Turley Announces Campaign For Football Hall of Fame

It is my humble task this morning to launch my campaign to be added as a nominee for the football Hall of Fame selection in August 2022.

This may come as a bit of surprise for some of you who know me as a legal analyst, columnist, or law professor. Indeed, I have not played football since grade school as a linebacker.  However, I learned today that football legend Dick Butkus was finally able to receive a “blue check” from Twitter verifying that he was indeed Dick Butkus. I have been turned down five times by Twitter. To the humiliation of my family and friends, I remain thoroughly and shamefully unverified. While Twitter has refused to respond to inquiries on why I cannot be verified, it now appears that you only have to make it into the Hall of Fame, which is clearly an easier path to verification. Hence, I am asking for a nomination as an offensive line counsel (OLC) in the 2022 Hall of Fame selections.

As a Chicagoan, Dick Butkus has long been an inspiration. He was my idol growing up. I had his 51 jersey and, like all kids, I insisted on playing him in neighborhood pickup games (Indeed, our games would be populated entirely by Butkus and Walter Payton wannabes).

There was nothing nuanced or namby-pamby about Butkus. He was a Chicago-born, 6’3” 250 pound locomotion of destruction. Fellow Hall of Famer Rams defensive end Deacon Jones once described him as “a well-conditioned animal, and every time he hit you, he tried to put you in the cemetery, not the hospital.”

My favorite memory was when a refined journalist asked Butkus what he dreamed about when he went to bed at night. Butkus left the interviewer speechless when he eagerly recounted a common dream “where I hit a man so hard his head pops off and rolls downfield.”

Now he is not just a Hall of Famer but Twitter verified. True to his Chicago roots, Butkus welcomed the news by immediately tweeting “Now that I have the blue mark I can kick people off of the platform right. You hear me @AaronRodgers12.”

I have long given up my dream of being the next Dick Butkus linebacker for the Bears (well, it was last year but I am moving on). However, I would like to be recognized (for whatever it is worth) as Jonathan Turley. You see, I am one of those many millions who languish in Twitter purgatory somewhere between the vagabond and the verified. I am only “purportedly” Jonathan Turley, an asterisk author who writes under an unverified identity. (Of course, some critics may view Twitter as doing me a favor since it is still better than being verified as me. Yet, my unverified status does not seem to help with attacks or threats).

To be honest, I was not that keen on getting a blue check until it was refused by Twitter. I was blissfully unaware of the distinction until last year when my kids pushed me to apply. I have a modest Twitter account (around 250k) but they thought it was weird that I did not verify my account to assure readers that these were authentic tweets.

As a longtime critic of Twitter’s censorship program, I joked that they would sooner verify ebola. I have been a critic of Twitter’s abusive censorship policies for roughly a decade and I have worked with members of Congress on possible legislative measures to strip Twitter of its statutory immunity from lawsuits under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Nevertheless, verification seemed like a mere formality.  Twitter verifies people who work in the media or are influential in public discourse. I soon learned that every legal analyst and columnist that I know is verified. Even some of my former students are verified. I felt like I was back on the field in Chicago as the last linebacker to be chosen for a team.

Despite my dismal record with competitive sports, I thought I could make this team. After all, I have worked as an on-air legal analyst for decades for NBC, CBS, BBC, and currently Fox News. I have been a columnist for decades and write regularly for USA Today, the Hill, and other newspapers. I have also been counsel or a witness in high-profile cases from espionage cases to terrorism cases to the Clinton and Trump impeachments.

So I applied. That is when Twitter came back and told me that I was one of the hopelessly unverified.

I assumed that I got something wrong, so I tried again after waiting a month. I carefully linked to the requested Wikipedia page and other sites. I then received the same message: “This account will not be verified at this time because the evidence provided did not meet our criteria for notability.”

