As it’s such a valuable resource, I’m spending more and more time on Twitter. Tweeting has been a revelation for many athletes and media members in connecting with fans and sharing information in real time. A much more immediate vehicle that Facebook.
While there’s a lot of new and old media members who have enthusiastically bought into the medium, there are many who curiously have not. Here’s a list of people who I would like to see Tweeting regularly. For all I know, many of those listed have Twitter accounts that aren’t public or have accounts that are essentially idle. Or perhaps I’m actually missing someone. If I am, leave in the comments.
1a) Todd McShay: I’ve got ESPN muted most days, but the sound goes on when McShay appears. He’s one of the few media personalities who consistently tells you something you don’t already know. Mad homework and we’re the beneficiaries. From the way he funs people on-air, he’d light it up on Twitter.
1b) Doug Gottlieb*: Another homework guy who always has college hoops nuggets you get nowhere else. Since I rarely watch college hoops, great catch-up guy to watch. General sports talk host on ESPN Radio and consistently says stuff I can’t believe corporate lets him get away with. Probably the loosest cannon in Bristol. Anyone who drops a “game blouses” while doing a game is automatically on the list.
1c) Brian Kenny: Solid when anchoring but radio show allows him to bring the knowledge you can’t get from the prompter. Best interviewer currently on radio. Asks a pointed question and gets out of the way. (Doesn’t answer question he’s asking!) Voice of reason in the insanity of the boxing world. If I’m driving back from Vegas, he’s the podcast.
4) Matt Vasgersian: I know him well from my baseball broadcasting days. Killer natural sense of humor that gets dumbed-down by MLB Network. He could let that out on Twitter. He’s much more than just a sports guy, but the only place most people know him is when he’s hemmed in by a sports broadcast. He needs to eventually do something professionally that isn’t sports. Funny dude.
5) Jared Allen: Only athlete on the list. Best video pieces from an athlete I’ve ever seen. Has both over-the-top and subtle sense of humor. Doesn’t have a big ego or have every move that he makes mapped by a marketer. (Ochocinco, LeBron, etc.)
6) Kirk Herbstreit: I worked with him co-hosting his daily talkshow in Columbus. Unreal sense of humor that you only get about five percent of on ESPN. He hosted a general sports talkshow in Columbus for years and knows his baseball and NFL. Shame we can’t get any of that on Twitter.
7) Jim Rome: Good life experience guy. The best part of his shows, which you don’t get on TV, is his non-sports takes. All I’d need on Twitter is his daily observations on the mundanity of life. The way his mind works, he was made for the format.
John Anderson: Can anyone confirm that he improv’d “his chili’s running hot” in that ESPN spot? Like the way he gets his touches on SC but doesn’t force anything. Not a “look at me!!!” guy. Makes you laugh out loud without raising his voice. Rare thing. All in the delivery.
9) Stan Van Gundy: Only coach on the list. A chap-ass who isn’t afraid to step on toes. When I lived in Miami he was doing a weekly radio bit with Dan Le Batard where they’d talk about everything. He’d kill on Twitter.
10) Neil Everett: Last I heard, dude doesn’t have a cell phone. For that reason alone, he makes the list.
Fake accounts I’d love to see:
Gus Johnson, Phil Mushnick, Manager of the harshly lit bowling alley where Mel Kiper does his weekday hits, Mike Golic, Deion Sanders, Dan Snyder, Delonte West, Chris Berman’s stylist and of course, John Daly (Wait, that’s him?)
Some of the above already have accounts and (very) occasionally Tweet. I’m talking more about people who have bought into it. Not Tweeting a thousand times a day, but at least consistently. None of the above do that, that I’m aware of. If I’m wrong, let me know.
If you have suggestions of other people worth a follow, leave it in the comments.
I know some of you may despise some of the above because they have the audacity to have an opinion not in lock-step with your own. Let’s keep the drive-by, personal insults out of the comments.
* UPDATE (7:08p ET): I sent an email to Doug Gottlieb today asking him why he didn’t have more of a public presence on Twitter. His response:
I have two twitter accounts, they are currently trying to merge them so I can do it.
Honestly Brooks, I have two cells, two email accounts, two different kinds of computer (Apple and PC) and a Facebook page that has too many friends so I have to convert it to
a fan page.
I am kind of teched out right now and keeping up with Twitter is yet another thing I have to do. I blog, do a radio show, a podcast, a magazine piece and am on TV 100 days out of the year. Nothing against tweeting, but I just have not gotten into it yet.
Like all forms of new media, the law of unintended consequences is quietly at work. (See Tweets that are “taken out of context” or “posted by someone else”. ) Also you have athletes who Tweet insight that frankly should not be public information.
Additionally some people should not have a direct link to the world because they need a bit of a filter. Take the Courtney Fortson Tweet during a rape investigation at Arkansas … I am not sure most people understand the responsibility that goes with it.
As for ESPN, I have no issue with their/our policy. Simply put, people do not make the distinction between “work Doug” and “home Doug” on their Twitter. Thus we ALWAYS represent ESPN, period. So if you are going to give out information or opinion, make sure it is something you would write or publish under an ESPN letterhead.
Sometimes bloggers point out how image conscious ESPN is, but what I think they fail to realize is how dramatic the reaction is when someone who works for ESPN embarrasses the brand. They are just protecting ESPN from someone saying the wrong thing.
Partial translation: Dude, I have a life. (I’ll accept that.)