GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Tucked inside the stone labyrinth of Greensboro’s Melvin Municipal Building, beyond the intertwined plants creating a jungle in the
plaza, you can find the city’s communications director, Jake Keys, clicking away on his keyboard.
Typically he monitors local news and the city’s Twitter feed, making sure he’s keeping the Greensboro community informed.
“We’re the city, and we’re the first ones to know that government can be boring, we’re not gonna try and hide that fact it really can be, but on Twitter it should be kind of fun,” Keys said.
But Keys saw something Wednesday afternoon that rubbed him the wrong way, disrespecting the place he calls home.
“Man that really irks me, you know I’m gonna say something back!” Keys said.
It started with a tweet from a sports reporter quoting Syracuse men's basketball head coach Jim Boeheim on the location of the ACC Tournament, saying, “There is no value to playing in Greensboro. None.” This just after Syracuse lost to Miami in the tournament in Brooklyn.
Keys immediately started typing, “We kindly disagree. But I guess you can lose in the 1st round anywhere. At least it’s a quick ride home.” After a brief hesitation, he hit send, causing a reaction he didn’t anticipate on social media.
The tweet caught like wildfire, being picked up by various sports shows, the governor and multiple organizations in North Carolina.
“I sent a text upstairs to our managers, just said, 'Hey you might wanna know that there’s just a tweet I had that you might be seeing soon,'” Keys said.
Cities including High Point and Wilmington reached out to Keys directly sharing their appreciation of the quick remark. Local businesses like Smithfield’s also piled on.
“'Should we invite Boeheim for lunch to our Greensboro location- we see his schedule is wide open,'” Keys said, reading the tweet. “That’s hilarious!”
Keys said residents started reaching out to city council members for congratulations, saying people in Greensboro take pride in where they live. He’s certainly a part of that crowd, proud to be home to the ACC and so much more.
Our State Magazine offered Coach Boeheim a subscription of its magazine, along with barbecue. The Greensboro Grasshoppers will host a “Jim Boeheim (no) Value Night” on April 11, giving out free tickets to anyone with a license from Syracuse, New York.
Scott Hamilton with the Winston-Salem Journal got the coach on his WSJS radio show earlier on Thursday. Boeheim said his comments were more about the business of the tournament, not the character of Greensboro saying, “I love Greensboro, I think it’s a great place and I thought they did a great job with the tournament. We had the best hosts and treatment of any tournament that I’ve been at.”