How I got banned from Twitter

“Does Islamic State have a football team?” my eight-year-old son asked.  In a house that pulls for Florida State, but where we also speak of “NC State” and “Ohio State” with some regularity the question was innocent, reasonable, and delighted the adults who heard him ask.  Naturally, his question also birthed the Twitter page Islamic State Football.  The ideas came to me fast and furious, comic gold in my estimation, as football is a collision sport surrounded by the language of violence (shotgun formation, long bomb, pound the rock, etc.) and the Islamic State’s violent ideology clashes with the rest of civilization.  This struck me as an interesting pairing at least for those who are into foreign policy and American college football.   Admittedly, that is a small spot on the Venn diagram of the twitterati, but still, I thought it would be fun.

To be clear, I think the Islamic State is as vile as anything in human history including, yes, the Nazis.  They may not be as prolific as Hitler’s gang but they are just as terrible: they throw gays off rooftops, burn people alive inside small cages, and cut the heads off victims–not even in the Game of Thrones way.  Members of Islamic State behead intimately, using a small knife and making physical contact with the victim.  When I first heard about the Islamic State they seemed like something out of a movie, except Hollywood could never have come up with something this evil,  a true instance of truth being stranger than fiction.

Islamic State Football then was a way to mock an odious branch of the human tree, to “take the piss out of them” as the Brits say, with humor.  I think we should make fun of these monsters constantly, but Twitter disagreed and took the page down, saying only that I had violated the terms of use.  I appealed but got the same reply.  So here is what Twitter found so objectionable.  The conceit here is that this is the Islamic State football team’s twitter page.  I have not reproduced every tweet (some required the image or context based on someone else’s tweet) but enough to give you the flavor [not everyone loves college football (CFB) and foreign policy, so I’ll give some editorial explanations here and there].

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 9.23.11 AM

  • At #IslamicStateFootball we put our athletes first. If they survive we send in the boys in trucks. 💣
  • [The NCAA runs commercials during CFB games touting the success of NCAA athletes off the field: “Most of our athletes go pro in something other than sports.”]  At #IslamicState most of our athletes go pro in something other than democracy! 

  • Our favorite part of game day: After every win our fans storm the field and tear down the government! [CFB fans sometimes tear down the goal posts after a big win]
  • We are like #FSU in that we plant a spear at midfield before the game but instead of a logo we use an infidel.

  • If there were ever a scandal involving our female boosters it would definitely be covered up.

  • You must see @ConcussionMovie if you care about player safety. That’s why we didn’t.

  • Tailgate like its 1300! Looking forward to our 2017 tilt against @HCrossFB #Crusaders.

  • [Jim Tressel, former Ohio State coach was famous for winning and for wearing scarlet vests] Really hoping we can land @JimTressel5 as our new coach. We love #theVest 💥

  • Recruits if you are thinking the U @CanesFootball consider #IslamicState. Our stadium is just a stone throw from campus.

  • [Colleges are grouped in conferences, which have divisions.  The Big Ten and the SEC both have a West division, and the SEC West was considered the best division in CFB for many years]  Our primary goal for 2016 is to win the conference by beating the West.
  • We love everything about game day (except the drone flyover).

  • #IslamicStateFootball is wholesome #family #entertainment just like public hangings.

  • Catching up on #Homeland and #serial about Bergdal at the same time today. That’s so #meta

  • We had a lot of interceptions this year.  So did the #NSA.

  • Great day for #rivalry #bowlgame against U of #AlQaeda Sandstorm. Should be intense. Let’s all keep our heads.

  • Pre-game treat whole team saw #StarWarsForceAwakens. Great! #kyloRen was most inspiring character since #DarthMaul

  • Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 9.33.51 AM
  • The pigskin 🏈. Finally a good use for pork!

  • Verne Lundquist [Longtime commentator on CBS] really struggled with our names today. What’s so hard about Abu Bakar al Bagdaghi?#MartyrsVsSandstorm

  • Looking back on the #2015Season we probably spent too much time in the #shotgunFormation and not enough time playing football

  • We are elite in the 40 yard #daesh [Daesh is an insulting name for Islamic State]

  • Well if we don’t go to a #bowlgame in 2016 we are terminating our coach.

  • [The Haqqani Network is an Afghan guerrilla insurgent group] Since we lost our broadcast deal with #AljazeeraAmerica were are looking into the #HaqqaniNetwork.
  • We love #NationalSigningDay. Players drafted in #NFL. In college a volunteer army.

That was it.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.


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