RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For the last 546 days, a Richmond man has been trying to get the attention of his childhood hero online. No response yet, but he’s hoping that changes soon.
Friday marks one and a half years since Tommy McPhail started tweeting Michael Jordan’s official account — @Jumpman23 — every day.
“I woke up and I was like, I want to do one of those daily reflection projects, but something that was kind of personal to me.”
So, he chose to base it around the man who’s inspired him for the last two decades and made his first post on April 21, 2015.
“I look at it as, if Twitter is the modern way for a lot of us to connect with our favorite celebrities and heroes and icons and just people who are kind of out of our ether, this is a direct way for people to connect with their fans,” said McPhail.
Sometimes McPhail asks the basketball legend a question.
Other times it’s a musing.
It could be a gif.
Sometimes he’ll even tweet a throwback photo of himself.
Since McPhail is still waiting for a notification from “His Airness,” the tweets keep coming.
“Some people think the whole thing is silly. Some people really respond well and are like, ‘Yeah keep going,’ and really encouraging about it.”
McPhail says he’s been a fan since he was four years old and vividly recalls watching Space Jam just about every day when his parents were going through a divorce.
“Watching that movie, I just remember that part of my life and having a sense of home in a movie,” he said. “To see how in his path and his career he was able to knock down every single hurdle in his way and just continue to achieve, it’s a very inspiring story that I hold very dear.”
McPhail has been documenting his tweets on a blog called Tweeting Michael Jordan Every Day. It has nearly a thousand followers and gets clicks from across the globe.
Still, it hasn’t caught the attention of whoever runs Jordan’s Twitter page.
“I am a very small fish in a very large digital pond,” he said.
He says his chances of hearing back are slim because it doesn’t appear Jordan runs his own account, it gets slammed with tweets and he says the star is “notoriously reclusive.”
But he says it’s worth a shot for the chance to hear from his hero.
“It’s intended to be silly. It’s intended to be light. It’s not something that I take too seriously. And at a point, there are so many silly internet projects out there it’s like why not be part of that conversation?”
McPhail has even used this project for good.
“In different circumstances I’ve said I would donate money to a charity of his choice if he were to respond and a few weeks ago I actually upped the ante where — if he does respond — I’ve promised to donate $23 for his number to the charity of his choice every year on my birthday.”
McPhail has already donated to the Boys and Girls Club in Chicago.
While it doesn’t appear he’ll stop being a fan anytime soon, McPhail says his project will be complete once he gets some kind of a response — whether it’s a tweet back or simply a ‘like’ — from @Jumpman23.