The guy behind The Citadel’s savage Twitter account explains the strategy

Citadel fans during Bulldogs and Alabama game, Bryant-Denny Stadium. By Lou Brems, The Citadel.

(Photo by Lou Brems, The Citadel, not part of original report)

As seen on, By Michael Casagrande |

From his third-row seat in the Bryant-Denny Stadium press box, Parker King set the college football internet ablaze.

He said he’s “just a graphic designer,” but King was the name behind The Citadel football team’s Twitter account that went viral during the 50-17 loss at Alabama. The regimented military school let its hair down Saturday in Tuscaloosa and the masses noticed.

“It’s been pretty surreal,” King said after the game in the room just off from the small visitors’ locker room in Bryant-Denny Stadium. “We knew if our players came in here and performed the way we knew they could, we would have a small window of essentially going viral on Twitter. We had a good plan that if we performed, we’d be ready. And we’d be willing to take some shots at some people in the SEC.”

They sure did.

Their big tweet of the day followed a second-quarter touchdown that tied the score 7-7. It ended Alabama’s shutout streak that covered both the LSU and Mississippi State wins and King was well aware.

Mentioning the official Twitter accounts of both LSU and Mississippi State and a “WE SCORED” graphic, the text read “It isn’t that hard guys.”

The graphic King made when they arrived Saturday topped it off.

“We had a moment,” King said. “We took it.”

As of Saturday afternoon, it had 14,000-plus favorites and north of 6,000 retweets. It drew a wide variety of responses.

King laughed when asked about the mentions the account received.

“A lot of mad people but we knew that going into it and that was kind of the point,” he said. “We knew a lot of people would get riled up and really excited. A lot of our mentions were like ‘Hey, we were Citadel football now.’ So, it was good. It was really exciting to have a chance to be front of so many people and get so many people that aren’t Citadel football fans’ eyes our Twitter for football, for recruiting and the campus itself.”

Of course, it was all in good fun. None of the schools called out responded, nor did King expect they would.

It was a rare opportunity for the school of 2,300 students to get this kind of national stage. They spent the week preparing and dropping a few early tweets to prime the engine.

“In this game, we don’t have a lot to lose,” King said. “A lot of eyes will be on our account after this week. We might as well have some fun with it.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the account picked up 1,500 new followers on game day up to the 12,800-range.

After scoring 10 points before halftime, Ole Miss was next.

“By the way, @OleMissFB we scored more points than you too,” the tweet read with a picture of the scoreboard. “We didn’t want to leave you out of the party!”

Alabama beat Ole Miss 62-7 in Week 3.

For the 2016 graduate of South Florida, a touch of anxiety crept in when pulling the trigger on some of the SEC call-out tweets.

“There definitely was some energy,” King said, “like adrenaline shakes when we first scored because we knew the potential of what this week could be. It started to build throughout the week.”

“That score blew completely out of the water what we thought was possible with our account. It was definitely exciting. It’s still exciting.”

Michael Casagrande is an Alabama beat writer for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or on Facebook.