10 Questions With Evil Bill O’Brien
If you’re a Penn Stater on Twitter, you probably already know about @evilbillobrien. If you don’t, you’re missing out on the “The (fake) Darker, Egotistical Side of Penn State’s Coach,” and one of the most brilliant accounts out there.
Ask any of his almost 9,500 followers, Evil Bill O’Brien is a genius. Whether he’s providing insight on Penn State football or basketball, or just going on one of his famous retweeting sprees of people who predicted Penn State to crumble under the NCAA’s sanctions, Evil B’OB is one of the most consistently entertaining Twitter accounts will find.
Onward State recently sat down with your new favorite Twitter account to talk Matt McGloin, “fact checking,” and Spacebook.
Onward State: So what’s your real name?
Evil Bill O’Brien: I’d rather not say. Let’s just say its E. W. O’Brien.
OS: Why did you decide to start the Twitter account?
Evil BO’B: I started the account the morning after word leaked of the hire. I made the decision I was all-in and had seen there was a lukewarm reception brewing. I figured my account would fizzle out pretty quick, but decided “what the heck?” It was a crazy two months up to that point and I had not really been on Twitter prior to November of 2011, so I started this since this was the fastest way to explain what an unbelievable hire this was. I decided that I was fed up with a lot of stuff I had read in the media and this would be a way to vent and maybe add some humor.
OS: When you aren’t coaching Penn State football and trolling people on Twitter, what is your day job?
Evil BO’B: It’s not trolling, it’s just fact checking and sending friendly reminders. My day job helps pay some bills but it’s just something I do. Twitter is my stress reliever but really I’m always looking for a new job, so if someone would be willing to hire me, I’d be all ears.
OS: Does Matt McGloin’s rise from “mediocre college QB” to “NFL backup” say more about McGloin or your coaching?
Evil BO’B: I disagree with that “mediocre college QB” portion first. I think there was too much jockeying during his career. He played a good game vs. Northwestern in 2011 when he played the whole game and wasn’t worried about getting yanked. The constant looking over his shoulder couldn’t have helped anyone in that position. While I assume the coaching provided the best he could get, you have to give credit to him. There is obviously a work ethic that is pretty great as well as an internal drive that seems to be second to none. But man, what great coaching too.
OS: Along those lines, how good do you expect Christian Hackenberg to be under your tutelage?
Evil BO’B: Three games in I’m expected to make a prediction? You’re aware I’m not a genie, correct? After his start with a 70 percent completion percentage I rated his performance a B. You know I’d like to see A+. You know he will get great coaching from this staff and the rest is up to him. That can be said for everyone on the roster as well.
OS: Who are your favorite people to “fact check”?
Evil BO’B: I have no preference for which person it is, but some reactions are better than others. Darren Rovell seems to get annoyed, so he knows how we feel with his tweets, especially the one that said, “Saturday may be another day of the week for Penn State fans.” But there are some others as well. I retweeted some clown in Michigan who predicted Penn State would go 7-41 in the 4 years of sanctions and he didn’t seem to take too kindly to that. Really, I like to retweet journalists who were so certain of the inevitable Penn State demise and I just like to remind them of that. It was a rough few months last year so I like to rehash what the general consensus believed and it’s nice to prove them wrong. Tweeting random people isn’t that fun, but sometimes it is necessary because it shows the narrative that was out there.
OS: Has anyone blocked you because of your fact checking?
Evil BO’B: I have been blocked from a few thin skinned journalists. Christine Brennan of USA Today blocked me after we beat Northwestern. Previously, I had taken her to task on an article she wrote last July. She stated that Penn State donations being up were proof we didn’t “get it.” That article was revised that evening and no longer available, but I know what she wrote. Gregg Doyel also blocked me, but I blocked him too so that was mutual. I took him to task on a few tweets. When it was made available that I was a candidate, he tweeted “Best they could do,” inferring Penn State hadn’t landed the greatest coach available. I am sure that a few others have blocked me, but I am not aware, nor I am concerned if they do. I only find out when I go to retweet someone and it won’t allow it. Some writers try to be shock jocks, so if they want to block me, feel free.
OS: How do you find the old tweets that you regularly RT?
Evil BO’B: I have an impeccable memory and will make note when people make a silly definitive predictions. If you’re implying that there is some search engine out there that allows me to find things by searching keywords then I know not what you speak of. My brain knows no limits so remembering every tweet I have ever read is really quite simple.
OS: FMK — Lane Kiffin, Tim Beckman, Mark Emmert?
Evil BO’B: I had to ask you what that stood for, then I realized I hate this question. Since people around here seem to hear what they want with that first letter, I will do the same and change that to fight, which is probably what it is meant to stand for in the first place. I’m sure you guys tried to make it something more than it was like everyone did after the Wisconsin game. I would fight Mark Emmert because, well, that’s something I’d like to do. I have already killed Tim Beckman in the 2012 game vs. Illinois, but that was fun, so let’s do that again. I am now left with marrying and Lane Kiffin. I am married and believe bigamy is illegal in the State of PA , so I will just have to throw Kiffin in the fight category to rather commit a serious crime. Did I mention I hated that question? I would rather be asked about a starter two thousand times.
OS: If you were a dinosaur, which would you be and why?
Evil BO’B: If I were a dinosaur, I’d be a smarter version of a Troodon, which is widely regarded as the smartest dinosaur, and dinosaurs wouldn’t be extinct. I would have come up with a new run-on program for lesser known dinosaurs just looking to be part of a bigger species of dinosaurs. The national media would have been predicting that dinosaurs were going to die off and we couldn’t survive without 60 different species of dinosaurs over a four year Mesozoic Period. We’d simply survive for a few years and then come back even stronger and dominate earth again.