Arts & Entertainment Editor
“Who is Jimmy Fallon anyways?” said Demarcus Ware, Super Bowl champion, in a video he tweeted addressed to Troy’s men’s and women’s basketball teams in support of Troy’s Twitter movement #igotoTroy.
The initiative started in response to a bit on Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” that aired on Wednesday, March 15, poking light-hearted fun at Troy’s virtual obscurity in the men’s basketball world.
In the bit, Fallon, mocking Shaquille O’Neal’s recent video filling out his March Madness bracket, used Shaq’s guise to taunt many teams in the NCAA tournament.
“Duke vs. Troy: that sounds like a fight between two skinny white dudes,” “Shaq” said. “What’s Troy? That’s not a college. Who goes to Troy? No one goes to Troy. Duke wins.”
Aaron Taylor, television production coordinator for TrojanVision, intentionally rallied Trojans with a post on Facebook urging students to begin a “Twitter storm” directed at Fallon.
Taylor said he thought the bit was “hilarious,” but he found Fallon’s joke about Troy “insulting.”
“It was about Trojan pride,” Taylor said. “It was awesome to see the outpouring of affection for the school we love.”
Taylor said he was really into it and tried to stay active with the progress of the movement by being active on Twitter, to a fault. He ended up in “Twitter jail” when he sent more than 100 tweets in an hour.
The Twitter movement called recognition to Troy’s attendance, athletic and academic accomplishments and global impact and invited Fallon to the campus to see for himself.
Despite outreach, Fallon has not responded.
Over the last week, 1,405 original tweets carried the hashtags #igotoTroy or #iwenttoTroy that, collectively, reached 1.9 million Twitter users around the world.
Users tweeted from six continents, including the nations of Algeria, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Canada, Australia and Norway.
The movement attracted famous alumni like Demarcus Ware, a former Troy football player.
“I’m tired of people talking all that trash,” Ware said in his video. “I’ll tell you what—I want to say congratulations to the men’s and women’s basketball teams for doing what you guys do.”
Bray Wyatt, WWE champion, also showed his support for the athletic program at his alma mater following the release of a video created by students and put forth by Troy’s University Relations department.
Troy’s athletic program has made history this past year—earning national recognition. The program has guided Troy’s football team to be ranked for the first time in its FBS history, and its men’s basketball team to go to NCAA tourney for the first time in 14 years.
Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. could not be reached for comment on the matter.