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College Football’s Next Arms Race: The Obtrusive Wall of QB Transfer Text

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. —Aldous Huxley


The trend in general started small: a screencap of the Notes app with a typed-out message, a way to circumvent Twitter’s previous 140-character limit.

This was usually reserved for landmark announcements, like retirements or early NFL Draft declarations. Soon the interface grew cleaner, the text more precise. A smaller font: room for more words. Around the same time, transferring quarterbacks began to utilize this technology in their announcements.

It was fine: it wasn’t too much to read, and the plain background made processing the text fairly simple.

Flash forward a few years, and the whole damn machine has veered madly off the rails.

Now there are graphics involved. Third-party EDITZ masters have been commandeered to work their absurd and needless hocus-pocus. FONTZ are ALL CAPS and BLOCKY. This is a statement for the ages. This is a snub to the invention of emojis.

(You could Emoji-translate that last one with “COW, ARROW, PONY.” That’s it: three characters.)

Yes, it’s all fine. It’s for the student-athlete. It’s their moment to announce a potentially career-making or breaking decision. It’s harmless nonsense, no matter how aesthetically displeasing it may be to the public at large. Like most well-adjusted adults, I have no opinion or stake in the online shenanigans of football players.

I’m just curious to see how far this goes. Take your 2013 example vs. your 2015 example, then plot the current 2019 examples on that same upward-trending imaginary graph, and extrapolate exponentially to try to conceive of what a similar announcement may look like by the year 2022: an entirely original commissioned Benjamin Knox painting, custom-made with 22 images of the same player. Thousands upon thousands of words in a bold, all-caps, italic font, declaring the trials and tribulations endured from youth football all throughout middle and high school, the player’s time spent on campus, their favorite bars and restaurants, memorable moments with the team, details on the relationships built at the school that will surely endure a lifetime despite the announcement contained within the graphic that the player will be moving 100 miles down the road to play football.

We’re not done. Embedded hyperlinks within certain areas of the image. 3D embossed bevels. An attached audio file that autoplays a mashup of the school fight song with a popular track from the era when the tweet is selected. The future is as bright as you want it to be. We’re in this rabbithole now, and it’s too late to turn back. Enjoy the ride, readers. There are announcements coming soon, and you will read them.