NDSU-UND rivalry is back, but now it's in the world of social media
GRAND FORKS - The last time the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State played the state's college football rivalry was in 2003. Facebook was founded in 2004. Twitter was born in 2006. Instagram was rolled out in 2010. So the renewal of...
GRAND FORKS – The last time the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State played the state’s college football rivalry was in 2003.
Facebook was founded in 2004. Twitter was born in 2006. Instagram was rolled out in 2010.
So the renewal of the UND-NDSU rivalry this weekend will be the first game played in the social media world.
It’s an element both teams’ coaches and players understand.
“We were very up front,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. “We addressed it right after the game (last) Saturday night. We said that before you hit send, you better understand what you’re saying, what you’re doing and what you’re posting.
“We don’t want to see anything inappropriate or anything that would lead people to believe we’re not focused on our game preparation.”
NDSU coach Chris Klieman has already addressed the social media aspect, as well.
“Our focus has to be on preparing for the next football game,” Klieman said. “I realize the importance of this game, but we can’t get caught up in that from a player’s perspective.”
“We were really good last Saturday because our guys were focused at practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the task at hand,” Klieman added. “We have to do that this week. Obviously, there’s going to be a lot more media around because of the game, but we can’t get caught up in that. The guys can’t.”
Blocking out external distractions was a key piece of Schweigert’s message as he addressed the media Monday at the school’s newly constructed High Performance Center.
“It’s more difficult today than it was years ago,” Schweigert said. “We just really encourage our guys to focus on what’s really important and that’s what happens on the practice field and in the meeting rooms. Then throughout the evening, you have to eliminate distractions and focus.”
For no-nonsense UND inside linebacker Will Ratelle, he doesn’t think that’s going to be a problem.
“I don’t read any of that stuff anyway,” the senior captain said. “Maybe that’s tough for some people, but it’s not tough for others.”
However, Ratelle realizes the impact a questionable post on social media could have on a rivalry game, where sometimes the small things are magnified.
“I don’t think anyone has done anything stupid on Facebook or Twitter and hopefully no one does the rest of the week,” Ratelle said. “You definitely have to watch what you say.”
UND sophomore wide receiver Josh Seibel, who had a touchdown catch last Saturday against Drake, is choosing to stay off social media for the most part this week.
“(Schweigert) just said to be smart and don’t be rude,” Seibel said. “I just try to stay away from it as much as possible so I don’t get in trouble or say something I shouldn’t.”