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. “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”
    ****************************

    I’m in. Turkey for Hall! What team should we place below your bust? Bears?

  2. That was very witty and enjoyable. A a Chicagoan, you seem to have also benefited from the influence of Mike Royko and possibly Dave Barry. A woman I follow on Instagram who is constantly getting shadowbanned for her criticism of mandates occasionally posts something along the lines of “I love Joe Biden and his mandates” and it actually seems to get her out of ig purgatory albeit briefly.

  3. Finally, a way to tweet tweet, Bird Lady Pelosi, twit-yer-twit-yer, Veritas-Veritas-verification, onward.

    1. In that case, then Twitter must verify him post haste since they have bestowed this coveted badge upon others likely more certifiable than he.

  4. Enjoyable column, Professor. Carry the rejection as a badge of honor. Remember what the British band played when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. As the world turns you may yet get to know what is best in life, “to see your enemies driven before you, and hear the lamentations …..”. I’m sure you know the rest. Good luck with the Hall of Fame.

    1. “[W]hat the British band played when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.”

      That’s a good one. (I didn’t know that.)

      The World Turned Upside Down

      If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,
      If boats were on land, churches on sea,
      If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,
      And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse,
      If the mamas sold their babies
      To the gypsies for half a crown;
      If summer were spring and the other way round,
      Then all the world would be upside down.

  5. ““Reporters denied access to Iowa Senate floor, breaking century-old tradition

    Journalists are no longer allowed on the Senate floor. Instead, reporters will have to cover the state law-making process from the upstairs Senate galleries…

    The 2022 session of the Iowa Senate will be the most transparent in the history of the state, including the change in media seating,” Hunter said. But free speech advocates are concerned about the impacts this could have on government accountability.

    “Reporters who are sitting on the press bench can see the faces of legislators when debate is occurring. They can see the eye rolls or the head shakes,” executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council Randy Evans said. “And if you’re sitting in the gallery, you may see the backs of their heads.”

    Evans compared the change to trying to cover a football game from the parking lot or outside the stadium. ”

    https://www.kcci.com/article/reporters-denied-access-to-iowa-senate-floor-breaking-century-old-tradition/38705514

    Both Democrats and Republicans are making lousy decisions.

  6. “Now it was getting odd so I decided to reach out to the company. However, Wikipedia 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.”

    Maybe your struggles could be blamed on human Vogons:
    https://youtu.be/cbN1NaQ7yQI

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