Now it was getting odd so I decided to reach out to the company. However, Twitter makes it difficult to actually speak to anyone and refuses to explain such decisions. After trying for weeks, I was able to reach a Twitter representative who indicated that it was a mistake or glitch and that I qualified under either category. He asked that I reapply in a month and, if it happened again, to contact him. It did and that is when all further contacts ended. Neither he nor Twitter would respond or explain. I tried repeatedly to no avail for weeks until I realized that I was calling into the void known as Twitter public relations.

The unverified me has wallowed unchecked ever since. Then, like a dream, my childhood hero appeared to say that he was able to be verified. He was the real Dick Butkus and had the blue check to prove it.

Now I get it. I am no Dick Butkus but neither is the rest of the Twitter verified but one.  I have read the requirements for the Hall of Fame and it is clearly easier for some of us than the Twitter verification process. I need only to secure a nomination with the 48-person Selection Committee. It turns out that “any fan may nominate any player, coach or contributor.”  I am going with “contributor.” I am already listed as a “contributor” for USA Today.  I have also written about the NFL as a columnist on subjects ranging from the kneeling controversy to player rules to social corporate statements to team names to greedy management.  (Ok, they might not want to read that last one). I am also the annual Bears coach at the Turley Turkeybowl where I have taken our team of neighborhood kids to victory repeatedly through brilliant plays, extraordinary athleticism, and openly dishonest penalty calls.

I understand that many will conclude that this will be as successful as my effort to get a flyover from the military for our Turkeybowl game. However, it may be the only way for me to be verifiably me. It is worth a try. After all, if you have competed in the Twitter league without any discernible standards, rules, or review, the Football Hall of Fame looks about as challenging as tetherball. So 2022 just might be the year for that dream team from Chicago: Dick Butkus and Jonathan Turley. #TurleyforHoF


37 thoughts on “Turley Announces Campaign For Football Hall of Fame”

  1. Jonathan: Enough of the your inane comments about how Twitter keeps you “unverified”. For you it is obviously a conspiracy by left-wingers inside Twitter who don’t like your criticism of the media giant. Trump also spent a lot of time attacking Twitter. Your complaint sounds a lot like Trump’s complaints when in 2016 Time Magazine announced Trump was going to be named “Person of the Year”. Trump refused saying he should be named “Man of the Year”. In 1999 Time changed to a gender neutral designation. But that was not good enough for Trump, ever the sexist. For years Trump has prominently displayed fake “Man of the Year” Time covers with his mug in Trump Tower and at his golf resorts. In 1938 Time made Adolph Hitler the “Man of the Year”. If that designation was good enough for the Nazi leader why did Trump complain simply because he was not a “Man” but a “Person”? I mean they share many of the same views. But I digress.

    This week there was a lot of more important news you have deliberately ignored. On Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled (8 to 1) in a blockbuster decision (Trump v Thompson) that Trump has no “executive privilege” to prevent the House select Committee from obtaining WH records relating to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Only Clarence Thomas dissented. Probably because he has a lot of pillow talk with his wife Ginni. She has close ties with right-wing groups that took part in the Jan. insurrection. Mrs. Thomas co-hosted a banquet and symposium featuring Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, who has since been charged with sedition. No doubt Justice Thomas shares his wife’s political views–that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump. That influenced Thomas’ dissent–not the fair and impartial administration of justice Thomas swore to uphold. Trump is probably livid at Justice Kavanaugh who wrote the majority opinion. “I put that moron on the Court and now he votes against me!” .But Kavanaugh made clear his unenthusiastic support for the majority opinion. He wrote in support of a former president’s right to assert executive privilege with the only qualification that: “It could be argued that the strength of a privilege claim should diminish to some extent as the years pass after a former President’s term of office”. That isn’t what the Court of Appeals said in rejecting Trump’s claim. It rejected the claim of “executive privilege” by current and former presidents. The claim doesn’t just “diminish to some extent as the years pass”.

    The guys now on the hot seat are Rudy Giuliani (the guy who was in charge of forging certificates for rival slates of electors), Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows who have refused to testify before the House Committee asserting the same “executive privilege”. I actually hope they will continue to refuse to testify so we can all see them in orange jump suits frogged-walked to jail! Sorry if I interrupted your Sunday watching of the NFL playoffs.

