Normally, you come to tmrb and you see the word MySpace and get a little bit giddy. You think that the new installment of messages could have you laughing so hard that you pee your pants. Maybe your pants are still wet from the last time. Well, this time is different. This is one of those few stories that really isn’t just comedy. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll curse the day you ever signed up for myspace. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. I’ve actually had the materials to write this story for a year. I write it today for a couple of reasons. First, and more importantly, I lost a lot of the info when my computer crashed in July, so I have to write it out while it’s still fresh in my mind. Secondly, it is the one year anniversary of the day I first heard the greatest myspace story ever told…
Where do I begin? How about spring 2005? In the spring of 2005, I was just coming off my big year at CAL. I’ll admit it, I felt pretty big time for like 3 weeks until I got hurt. In the meantime, I was riding my wave of emotion and hype that would lead into my senior year. My hype spilled over into my myspace page for a long time. All my pictures were of me dunking or shooting or blocking somebody’s shot ferociously (Matt Haryasz haha). My page basically screamed “big time” to anyone who saw it… or so I thought.
Anyways, in about mid march 2005, I got a myspace message. I opened it. It said “Hey sexy. What’s up?” If you’ve read anything myspace related on tmrb, you know that I get these kinds of messages all the time from these disgusting women. This day was different. When I looked at the profile of the woman before me, I saw this:
face blurted out on purpose, but who cares?
Are you thinking what I was thinking? Of course. Reply! Reply! Reply! Well, not so fast Rod Benson. I looked over her profile. She had about 600 friends and maybe 400 of them were athletes that I recognized. It was basically a who’s who of pro and college athletes on myspace. I kind of felt like she was a big time groupie, but then I also thought that this was justification that I was now big time. I mean coddamn she had NFL and NBA guys on there and she wanted Rod Benson too. Recruiting for the next level I guess.
Well, I decided to back off of the initial game plan to seriously put the moves on this girl. The way I saw it, she was far too big time and making moves with guys much more big time than me. Her name was “Tiffany Burris” (I changed the name like I said). We became friends, actually, and I would always joke with her and say “Man I need to be in the NBA so girls who look like you will really want me.” She would always laugh and agree.
Over the next year we would talk every now and then, mostly on Instant Messenger, but occasionally over the phone. It was during this time that I really got to know her. In the beginning, she told me that she was talking to one of my boys who was in the NBA. I informed her that I know him very well, so we would always talk about him and her and what they were doing. I even talked to him about her. He seemed to actually be a little annoyed that I knew her, like I was moving in on his territory. I told him that it didn’t matter because I lived on the other side of country. Tiffany and I talked about my boy at first and then moved on to others.
There was a song that I listened to all the time called “MySpace Jump Off” which was basically about a guy who met a girl on myspace. Tiffany told me that she knew the guy who made the song and that she was the inspiration.
She told me about another NBA guy she was talking to who I didn’t really know well, but definitely knew of. She informed me that he was going to fly her out for the week and that she would be nearby where I was so we should hang out. I remember thinking that this dude must really like this girl to fly her out and let her stay for the week, especially since she just got through dating my boy who is also in the NBA. I talked to her about the new guy. She told me all kinds of things about him. She told me that he was damn near in love with her and that he had no problem flying her out.
When the time came for her to make her trip, I guess she broke things off with the new NBA guy, because she never came out. Time went on and we remained pen pals of sorts. We updated each other with our happenings every now and then. The thing about it was, her happenings were always so big time. This woman IM’d me from the AFC Championship game in Denver in 2006. When she told me about the guy who flew her out there I remember thinking “Mann that guy has all kinds of skills on Madden. He’s definitely a sleeper that people don’t expect to have such good ratings.” I let her know that I always move him up the depth charts when he is available. She laughed it off and enjoyed the rest of the game.
She then IM’d me from the NBA finals in Miami a few months later. Some dude must have paid her way down there too. Coddamit. This girl was just way too much. Over the course of the summer, she also attended Portsmouth Pre-Draft camp, Orlando Pre-Draft camp, Las Vegas and Long Beach NBA summer league. This girl was everywhere athletes were. She wasn’t just a groupie, she was a super groupie. Paid trips to every sport’s fan’s dream locations year round, dates with the biggest of the big time, she had it all. It was after the NBA summer leagues that I didn’t speak with her again. She just kind of fell off of the earth. I didn’t see her on AIM any more, so I assumed she got involved in a serious relationship and gave up the AIM for a while.
Now is when the story really begins…
September 6, 2006, I was kickin it at JGant’s house as usual. I was sitting in his livingroom, having many AIM conversations on this very laptop. Out of nowhere, I get an IM from this girl saying “can I talk to you for a minute?” Now when I saw this, a couple of things came to mind. First, when someone says can we talk for a minute, it never, ever is a minute. It’s usually the most serious of conversations. Secondly, I didn’t personally feel that we were close enough of friends to talk “for a minute”.
I lost our AIM conversation when my hard drive failed, but I remember it with 97% accuracy. I will recount the conversation here to fill you in on our minute of IM-ing:
Tiffany Burris: Rod Benson:
Can you please just let me type to you?
I have some stuff I gotta get out.
Sure. Whats goin on?
