Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin
Harry O’Kelly hit send at 12:28 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 27. The tweet, formed by his brain cells and presumably typed with his fingers, became public.
It’s a tweet that won’t soon be forgotten by JMU faithful. Quote tweeting a JMU football post about the Dukes entering 2020 ranked No. 5 overall by HERO Spots, O’Kelly wrote a yawning emoji.
This tweet sent shockwaves around the FCS landscape. O’Kelly wasn’t just retweeting the Dukes’ ranking, he was shouting from the rooftops showing his displeasure at JMU’s No. 5 placement in the all important preseason poll.
Editor’s note: A request to speak with O’Kelly about his tweet was never made.
If we had requested an interview, it almost certainly would’ve been declined given both the irrelevance of the topic and the controversy of the tweet.
Regardless, we’ll try to interpret O’Kelly’s bombshell.
So what does the emoji mean?
Our best guess is that O’Kelly thinks the Dukes are being slept on heading into 2020. Yawning typically signals that someone is tired. Whether it’s in the morning (not enough sleep), the afternoon (in need of a cat nap) or the late evening (time for bed!), yawns are a universal signal for sleepiness.
Tweeting a yawn emoji makes us think that either 1) O’Kelly needs a nap or 2) He believes the Dukes are being slept on in the rankings. Since the tweet was sent at 12:28 p.m. EDT with a Harrisonburg location tag, we don’t believe he would have needed a nap at that time.
It’s probably option No. 2.
O’Kelly has the reputation as the kind of guy you’d want your daughter to marry. He’s classy, has an Australian accent and flowing locks. He also plays punter (because the coaching staff mismanages his talents and won’t let him play running back, but that’s an article for another time) which means he won’t be as arrogant as a quarterback. He’s the total package.
So why would he tweet shade at the ranking? That doesn’t seem like him.
Our best guess is that Bryan Schor (you remember those arrogant QBs we were talking about?) fired up O’Kelly by asking him why he wasn’t ripped.
Bryan’s tweet was sent at 12:24 p.m. EDT. That’s four minutes before Harry’s tweet.
In all likelihood, the tweet sent O’Kelly into a violent rage causing him to yep, you guessed it, tweet a yawning emoji.
No more Mr. Nice Guy.
Harry O’Kelly took the gloves off and fired a punch at HERO Sports’ ranking.
Was that punch justified?
In our mind, yes.
JMU at No. 5 in the country? Behind Sacramento State at No. 4? I memorized all the states as a kid, and Sacramento certainly wasn’t one of them.
North Dakota State comes in at No. 1, and that makes sense because the Bison pump in crowd noise to their tiny little dome every year, so even if COVID-19 leads to limited crowd size in the fall, the FargoDome will still be rocking.
At No. 2 is South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits have a sweet mascot, so we’re fine with the ranking.
We start to have issues at No. 3. Northern Iowa comes in at No. 3. Yes, the same Northern Iowa that mustered up negative 600 total yards of offense against the Dukes in the 2019 playoffs. We don’t buy it for a second.
No. 4 is Sacramento State. We consider this to be in poor taste. The Sacramento State mascot is the Hornets. After all we’ve heard in recent weeks about murder hornets, we consider it disrespectful to everyone to rank a team named after hornets in the top 25. Sacramento State should suffer a one-year postseason ban for supporting crazy insects.
JMU ranks fifth. It’s not bad, but Harry O’Kelly doesn’t wake up every morning dreaming of being No. 5.
We also think O’Kelly may have become upset at being ranked No. 5 overall because it reminded him of his unofficial position on JMU’s RB depth chart.
The world might never truly know why Harry O’Kelly sent the tweet. All we know is that he’s fired up, and we support his tweet.