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Feely's Twitter Silence

Kicker prolific on social media, but not while Cards struggle

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Kicker Jay Feely has cut out his work on Twitter during the Cards' losing streak.


Jay Feely can't wait to break his silence on Twitter.

The Cardinals kicker is an avid Twitter user but stopped tweeting Sept. 24 before a 13-10 loss in Seattle. He decided to avoid posting on the popular social media site until the Cardinals won a game.

He's still waiting.

"I didn't expect our losing streak to last this long," he said.

The Cardinals take a 1-5 record and a five-game losing streak in to Sunday's game against Baltimore.

Feely, who's been in the league for 11 years and with the Cardinals for two, has more than 42,000 followers on Twitter. He said he enjoys social media sites like this one because they give professional athletes a direct link to their fans.

"You have access to fans and also to the media where you can put out the quote that you want," he said. "You can word it how you want. It's in black and white and it can't be misconstrued."

The kicker has been known to express his views, political and otherwise, on Twitter. He's also been featured as a guest multiple times on ESPN's First Take and has appeared on Fox News.

"When I've gone and done those shows, I've really enjoyed it because you get to try to impact change and you get to try to understand that there's things that are more important than football, and there's things that are more important than what goes on on this field.

"You can use what goes on on this field to have an impact on those things that are a lot more important."

Feely has interacted with media, politicians and other athletes and has developed relationships through Twitter.

"I like to dialogue with everyone and I like to press buttons sometimes," he said. "I don't mind somebody having a different opinion than me and then backing it up. I think that's what's great about democracy. You have the freedom to say what you believe. I think Twitter to some extent has kind of reinvigorated that."

Feely has the longest active streak of PATs in the league. The last time he missed an extra point was in November 2003. He said he realizes it's his career as an athlete that's afforded him the ability to speak his mind.

"I think the greatest advantage of being a professional athlete is that you have the opportunity to have an impact on people and on situations."

But he also sees the perils of social media among professional athletes.

"The negatives of it are that you have guys that aren't smart," he said. "They write things that they're feeling at the time, and they don't think about the implications of what they're writing."

The rules about social media haven't been well-defined at the professional level.

"I could get fined for saying something derogatory or making a threat, but our team doesn't have any specific rules," Feely said.

However, Feely said the team and the coaches advised about such things in training camp. They were coached on media policies and acting responsible on sites like Twitter.

"I think coaches in general probably don't like it because it can be a distraction," he said. "I think the right people who are tweeting can put out the right message. A guy like Larry Fitzgerald, who's a great model both in the team setting as well as off the field, is a guy you'd like to tweet and put out a message that you want out there."

Many other Cardinals engage with each other and fans on Twitter and other social media.

"I see it as a way to express yourself," said cornerback A.J. Jefferson.

Safety Hamza Abdullah compared Twitter to driving on the freeway.

"All of the people driving in the right lanes are the regular news and media," Abdullah said. "Twitter is the fast lane. You can get your message out right now."

Feely is a first-time captain this year and sees the importance of being a leader, especially after some deflating losses.

"Obviously we're disappointed in how the season's gone so far, but you have to be a professional and you have to focus on doing your job," he said. "You have to come out and do anything you can to help the team win."

Feely briefly broke his Twitter silence once in honor of his alma mater, Michigan, when they played Michigan State, and once again during the Cardinals' bye week, but resumed the silence on Oct. 16 to show everyone he was focused on helping his team.

"It wasn't superstitious," he said. "I just felt like I wanted to focus on football and how we're struggling as team."

He said it's been hard to stay away from Twitter.

"I see so many things I want to comment on and I have to refrain."

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