Fans rarely, if ever, get the chance to know an athlete outside of his or her sport. With the technology that is available today, fans can at least connect with athletes on a more personal level, one that television or newspapers can’t provide. Twitter is the social media of choice for the majority of athletes; it gives them a forum to communicate with their fans and also promote themselves and their sponsors. Twitter also allows athletes to show their true personalities because it isn’t formal like a press conference where athletes have to watch what they say. With that said, athletes can’t just say anything they want on Twitter as each professional sports league has a social media policy that monitors the athletes profiles and gives out fines if that policy is violated.
With the amount of athletes on Twitter it’s hard to choose which ones to follow. Some athletes are horrible tweeters and thus not worth wasting your timeline over.
In honor of basketball and football season, here is a list of athletes to follow from each sport.
Nash dishes it out on Twitter as well as he does on the basketball court. He makes it a priority to communicate with his fans, which is the best aspect of his Twitter account. Nash also uses his twitter to not only promote charities he is involved in; he encourages fans to get involved with them as well. Nash even shows off his love for other sports as he regularly discusses English soccer. He may not be the most entertaining athlete to follow but Nash’s Twitter gives fans a true sense of who he is as a person.
Shaq is the total opposite of Steve Nash, at least on Twitter anyways. He posts are often random but always entertaining. It may take some time to understand what he is saying because Shaq likes to create his own words (for example Shakwondo and Shaqilates). He posts frequently, at least once a day. The most enjoyable posts are the “twitpics” (pictures) that are of anything ranging from his girlfriend (Hoopz from Flavor of Love) to random pictures of himself.
Durant, out of all the athletes I follow, is the most interactive with his followers. He will have full conversations with followers and post ustream links so that fans can video chat with him. Besides connecting with fans, Durant always entices his followers to tune into his games and support the Thunder. He is the face of the franchise and he displays it on Twitter.
King James is the newest superstar to Twitter, having only joined during this past summer but that doesn’t matter as he already has over one million followers. LeBron is interactive with his fans and is not afraid to let them into his personal life. James’ love of all sports comes out with his tweets as he regularly talks about his favorite athletes and teams such as Cam Newton of Auburn and the Dallas Cowboys. His tweets are personal, entertaining and informative, what else could you ask for?
The only reason Pierce is on this list is because of an amazing trash-talking tweet he posted shortly after the Celtics beat the Heat this past week. Pierce said: “It’s been a pleasure to bring my talents to south beach now on to Memphis” in reference to the line LeBron James said when he decided to join the Miami Heat. Has there ever been a better use of Twitter?
Chad Ochocinco (yes that really is his name, switched from Johnson) is obsessed with his Twitter account. He routinely floods his follower’s timelines with tweets about everything in his own crazy world. Ochocinco is hands down the most entertaining athlete to follow. He trash-talks opponents and other celebrities, (he once got into a back and forth comedy contest with Marlon Wayans) asks his followers for love advice and even invites his followers to have meals with him (he buys of course). Ochocinco is always entertaining; you will never be disappointed with his tweets.
Fitzgerald is a classy guy and that shows on his Twitter. He never trash-talks people or criticizes anyone, even though he plays on an under performing team. His Twitter like his football career is all business. The reason he is great to follow is because of his motivational tweets and his interaction with fans. To honor his fans Fitzgerald created the #TeamFitz hashtag so that his followers gain more followers by following each other.
Bush, like Durant, is extremely interactive with his followers. Bush is one of the most popular athletes on Twitter with over 1,400,000 followers. He always converses with his fans, provides updates on the New Orleans Saints and discusses multiple sports. Once you follow him, it’s easy to see why he has so many followers.
It’s about time people started to know who Clay Matthews is, considering that he is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. The intimidating linebacker with the wild hair has an equally great Twitter account. His tweets are often witty, he interacts with fans and his twitpics are always entertaining. But nothing compares to his back and forth tweets with both former and current teammates. A must follow.
Just because there’s no way I could leave out a 49er. But seriously he is a good follow because his tweets are always personal. His tweets are usually about the food he is eating, his hobbies and his life as a football player. Maybe not the most entertaining stuff but those tweets give fans the type of personal information that social media is meant to provide. Willis is a definite follow, Niner fan or not.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain
Sports Editor: Matt Steinbach