The confusion reaches a peak around this time every year. It has for at least the last three and will undoubtedly continue for as long as the two continue to play in the league. Despite what Twitter and sometimes national TV networks and magazines so often believe, Brandon Marshall, the sixth-year linebacker for the Denver Broncos, is not Brandon Marshall, 12th-year receiver for the New York Giants.
Seems simple enough, but whenever Marshall the receiver plays (he goes by @BMarshall on Twitter), Marshall the linebacker (@BMarshh54) gets an earful on social media.
When the Giants played the Lions on Monday Night Football and receiver Marshall caught one of five targets for 17 yards — a follow to his two-catch, 27-yard performance in the Giants’ season-opening loss to the Cowboys — the comments by fans turned sour quickly. There are few filters on Twitter and the opinions of all often turn into personal attacks.
So Marshall, the Broncos’ linebacker, decided to have a little fun with it.
“I was sitting on my couch. Actually my mom had just left my house and I was bored so I was like, ‘OK, let me go ahead and start messing with these people,” he said while at Swansea Elementary to kick off his student attendance challenge. “Fans, a lot of times, they talk reckless to us. They talk crazy and 99 percent of the time they would never say it to our faces. So I just took it as a time for me to get it back at them, talk crazy to them because they always talk to crazy to us.”
The crazy talk last Monday night went down something like this:
One fan tweeted to Marshall, the Bronco: “On my couch watching you drop eli’s passes.”
Marshall’s response during the game: “Meet me in the parking lot after the game chump!”
Another, @per_the_bear, tweeted: “@BMarshh54 you’re the main reason we are 0-2. Go back to the jets nobody wants you here anymore.”
“So I’m the reason we’re trash?” Marshall responded. “Nah.”
From @newyorknate1: “@BMarshh54 catch the ball dude”
Marshall: “Catch these …”
From @RileyHarris2730: “@BMarshh54 high point the football!”
Marshall: “Come say that to my face!”
And from @_BXBomber_: “How you tweeting and dropping passes at the same time?!”
Marshall: “Cuz I can do Bof”
And then: Scott Kacsmar, a writer and assistant editor for Football Outsiders, posted, “A reminder that no team with Brandon Marshall has ever made the playoffs.”
The simple retort of Marshall, the linebacker, who has been to two Super Bowls and won one with the Broncos: “False.”
The icing: Essence magazine ran a story about the Giants’ receiver and his work in promoting mental health awareness with his Project 375. They included a photo of the Broncos’ linebacker in addition to multiple ones of the receiver.
At this point, Marshall is used to the confusion.
“They handed it to me,” he said. “It was too good to pass up. I’m still getting tweets, but I’m pretty sure people are joking now. They want me to respond to them, but I’m actually over it. It was fun while it lasted.”
It may be over for at least this week. But on Oct. 15, the Broncos host the Giants in what should be known as Brandon Marshall Bowl. Neither will be able to respond to their critics in game. But Marshall, the linebacker, hopes to respond with something else.
“I’m looking forward to playing him,” he said. “I can’t wait. I get to play Brandon for the first time. Actually I played him my rookie year (with Jacksonville) but I didn’t play defense. So I’m gonna try to get him, try to tackle to him.”
Brace yourself, Twitter.