I’m buggin out right now.
like buggin the F out
I want to kill myself
I’v tried to before and it scares me. I locked myself
in my room to try to calm down but I cant.
wait what? r u serious right now?
what r u talking about?
today I was driving home and I almost swerved
off the road.
when I was downstairs I grabbed a knife and
all I could think about was cutting myself
Im so scared of what I might do
whoa whoa whoa calm down dont do anything
why are you talking like this
youre right just stay in your room
you wake up and its 5 years from now
and you havent had anybody
no friends not even a best friend
everybody around you uses you
nobody wants you
youre embarrassed to go outside
you go to school for no reason really
you work just to pay the bills
you feel so so so so so empty inside
youre just so empty
thats my life
Dont say that
you have plenty of friends
I know a lot of them
A ton of people want you. you have plenty to be happy about
I just dont understand where your coming from
well if you had done all the bad stuff I
have in my life and had karma do this to you
youd feel the same way too
youre way too hard on yourself
you cant think so negatively
nothing youve done could have been so bad
rod ive lied to 99% of the people I know
hey I might have lied to 100, so what everybody lies
no Ive had a bad lie, wanna know?
sure if you wanna tell me
well I might as well tell you since I lied to you too
in the spring of 99 i started my freshman year of
college. during my first week I was raped, I quit the
lacrosse team I went there for, and met my future
fiance. some crazy stuff but I guess it helps you
grow as a person.
anyways one day I was driving and I started getting
dizzy. different than being drunk it was like 1000x
worse. I went to see the doctor they said my dizziness
was vertigo. They checked a bunch of stuff and found
out I had hypothyroidism.
It explained a lot because my hair had been thinning,
I had put on a lot of weight, and I hadnt had my period
in years. all separate I didnt notice, but together it
al made sense.
my fiance said hed be there for me and support me
but he left me soon after the diagnosis because of
the weight I had gained. I found out later that he had
cheated on me the whole time. I dont know why he
dated me in the first place.
anyways… some girl friends of mine knew this one girl
who is such a money hungry groupie. She so
everything you always thought I was. One day we
made a myspace pretending to be her to out her for
everything she was. I got caught up in it, I couldnt
stop. All these people wanted to be my friend because
I looked like her. They would have never even
talked to me otherwise.
It became bad because I actually made “friends” on
there. It got so bad that I tried to kill myself earlier
this summer because of the guilt or whatever.
but thats my story. I have no friends, no family.
the people who were my friends never talk
to me anymore. I dont show my face in public
because people stare at me, laugh at me.
I saw an old friend of mine the other day and
when she saw what has become of me, she
I really have nothing to live for.
the doctor said Im on the path to being dead
by the time Im 35, Im 26.
I told your boy the other day. He was nice about it,
but I dont think he will ever talk to me again
wait wait wait
what are you saying here
are you saying that the girl in the picture is you
or it isnt you?
umm the second one
but my boy? you and him used to date, right?
I never actually met him. if I did and I looked
like that, we would have definitely had sex,
I dont think he would have accepted any
OH SNAP forreal!? That is unbelievable.
—————————— end of conversation ————————————-
That isn’t actually where the conversation ended, but that’s all you really need to read. I realized that I was being insensitive to a person who needed help, so I changed the subject soon afterwards. I still had so many questions though, and not enough answers. I called up my boy Kelly who had also IMd with her in the past. I told him about the whole thing. He was just as shocked as I was. My boy who had “dated” her was also friends with Kelly. We laughed for a second at the fact that he was really hyped up on a girl who didn’t exist. He actually was a little angry with me for IMing her. His girlfriend who didnt exist. Haha, classic.
Then I got to thinking. I IMed this girl, Tiffany Burris, for a year and a half. That’s a long time to pretend to be someone else. I TALKED to her on the phone a couple times. She played the role there too. No way. A year and a half? No way. I got thinking some more. Did she really go to these events? Was she really at the NBA Finals? The AFC championship? Portsmouth pre draft camp? The thing is, I remember a lot of things about what she said while she was at those games. I would believe that she really was there. I actually still do believe that she really was there. Maybe she really was flown out. Maybe she really did accept tickets based on her myspace profile. Maybe she just never actually met up with these people. Maybe.
More answers were needed. As it turns out, Kelly knew a guy who was in a picture with her. I contacted this guy. Before getting back to me, he called her first. She sent me another IM the next day.
“Do you think I was lying about lying to you?”
“No, there’s just so much to this.”
That was the extent of our convo.
The guy, better known as B-Melt did in fact get back to me. I actually saw him at the Glen Park Classic basketball tournament about a month ago. To quote him: “Man she had so many people jockin her it was unbelievable. There’s still a lot of guys who don’t know that she doesn’t exist. If word got out that that girl died, people would go out and get tattoos saying ‘Rest In Peace Tiffany Burris.’”
B-Melt, in fact, never met her. I asked to see the photo they supposedly took together. He sent me this:
It is obviously the most photoshopped pic of all time. She definitely had Kelly fooled. B-Melt said that she sent it to him to suggest what they would look like together. He then said that the girl in these photos actually dates a real NBA player. Tiffany Burris used pictures of a girl who really dates an athlete, which I why I blurred her face. B-Melt went on to say that Tiffany, the real girl not the myspace person she pretended to be, actually did meet my boy who is in the NBA. I guess since she obviously looks completely different than the pictures he would think of, he never even knew that he met her. What’s worse is that I asked my boy who “dated” her about the situation when I saw him in Vegas. He said that he heard that she was actually a HE!
I have no idea what the truth is, but I do know that this fake person had a lot of people going all over the country. All it took was some nice pictures and a myspace page to execute the project. I, Rod Benson, have done a lot of crazy things in my life, but falling in love with or making a song about or giving tickets to a girl who never existed is NOT on the list.