Posted Wed May 13th by J. Kenneth K.
Editor’s Note: This is J.’s first tryout piece for joining the BroncoTalk staff, and he decided to tackle a topic that’s becoming all-the-more prevalent in sports blogs: social networking. BroncoTalk has only barely dipped its toes into the world of Twitter and Facebook; meanwhile, Broncos players like Eddie Royal (Twitter/Facebook) and Champ Bailey (Twitter) are creating a large virtual following. Props to some of our favorite players, and let J. Kenneth K. know what you think of his piece in the comments! -Kyle
Note: I feel there is a risk in writing this, mostly because maybe, possibly, everyone already knows this information. However, if I didn’t know, which I didn’t, I would hope someone would let me know. So, here we go.
A brief introduction to the relationship (or lack there of) of Twitter and I:
One theory I own: there is a certain age where we find ourselves at a standstill, in a white void, hovering in a nondescript space. We are fully aware of our circumstance. We are there to observe visual representations of life fly by us. Some of these visuals have a substantial amount of speed, while others, like clouds; gently float by, allowing us to understand and accept the place we are in.
Here I hover.
Out of the corner of my eye I see a blur off in the distance. It has velocity. It is technology. It is catapulting towards me, just narrowly missing my face. Before I can blink it is gone, above me. At the same time, like a cartoon feather falling from a freshly shot bird, I see another representation. This is the amount that I care to learn and absorb technology. Down it goes.
Example: My father is in his seventies. When the internet arrived fresh on the scene in the mid 90’s it wasn’t long before our family was surfing the World Wide Web. He knows how to Google, and send emails, the basics. Fine. Two years ago I convince my parents to purchase DVR, letting them know how easy and accessible it will be. They do, and within two weeks call back the cable company and decide to keep VHS alive. It was something simple, but they just couldn’t get past it.
This is me vs. twitter.
Everyday during my subway ride into the city I download The BS Report with Bill Simmons onto my iPhone. What transpired a week ago on one episode was Bill giving into the pressure of his friends and colleagues and joining twitter.
What had previously been a mystery was now taking shape. I started easing myself into the world of twitter. I knew one thing; I wanted to take my time. I had previously been a part of facebook, up until I retired two years ago. When I started using facebook it was still fun, a nice casual way to keep in touch with friends, then it started getting freaky, obsessive freaky. But, if the sports guy was going to give twitter a go, the least I could do was look into it.
What I found.
The NBA has the jump.
Is it all the extra time in hotels during away games? Possibly it’s the youth of the NBA. Even more, I think it is the individuality that the NBA possesses. It is a team sport, I understand, and to win you must have a strong assembly of players willing to do their part, but I think NBA superstars live on different levels of separation than NFL superstars.
Some twittering NBA pioneers.
Shaquille O’Neal-Fully embraces the connection that twitter makes possible between athletes and fans.
Charlie Villanueva-Infamous for twittering during halftime while the Bucks were playing the Celtics. Now it seems that Villanueva may be connecting the NBA and Twitter officially by becoming the first Tweetporter. His debut broadcast is Game 5 of Celtics/Magic.
Kenny Smith-Member of the TNT coverage team, Smith gives added insight through twitter that would never make the show.
So how about the NFL?
While there are a few handfuls of players using twitter, most notably TO and our very own Champ Bailey, the NFL may have to wait for the next generation (Sanchez & Moreno) to push the twitter usage. Say it catches on, what can we as fans expect from the players we look up to? Anything more than what it is? The one thing that has kept me away from twitter is that I simply do not care if you just had your oil checked, or just drank a protein shake, or got caught up on Lost. Why then will I care if Brandon Marshall is heading out on a Friday night? Besides the fact that we could offer a buddy system 500 people strong? We spend hours a day in front of televisions/computers/smart phones, all blinking screens, all feeding us constant information. We started with e-mails and evolved to txts, jumped to facebook and now tweet just to talk to another human being, and never hear their voice. I used to buy books from the bookfair as a child that contained addresses of sports stars. I would write a letter to Michael Jordan asking for his autograph, put it in the mail and…wait! It’s instant now! It’s insane! I can let Lebron know that I am a WITNESS and hear back from him seconds later. Why do we care? Because the possibilities are endless. Because it could take us anywhere. Because we can learn from a source directly, something that has never been offered before. It is a new level of media coverage. National/Local/Intimate
“I see a day when the following sequence will be routine: Player demands trade on blog; team obliges and announces deal on Twitter; player thanks old fans, takes shots at old team and gushes about new team on Facebook. We will not need anyone to report this, just someone to recap it. Preferably with links.”
From a Simmons ESPN Magazine article, check it out, he says it a lot better than I can. He says it better because I am not a writer, I just like sharing my thoughts. Which is why I am going to create my twitter account right now.
Note: As I was finishing this piece I called to talk to my parents. Without any knowledge of what I was doing, this was actually said as a tag on to a conversation about my mother wanting me to talk to her on Skype.
Mom: Jordan, your father wants to know if you’re tottering.
I guess my parents aren’t so far behind after all.