BEREA — Damarious Randall had no clue what he was getting himself into.
And he has no idea how he’ll get himself out … if necessary.
Randall, the new Browns free safety who’s a big fan of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, became one of the most popular subjects on the internet the last couple of days after sending this tweet late Monday night: “If the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2018 NBA finals I’ll buy everyone who retweet’s this a jersey…”
If the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2018 NBA finals I’ll buy everyone who retweet’s this a jersey…
— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) May 29, 2018
As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, it had been retweeted 892,000 times — about 131,000 more than when Randall met with reporters about seven hours earlier. Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Cleveland and Golden State doesn’t start until 9 p.m. Thursday.
“Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to get over 100,” Randall said after an organized team activities practice in which he made a diving interception. “I didn’t think people were going to actually view that as a serious tweet from me. But obviously it got the whole world excited about it, and now I’m actually excited about it.”
Randall said he had to ask teammates for the latest retweet counts because his phone shut down when he opened Twitter. For the last week, Randall’s tweet was the most retweeted in the U.S., according to Twitter.
On one unofficial list, it had the most retweets in history for an athlete.
“Do I get a trophy?” he asked.
No. But maybe he’ll get a plaque for so severely underestimating Cleveland sports fans.
“I definitely didn’t think the Cleveland fan base would go this crazy about it,” he said. “Obviously, it was a joke, but just to know how passionate this fan base is, I mean, it’s just really encouraging.”
Randall is from Pensacola, Fla., and doesn’t have ties to the Warriors but started following Curry when he came out of college. Randall may have meant the original tweet as a joke but after being challenged, he tweeted there’s a “100% chance” he delivers on the promise.
100% chance 🤙🏾🤙🏾 https://t.co/ChKwjvHnT1
— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) May 29, 2018
He hasn’t started working on a payment plan in case the underdog Cavs shock the world.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been a guy that worries about much myself, so we’ll talk about it whenever the series is over,” he said. “This is just going to make the game a lot, lot more exciting for the fans, for myself. This should be a great, great series.”
Randall started to get himself in trouble Sunday after the Cavs beat the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
“I’m glad the Cavs made it to the finals so I can watch Curry light that b*#%$ up Game 3 & 4,” he tweeted.
I’m glad the Cavs made it to the finals so I can watch Curry light that bitch up Game 3 & 4 😂😂🤷🏾♂️
— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) May 28, 2018
He said Wednesday he wasn’t referring to anyone in particular with the expletive.
“Oh, just the stadium, I mean the crowd, ’cause obviously Curry does shoot a lot of threes and he scores a lot of points, so that would be lighting it up,” he said. “I am not anti-LeBron. I am actually a big LeBron fan as well, but when he’s going against Steph, I would rather Steph over LeBron, but at the end of the day, I mean they are both great, great players, and I definitely respect everything that LeBron has done for this community and for this city and state. I mean, he is one of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball if you ask me.”
Randall was acquired from Green Bay in a trade in March. Without having taken a snap in the orange and brown, he made himself a target for many Cleveland fans.
“He definitely did a couple things that the Dawg Pound does not like,” cornerback TJ Carrie said.
Randall isn’t worried the anger will follow him into the season.
“No, because obviously I put a lot of work in what I do every day, and week in and week out I’m going to try my best to bring this team wins and to ultimately bring this organization championships,” he said.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor said there was no need to ruffle feathers.
“Don’t hit send,” he said. “Should have been smarter about the whole situation, about the tweet. Whether you feel that way or not, don’t tweet it.”
Taylor knows the spotlight on athletes is always bright and has a simple method for staying out of trouble on social media.
“I just think of my mom’s face. She wouldn’t approve of it,” he said.
Coach Hue Jackson used the fervor to address his team about social media. He said he tells the players to keep the focus narrow and not to talk about other teams.
“I think what Damarious found out is that there’s a lot of passionate Cleveland fans here and you’ve got to be careful about what you say,” Jackson said.
Randall planned to sit courtside for Games 3 and 4 at The Q but is reconsidering. Jackson said if he goes he might have to dodge popcorn and soda.
Jackson knows about guarantees gone wrong and will jump into Lake Erie on Friday after promising more than one win in 2017. He said he’s done stepping out on limbs, won’t contribute a penny to the jersey fund and was adamant about where the Browns stand.
“We’ll be all pulling for (the Cavs). Every last one of us will be pulling for them starting Thursday night,” he said.
Randall didn’t get the memo in time. But he still believes he and Cleveland fans can find common ground.
“I feel like either way it goes it’ll be a good thing to just be interacting with the fans,” he said. “Even if the Cavs do lose, I actually still plan on doing something for the fans. And if the Cavs win, obviously things are going to get done.”