‘I’d be foolish not to pay attention to it’: Riders’ GM Jeremy O’Day honest about social media

Photo courtesy: CFL

Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager Jeremy O’Day does not have his own Twitter or Instagram account, but he does monitor the popular platforms.

O’Day uses them to glean information that could be helpful for the Riders ultimate goal of winning the Grey Cup.

“The answer is: we do watch social media. I always bug A.Z. [director of communications, Arielle Zerr] about what’s going on, what’re you hearing on there, you have to pay attention to it,” O’Day told reporters following the first day of 2022 CFL free agency.

“I’m not on social media, but I’d be foolish not to pay attention to it. There’s a lot of information that gets sent on social media, it does give you an indication if you have players that are committing to other teams.”

“Most of the time when that happens, a player has given his word to the team and his agent has done that, so you can assume it’s something that is probably going to happen.”

There were a number of players who announced their intentions on Twitter during the three-down league’s negotiating window, prior to the official opening of free agency. That allowed competing teams who were tracking to cross names off the board if the athlete had chosen another franchise.

It’s refreshing that O’Day actually admitted to keeping up with social media in his own ways. Usually football executives and coaches say they ignore it publicly, but behind the scenes either check it themselves or have someone in the organization updating them with the latest news and goings on.

Since taking over as the permanent GM in January 2019, O’Day has compiled a 22-10 win-loss record, so his approach on the field and online appears to be working. The pressure will build as the season nears because Saskatchewan hosts the CFL championship in November and Riders fans expect the green and white to be in the game.

Social media reports could be really enjoyable or filled with criticism depending on how the year plays out for O’Day’s team.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.