We all knew and loved @evilbillobrien, but his time had come. The departure of O’Brien and arrival of James Franklin meant it was time for Penn State’s most beloved Twitter account to undergo some rebranding. After a brief period of mourning under the name “Former EBOB,” the account is back under the name @JamesFrankwin and again churning out top-notch tweets that are loved by the entire Penn State community.
Onward State: So, what’s the new content plan?
Evil James Franklin: That is to be determined I suppose. When O’Brien was hired, I was able to cash in on all the people that said he was a terrible hire and was able to dig those tweets up on occasion. Also with OB, I got lucky because some of the things I jokingly tweeted like a refusal to punt, became a reality once he started. OB was never short on providing material and I get that same feeling now with JF. I will have to watch with a close eye on public appearances and study nuances of Coach and hopefully something comes of it. I am probably set to wear out my welcome by continuing to do this, but ultimately, I like doing it and hopefully make a few people laugh.
OS: You said you want to #DominateTheState four times in your introductory presser. Will this lead to some added Pitt fan trolling?
EJF: Yeah, that was the content that will be provided that I referred to. It’s the #fighters of the new regime…so far. Those were shots fired to more than Pitt fans, but it was great to see. What we see as self-confidence now will be perceived as arrogance. A few Pitt guys have already made comparisons to Todd Graham so they are prepared as usual to hate the Penn State coach.
OS: Originally, you rebranded your account as Arrogant James Franklin, but changed it back to Evil. Why the switch?
EJFs: Like I said, I may be wearing out my welcome. Once O’Brien left, I started to get followed by all the candidate’s “evil” twitter handles. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do so I just left EBOB as it was. As we started hearing new candidates, I was thinking of names/handles so see what I could come up with. I realized I wanted to continue on and received some encouraging tweets to continue you on. Even @FauxPelini just said to keep going so I started thinking. Franklin was the only one I wasn’t sure of because I was probably going @WeirdAlGolden or @SikeMunchak with the other guys. Evil seemed to be the best fit for Franklin, but again they were all taken so I tried to switch it up. That being said, I changed it back to Evil because that can allow me to continue in a similar manner, but if I lose my cool at a media member or another coach who may challenge a spot up 49 points, I can remain in character as evil.
OS: Can we find a way to get rid of all the other shitty Evil James Franklin accounts that popped up over break?
EJF: Ha. I believe time will tell with those accounts. I was shocked as I saw them start to follow my account. Someone said to me that I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is more imitation of an imitation so I don’t know. I stayed away from the “Evil” title at first because of them, but changed it. I hope they have fun doing it, but I have odd little standards I try to adhere to. Never really try to mention a recruit by name, stay away from certain material like family or personal crap.
OS: What is the best troll-job you’ve done under this account or Evil Bill?
EJF: With my interview with Bill D, I said it’s not trolling, but fact checking. There were tons with Evil Bill since people were quick to dismiss him as a good hire. Darren Rovell seems oddly chapped when I RT his one from the night O’Brien was hired so that really is my favorite since I don’t like him at all. There were some others when the sanctions came down. I found a few this weekend of people tweeting that PSU couldn’t hire a good coach.
OS: How long you staying at Penn State for?
EJF: Like the old coach, I am not a genie. Like O’Brien, let’s hope if that ever does happen that we’re better off than we are now. What O’Brien did in his short time was truly remarkable and while it was shorter than we may have liked, it was impactful and we’re better for it. Best guess, longer than OB and shorter than Paterno.
Evil James: This is one of those personal subjects I would tend to avoid as a parody. While the situation is terrible I disagreed with both of their columns. Many other writers wrote on this subject and did it in a fair manner. If JF was good enough to stay at Vanderbilt or be hired anywhere, he should be good enough for Penn State. I find Christine Brennan to be one of the worst columnists in the country and her absolute hatred for Penn State can only be matched by my thoughts of her. She’s almost a parody of herself. Much like the writers that saw the “Paterno People” comments as a gateway to rehash their stance on everything, I think Dodd and Brennan both pounced on this as a convenient way to spew their venom. For all the writers that say that Penn Staters should move on, there are many incapable of doing so themselves.
OS: What’s your favorite real life Penn State memory? Doesn’t have to be a football game.
EJF I proposed to the former Mrs. EBOB (now she is transitioning to Mrs. EJF) at PSU, so that’s the #1 (yes she will be reading this). Really though there are tons of great memories and there will continue to be more. I still keep in touch with all my roommates and friends and through this account have met many more great people. It’s a pretty awesome place and I miss those college days often.
OS: Who would win in a fight, Dave Joyner or Rodney Erickson?
EJF: Joyner was a wrestler so he has to be the odds on favorite. That being said, I could see Erickson turning heel and getting [Ira] Lubert to turn on Joyner as if it were some late 90’s WCW card.
OS: Which superpower would you want the most and why?
EJF: I would like the ability to turn around a terrible football program like Vanderbilt…oh wait. Being a genie would be nice.