken a holiday.
There is the truth and the version of the truth individuals anywhere can choose to believe. TMZ created the celebrity voyeur culture. The likes of Breitbart created — for some — a universe of “alternate facts.”