    1. A humorous article by Professor Turley and Dennis McIntyre makes it a federal case. It’s okay Dennis is a lonely guy who eats his lemons whole for breakfast.

    2. When you see someone who attacks tongue-in-cheek, amusing criticism by transitioning into an avenging angel, you know you have found an ideologue.

      Somewhere, Saul Alinsky is amused.

      Professor Turley executed Alinsky’s Rule 5 to perfection: Ridicle really is a powerful weapon.

  2. When you can’t get a response from a company’s dweebs and twits, I call the main phone number and ask for the president’s/CEO office. Usually they have someone who will speak to you at least and perhaps help you with your problem.

  3. Twitter’s blue check mark pales next to the Hall of Fame gold jacket as a symbol of accomplishment. See you in Canton, Professor!

  4. I wouldn’t exactly say being associated with both twitter and sports always helps one’s credibility…

    1. LOL. Monty Python and Mel Brooks could never have been allowed to work today. We wouldn’t have had Fawlty Towers, either.

  5. I think this anecdote was in reference to Butkus.

    If I remember correctly, a reporter in the Bears’ locker room asked one of his teammates what Butkus (then standing in front of his locker) does after a game. The answer was priceless: “Oh, he circles a few times, lies down and licks himself.”


  6. Turley always bragged about being a defense council. Why isn’t he trying for Defensive Line Council in the Hall of Fame?

  7. I understand that even David “Pig” Hogg is a verified Twitter user. Not that I could imagine anyone wanting to confuse him/herself with the aforementioned Hogg. But he provokes only major clown laughs for his prattling about issues both real and imaginary.

  8. I fight Twitter censorship by being incognito on the Twittersphere. Too many crazies for me! But best of luck Professor Turley, in both endeavors, however the HoF might be more fun.

  9. Publicly announce you’ve decided to identify as Jill Turley with brand spanking new pronouns of Her/She, and you’ll get the elusive blue mark faster than you can say, “49ers upset the Cheesepackers.”

  10. It’s striking how often people in power are petty. Power corrupts, and social media believes itself powerful. They’re not curing cancer, or sending private space craft into orbit. They’re a venue for people to quarrel and watch adorable otter videos.

    Maybe their petty refusal to verity Professor Turley is a tacit acknowledgement of their inferiority to someone whose opinions matter more than those who run Twitter. So they strike at him the only way they can. It takes him years to notice. The toad quarrels with the bull who doesn’t realize he’s down there, and steps on him accidentally.

    1. “It’s striking how often people in power are petty.”

      Oh, my, yes! That, too, is tedious.

  11. How can we be sure this is really you if Twitter won’t verify you? The age old existential question.

    Turley for HOF!

  12. Jonathan, good luck with both endeavors, but I think your chances are better in Canton than in Silicon Valley. There will come a day when people will realize that Twitter is a joke, a career ender and a liberal black hole of thought and it will go the way of the Hula Hoop, Cabbage Page Dolls and CNN.

    BTW, as a former Bostonian who has retired to FL I would like to say that of all my sports heroes growing up my greatest idol was a Chicago guy, the great Golden Jet, Bobby Hull.

    PS. Now we will have to suffer through Jeff Silberman commenting that Twitter is right to not verify the good Professor because Fox News, Trump, the Trilateral Commission, the Warren Commission and fluoride in water.

  13. Professor….If I was still flying Army Helicopters you would get that Fly Over for the Kids and you as their benefactor and mentor.

    Sometimes being vilified rather than verified is the higher mark of respect.

    Knowing who thinks of you as an enemy tells about them more than it does you…..and knowing you have enemies proves you have stood for something.

    Butkus was something else on the Ball Field……but my Hero was Sam Huff…..Redskins Jersey Number 70….the same I wore in playing Junior High School football.

    The Redskins and Packers played a Pre-season Game in my hometown back then and my High School provided the Band and Cheerleaders for the Redskins…..thus I am a Redskin fan to the bottom of my boots.

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