Column: Is Jon Rothstein a real human being?

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Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports College Basketball Insider (Youtube.com)

“Stay hungry, stay humble.” This is tweeted at 7 a.m. every day; sometimes 6 a.m, sometimes 8 a.m. ““Every day is a gift.” -Art Loveley.” This is tweeted at 7:01 a.m. every day. [Insert some inspirational quote here.] This is tweeted at 7:03 a.m. every day. Nobody knows how far back it goes.

Jon Rothstein is a college basketball analyst, and as far as we know, a human being. He used to work at ESPN Radio and MSG network, and he now works at CBS and WFAN as an insider. He also looks like if aliens compiled all the specifications for the most stereotypical man and put it in an advanced program that ultimately created the perfect human.

Rothstein is notorious for his use of “THIS IS MARCH” every March Madness to the point where he should just copyright it. Thank god someone else has complied the masterlist of things he’s said, because I sure don’t have an entire week’s worth of time to dedicate to it. A wonderful site called Forget the Protocol did all the dirty work and complied the Jon Rothstein almanac. Here are some of the highlights:

“Stay hungry, stay humble”—Used at least 1,000 times and ongoing

“Virginia basketball. A thing of beauty”—Used 31 times since 2015 and ongoing

“And. Here. We. Go”—Used 75 times since 2010 and ongoing

There’s nothing inherently wrong with what Jon Rothstein does. In fact, it’s really entertaining and I relish in the extremely baked pictures of him that pop up every March.


But the thing that throws me off is that Jon Rothstein definitely is a real person, as much as I refuse to admit it. If you Google image search him, there is more than just one picture. He has a podcast and a real human voice. But has anyone ever checked his back to see if there’s a circuit panel there?

The truly strange thing about Jon Rothstein is how he is a meme—but a respected meme. People know that he is endlessly passionate about college basketball and the people involved. His endless appreciation for March Madness perfectly contrasts with his scripted tweets during every single game, and in some strange way, that represents March. People put the lasers on his eyes and reply to his tweets about getting a House Salad before every single meal somehow and they tweet THIS IS MARCH after every inconsequential college basketball thing; but people are doing it out of love and appreciation for his dedication to his craft. He is, in that respect, human like the rest of us.

I’d quite like to meet Jon Rothstein one day. I would like to ask him if he’s aware of the rigidness of his tweets, because if he’s not, I’ll be able to tell if he’s artificial intelligence or not. I want to know how he does it—does he schedule tweets before the beginning of every month? Does he wake up at 6 a.m. and the first thing he does is send tweet? Does he hire a consultant to do nothing else except make sure his three cyclical tweets get out at the same minute of the same morning hour every single day of the year?

See, that’s the part that trips me up. I scroll through his feed and I see normal people tweets on there. But then I look at how systematic his daily tweets are and how he uses the exact same quotes and the exact same phrases (albeit attached to tweets about different teams) and I just go back to square one. Jon Rothstein is an extremely successful sports reporter who takes every stereotype about journalists on Twitter and throws it out the window with his (probably mechanical) arm. But he’s now so deep in his own world that we’re no longer able to tell what’s real or not.

Jon Rothstein, if your algorithm happens to find this article, let’s talk sometime. I’m interested in learning about robotics. But if you happen to have nothing to offer on that front, I’d really just like to have a light conversation on the impact TSA precheck has had on your life. It seems pretty important.


Stephanie Sheehan is the managing editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.sheehan@uconn.edu. She tweets @steph_sheehan.

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