UPDATE: Coach Kelly responds to ND fans tormenting Rees online - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Coach Kelly responds to ND fans tormenting Rees on Twitter


Earning the job of starting quarterback at Notre Dame can be compared to obtaining rock star status.

Win a few games and throw a bunch of touchdowns and Irish fans will treat you like Elvis. However, if you throw three interceptions and lose at home, well you might as well be Miley Cyrus dancing at an award show.

Like many Notre Dame quarterbacks before him Tommy Rees has felt both sides of things, but what guys like Brady Quinn and Joe Theismann didn't experience while they were at Notre Dame was living in the world of Twitter.

@DavidGinand16 :@t_rees11 you are literally the worst thing that has ever happened to Notre Dame.

@Sweetsticks777: How's it feel to be an Honorary sooner @t_rees11 ? You scored two touchdowns for them!

@pikkemys1 :Break both his legs pls @t_rees11

Those were just a few of the hundreds of tweets directed at Tommy Rees from this past weekend. Irate fans took their frustrations to twitter, almost at the same time the Notre Dame senior was telling the media he needed to improve.

"You know as a quarterback your job is to erase negative plays when things aren't perfect," said Rees. "I got to be smarter with that and run the plays the way I am supposed to."

After he spoke to the press, the twitter bullies kept coming, calling for the quarterback to take a seat next week against Arizona State.

@Zambonichaser_1 :@t_rees11 you look way better on the sidelines. #cantwaitfornextyear #embarrassing

@StepanOut : If USC can fire it's coach at this point of season @CoachBrianKelly can surely bench @t_rees11 and finally move program forward.

Despite the uproar from a small group of irate fans, Brian Kelly told reporters Sunday that he is standing behind Rees. The same quarterback, who helped win the Irish several games in his four years on campus.

"There is no question the quarterback that is going to start for us is Tommy Rees," said Kelly, the head coach of Notre Dame.

Tuesday, the Irish head coach said the internet abuse that Rees has received comes with the territory of his role in college football.

"Look, if you're the starting quarterback at Notre Dame and you can't handle those things that are inevitably going to come your way after a loss, then you can't be the quarterback at Notre Dame," said Kelly. "It comes with the business of being the quarterback at Notre Dame.  You have to avoid the noise, when it's good and when it's bad.  And that's just the nature of it.  It comes with being the quarterback at Notre Dame."

After a few days of bashing, many fans came to Tommy's side.

@cush_tom : @t_rees11 Keep your chin up Tommy. ND Nation is behind you.

@JerryWotring : @t_rees11 keep your head up a lot of us Fans believe your the man so does your team !! Go Irish !!

Many fans were surprised to see the Internet abuse that Rees was receiving. People are used to hearing about Internet bullying, but finding out that it was happening to the Notre Dame quarterback was shocking for some.

"I would be devastated if I was Tommy Rees," said Notre Dame fan Robin Rense. "Obviously he wasn't doing his best [against Oklahoma], but I mean you shouldn't talk to another person like that regardless of how they played."

One fan said he was not surprised that Rees was being scrutinized publicly because he said that's what happens when an athlete opens a twitter. Another fan said its part of being a Notre Dame fan.

"[The fans] are with you when you're winning but tough on you when you lose," said Jason Grant, a Notre Dame Fan. "I think the social media is going overboard with some of the tweets and the direct hate mail he gets personally."

Rees seems ready to put the Oklahoma game behind him. There are still plenty of people who want him to lead the Irish to a win against Arizona State this Saturday, including the senior quarterback.

"We just got to be more consistent and better at certain situations," said Rees. "Stay out of some negative downs.Just got to work hard and get better."

Rees has not responded to any of the tweets directed towards him.

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