By now, most eternally online Packer fans (myself included. It takes one to know one.) have seen the Kurt Benkert “situation” get beaten to death. If you are still unaware: on October 9th, a tweet containing a ripped TikTok video of a highly edited clip from a Twitch livestream exploded within the Packers community.
The former career backup-turned-content creator is seen explaining his last OTAs with the team in 2022 and claims the reason for his departure was due to personality differences between himself and head coach Matt LaFleur.
So how did we get to this point? The answer is Ninja.
If you are between the ages of 12 and 17 there is a very good chance you know who we’re talking about. Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, is a 32-year-old Lions fan from Taylor, Michigan who started playing video games live on the internet in 2011. At this moment he has:
18.5 million followers on Twitch
6.6 million followers on Twitter
10.2 million followers on TikTok
23.7 million subscribers on Youtube
Blevins has the largest following of anyone on Twitch. While he built his audience mostly through playing the battle royale game Fortnite, he often streams his thoughts on the NFL alongside his brothers and Benkert.
On October 4th, the foursome decided to play a game of “Truth or Drink” where Kurt had to answer questions from the audience or choose to drink. He was asked who his least favorite coordinator or coach was and the aforementioned clip is what resulted.
However, the full context is lost in the one-minute clip.
An interesting omission from the short version is that the Packers quote “did not like the stuff I do on social media…”
Benkert explained that this was a stressful time due to multiple coaches leaving, but later went on to explain that he was shifting his focus away from football to social media and content creation because “That’s my future. That’s my career.”
One is left to speculate if the reason he was cut is due to the difference in personality, a lack of talent, or maybe a lack of focus on the football portion of his career during a transitionary period for the team on which he plays. Who’s to say?
Regardless of the reasoning, the Blevins brothers all acknowledge within the stream that clips of this would “do numbers”. The modern-day content carousel took over from there. The way things often work with content creators today goes like this: create long-form content, chop out a bunch of short clips and upload them to TikTok/Instagram Reels/Youtube Shorts, link back to the original long-form content, and repeat ad nauseam. The clips are also often released at specific times.
The “best” clip from the October 4th stream was likely held back until several days later because the quartet will be streaming once again tonight, October 11th.
Tyler Blevins knew exactly what he was doing with that clip, and now his NFL podcast has been shown to hundreds of thousands of a potential new audience.