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Neighborly jest becomes social media lesson

Jon Gloer

Jon Gloer

History teacher Jon Gloer and his wife Kathy pose for a photo before the University of Georgia football game against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. This past weekend, the Gloers garnered attention on social media after a Facebook post went viral.

Kathy Gloer

Ashton Long, Starr's Mill High School

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Following the SEC championship game between University of Georgia and Auburn, a friendly video among neighbors was posted on Facebook and went viral creating quite a backlash.

“[The video] was a spontaneous thing,” Starr’s Mill history teacher and former coach Jon Gloer said. “We are good friends with our neighbors and I told my wife I think I am going to have a little bit of fun with our PA system.”

What transpired was a little friendly jest between neighbors.  On Sunday morning, Gloer stood in his driveway, microphone in hand, and for 40 seconds proclaimed his UGA pride, allowing it to resound about his neighborhood.  He even reminded his neighbors of their previous comments after Auburn defeated then No. 1 ranked UGA on Nov. 11.

This level of fanaticism is nothing new in the Gloer family.  His father always kept up with the Dawgs and went to every game, home or away, for about 20 years. For Gloer, he attended and walked onto UGA’s football team, winning a national championship in 1980.  The Gloers’ middle child, Chad, followed his father’s footsteps, playing for the Dawgs and winning the 2008 Sugar Bowl.

In spite of growing up with UGA football, the win for the Dawgs was a big deal for Georgia fans. Although the video was meant to show the after-game excitement, Gloer and his wife Kathy did not anticipate the response they received.

In its first day, Gloer’s video acquired 1.1 million views on Facebook, prompting sports news stations around the southeast to share it among SEC football fans from both sides — UGA and Auburn.

“I preferred that it had not gotten to that point where it was all over social media like that,” Gloer said.

Hours after the video was posted, harsh comments appeared in Gloer’s inbox and on other social media websites.

One Twitter user stated, “Just so you know, I would have whooped this guy’s a**.” And another respondent wrote, “I would come out that door in my boxers and whoop the sh*t out of him.”

Subsequently, Gloer announced that he would not be posting anymore videos like the one of his joke and said that he was planning on doing nothing if UGA wins the championship.

“Even though I gotten a lot of messages saying that it was good. It brought out a lot of negativity and I prefer to stay away from that,” Gloer said. “It is just nothing you think about when you make one of these posts on Facebook.”

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