The Columns would like to proudly introduce our newest guest contributor, Brandon Mitchener. Mitchener signs on as an undrafted free agent who scouts believe has natural ability to contribute immediately. “He has a tremendous vocabulary and the ability to think of words on the fly,” said one scout. Anyway, enjoy the post…
My first impressions of twitter were no better than my first impressions of Jose Canseco’s MMA fighting debut.
It’s another facebook, but without the pictures, games, applications and, well, faces? Twitter is just a status update? Seriously, all I do is tell people what I’m up to, so they can vicariously live through my summer? Creepy…
However, if journalism professor Hans K. Meyer never forced me to sign up for a twitter account, I would have never discovered its veiled beauty.
You see twitter is like an ménage à trio between coaches, athletes and fans. It’s a daily filibuster from Shaq, play-by-play commentary from Kevin Durant and inside intelligence from Steven Jackson. If you even want to know what Trey Wingo ate for breakfast, check twitter.
For if twitter didn’t exist, I would have never learned that Trevor Ariza’s nickname is “jelly bean,” or that Pau Gasol’s is “pau gasoline.” I mean seriously, where else can you learn that Kevin Durant takes jujitsu lessons every week and goes to school at Belmont in the summer?
The former Longhorn jumped straight to the NBA after only one season at the University of Texas, he makes $4.5 million a year playing basketball, and he is still going to summer school? Mad respect, KD.
For me, twitter is similar to those high-tech headphones that NASCAR zealots use to listen in on conversations between drivers and their crew chiefs: you can listen to the players, coaches and even better, owners.
Yes! Twitter does enable fans to infiltrate the minds of controversial owners like Mark Cuban. Actually, through twitter, I have gained massive respect for Cuban. Unlike many of the undereducated NBA tweets, Cuban updates his twitter with website links, often to fans’ personal blogs. Not only does Cuban peruse his fans’ thoughts, but also the man shows he cares about what Mavericks crazies are thinking. Whether Cuban or a secretary is updating the twitter page is, of course, unknown. But still, at least he isn’t some senile old man picking washed up strong safeties in the second round of NFL drafts.
Of course, twitter has its setbacks.
Recently, some Cardinals fan posed as Manager Tony LaRussa on twitter, causing “serious emotional damage,” according to LaRussa. Obviously, the guy was hilarious. But seriously, posing as the lineup guru himself is NOT cool. The following examples were publicized on deadspin.com:
• “Lost 2 out of 3, but we made it out of Chicago without one drunk driving incident or dead pitcher… I’d call that an I-55 series.”
• “Fortunately, Ian Snell sucks now… when Molina and Duncan Jr. go deep off of you it’s time to look yourself in the mirror, have an ice-…”
• “drinking a cold Zima and wishing fucking Hancock was alive, I bet he could’ve gotten Jack Wilson out.”
Twitter’s legal team claims that LaRussa lost the lawsuit against the disruptive tweets, preventing further censorship of mere comedy relief. Now, I don’t have to go watch a replay of Geoff Ogilvy three putting to a quadruple bogey this weekend to satisfy my humor.
There are many reasons to hate twitter. Random strangers follow your updates, the technology is primitive (in comparison to other social networking sites) and knowing who is real and who is a poser can be an extremely difficult task.
However, in dealing with the latter, I have discovered a four-step solution for searching for “real” athletes:
1. Look for a username that involves the athlete’s first and last name and official jersey number (i.e. KevinDurant35, CV31, sj39). However, some athletes deviate to their own renditions (e.g. Aaron Brooks, thirty2zero; Derrick Rose, DRoseOfficial).
2. Try to find a photograph that’s not just an action shot of the athlete dunking, but an amateur picture from perhaps a built in computer camera or a disposable KODAK.
3. Look for posts that aren’t exactly grammatically correct (i.e. “ihop! pancakes be hittin da spot…pause” – KevinDurant35).
4. Trust the posts arriving via mobile phones. Why? Athletes don’t like computers—I guess home-row-keys isn’t taught at training camp.
So what am I trying to say about twitter? After synthesizing all my thoughts about the initially “worthless” website, I have concluded twitter has become a necessity for sports fans. On the contrary, everything aside from that is basically meaningless. People can check newspapers for news; friends can check facebook for status updates; businessmen can write emails to communicate; journalists can share information in already multiple platforms, including print, web and television.
So crack open a bud light, Mr. Overly Obsessive Sportsfan, because twitter is a godsend for you and only you.
In the words of Steven Jackson four hours ago, “Tell someone u love them today… 4 me. Thx.”
*Editor’s note: On a twitter? Follow us at “TheColumns.”