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Meet the man behind Twitter’s most hilarious sports account
My 24th wedding anniversary is Monday, and there are many who assume the only way a sports columnist can achieve such bliss is if he finds a mate who also likes sports.
Let me put it this way:
My wife doesn't hate sports. In some ways, it's worse (or better, depending on how you look at it): she’s agnostic about sports. Sports don't affect her. At all. She simply lives her life as if they don’t exist.
Which is why what happened the other day was so notable. I told her I was writing a column about Ricky Cobb. You might not know the name, but if you are a sports fan on Twitter, you know his game: he is @ Super70sSports, and there’s really no way to explain that feed except to put it this way:
It's the greatest thing on Twitter.
Many days, it's the best thing on the internet.
And on a lot of days, it's one of the best things anywhere else, too. It is a lot of sports, and much of it sports based in the 1970s, but not all of it. It is inside, but also accessible. It is ridiculously clever.
And, damn, it's funny.
I sent my wife one tweet. And another. And a few more. And pretty soon I was worried she might pass out she was laughing so hard. My sports-agnostic wife, nearly felled to the floor from the couch by a Twitter account called Super 70s Sports.
"You know," Ricky Cobb tells me the next day, as I share that story, "that’s how we determine the cool wives."
People made fun of Mark Lee's glasses, but a pitcher is never exactly the same after having Elton John Surgery. pic.twitter.com/3BFby27Eym
- Super 70s Sports (@ Super70sSports) August 6, 2017
Until recently, Cobb was an unknown sociology professor at Illinois' Moraine Valley Community College, with a wife, five daughters, two step-daughters and a unique eye for spotting the funny in ultra-ordinary things: pictures, GIFs, baseball cards, old magazines, album covers. For most of human history, that would have made him a go-to guy around the keg at cocktail parties for like-minded fans of sports and pop culture.
But starting around 2013 or so, and then in earnest since Jan. 1, 2015, Cobb’s observations have reached a growing - and fiercely loyal - audience. He now has over 279,000 followers. He should have 10 times that many. The stuff is that good, and that funny, and in 2019 something that makes you laugh that much - he posts as many as 20 times a day - is a national treasure.
"It's the biggest adventure of my life," Cobb, 48, says. “I could never have anticipated or planned this. I half-wandered into it. But once I realized it was a thing I had I kept at it and I started getting feedback from people whose names I recognized and… it just kept growing. ”
Two things to consider here: one, the account sometimes uses some salty language, which may not be for everyone but is, Cobb insists, how he talks, who he is. If you can't stomach the occasional longshoreman cuss, it might not be for you. He also, despite the title, doesn’t always stick to the’70s and doesn’t always stick to sports. You’d be amazed how many buzzkill spoilsports that bothers on Twitter.
Other than that?
Be prepared to laugh. A lot. It's what this account does, it's who Cobb is.
“I spend a couple of hours a day looking for stuff,” he says. "I'm not a super well-organized person so whenever I get a little bit of down time, I'm always looking for material, always challenge myself to come up with new jokes. And then it's almost like doing stand-up. The feedback is immediate. "
Cobb has kept his day job while trying to build his Twitter brand. He does podcasts and has begun an apparel line. He writes a monthly column for Golf Magazine. He is an engaging guy who would fit in nicely in your regular text thread, golf game, patio happy hour, the guy who sees things just a little differently - and a little funnier - than everyone else.
The tweet for which he is best known - an old picture of Howard Cosell flanked by Bruce Jenner and O.J. Simpson captioned, "Ladies and gentlemen, I've looked into the future and you will not believe this s—" - received over 51,000 retweets and 114,000 likes, and the replies are as hysterical as the tweet itself. That happens a lot.
"When I laugh harder at the replies than I did at my original," he says, "I know I've done something right."
If you read him every day - or 20 times a day - you already know: He’s done something right, all right.
Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz are from Long Island. Todd Frazier and Brad Brach are from Jersey. Joe Panik is from Dutchess County. More and more the Mets are starting to resemble a town travel baseball team.
I get that it was a bad case of mistaken identity when Brett Gardner was thrown out of Friday’s game in Toronto instead of Cameron Maybin. But Gardner may want to lose what’s become a bizarre trademark of bashing dugout roofs with his bat (which he did Friday and, more famously, on “Savages” Day.) Maybe that would draw a little less attention to himself. It's also childish and stupid.
I now divide my life into two completely different segments: pre-Spotify and post-Spotify.
The sad thing is I’d love to say Carmelo Anthony should sign one of those one-day contracts and retire as a kink. But I'm not sure how that would be received by Knicks fans. Not well, I'm afraid.
Whack Back at Vac
Dan Salogub: The Yankees and White Sox will be playing on an Iowa field made famous by a story about Shoeless Joe Jackson, yet MLB still keeps him out of the Hall! Rob Manfred better do the right thing before next July’s Induction weekend!
Vac: Every time a new burst arises to help Pete Rose’s case, it is useful to remember: Rose isn’t the Hall if Fame’s worst omission. Not by a long shot.
Roland Chapdelaine: In the words of Archie Bunker: "Faith is believing in something nobody in his right mind would believe!"
Vac: I'm pretty sure it was the Mets that were the favored ball club of 704 Hauser Street, too.
@ mostrowski52: I turned Friday night’s Mets game off after the top of the ninth. Therefore, I take credit for this win. It would not have happened if I listened because it never does.
@MikeVacc: And every fan of every team in every sport in every corner of the globe nods knowingly.
John A. Bennett: If what we saw Thursday night is any indication of his ability, there is zero chance that Daniel Jones would have been available at pick 17.
Vac: Heck, if he's this good, he shouldn't have been available at No. 6!
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