NFL players today are more accessible than they’ve ever been, thanks in large part to new social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. ‘Follow’ an athlete and you’ll get access to the players in a way not possible before. You can have "conversations" with them, you can read along as they interact with their friends and followers, you can see the pictures they take and even videos they post, and all of it live, direct and unfiltered. You can even get direct feedback on a post you made, like the picture on the right shows (You're very welcome, Mr. Sensabaugh).
Tweeting Athletes, a nice resource providing an easily accesible overview of professional athletes with twitter accounts, shows that there are 916 people with NFL ties who are tweeting (Including former players and NFL draft prospects, but excluding front office staff like @realjerryjones), more than in any other sport.
Almost half the Cowboys roster, 30 players, have a twitter account. The most followed player is Miles Austin with more than 100,000 people keeping up with his hectic travel schedule and his frequent twittering of whatever song lyrics are going through his head at any given moment. Thanks to Twitter, we also know that Marion Barber likes to quote scripture, and Jason Witten is putting up obstacle courses for his young son to get him jump started for a career in his father's footsteps. All 30 players, as well as the highlights of what some of them have been tweeting, after the break.
Personally, I don’t follow a single Cowboys player, heck, I don’t even have a twitter account. I occasionally leaf through a player’s tweets/twitters/twitterings to see if any of the players have a reaction to a piece of Cowboys news, but other than that it I always find it a bit awkward going through those tweets. I feel a little like I’m eavesdropping on a bunch of personal stuff that really isn't intended for "fans" to see.
But sometimes the occasional tweet provides a level of insight into player that would not otherwise have been possible. Reading through all of these often semi-private tweets you get a better appreciation for the person behind the athlete, for their concerns, their insecurities, what they laugh about, what car they drive (Dez drives a white Bentley), what presents they got their kids etc., and you begin to realize they're people just like you and me, only with a marginally bigger paycheck.
So today I put all awkwardness aside and went trolling through the Cowboys player tweets. Here are some of the tweets that caught my attention´:
Careful what you're saying. If you thought the players don’t at least drop by BTB or SB Nation occasionally, think again. The picture at the top of the post makes it clear that Gerald Sensabaugh dropped by at least once, and even Chris Gronkowski quoted an SB Nation article recently:
|Chrisgronkowski:||check out De Smith getting it done http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2011/1/26/1957965/nfl-players-union-demaurice-smith-roger-goodell|
Players talking about their coaches. Here's a twitter exchange between Jessey Holley (Mr4thAndLong) and Kevin Ogletree (KOforPrez) discussing Mike Woicik. Sensabaugh weighs in on Rob Ryan.
|Mr4thAndLong||Dear Mother Nature, if u think 4 1 sec that just becuz u sent a lil rain my way that its gonna stop me from going 2 the gym?|
|KOforPrez:||6 rings I think he knows what he is doing|
|Mr4thAndLong||@KOforPrez lol lol lol lol them abs sore huh?|
|KOforPrez||@Mr4thAndLong not yet but my quads just texted me and said they are gunn a b sore later tonight/tomorrow|
||another great day in the gym!! like my boy @KOforPrez "he didnt win 6 rings by mistake|
|@Gsensabaugh||Had a chance to meet up with Rob Ryan and the defensive staff to talk a little football. Very excited about what he's bringing to the boys"|
Free life advice. Cowboys player also like to dispense quality life advice to us fans. Can't really argue with any of it.
|Asendejo (Andrew Sendejo)||Started talking to a cute girl. Jersey shore came up. She said she would marry Pauly D if she could. I walked away.|
|dannydmac44 (Danny McCray)||starting to question the character of some guys I use to hang wit!.. #got2bmocareful|
|hatcher97 (Jason Hatcher):||Parents: stop making up names and naming your kids. That's not right!!! I just saw a kid named Anautika. Lmao!!!!|
|tchoice23 (Tashard Choice):||Grammys are terrible how come I don't know any people that win. Well I'm turning to To catch a predator.|
Barry Church is bored:
|BarryChurch42||In need of something to do asap|
|After ten minutes he comes up with a great plan|
|BarryChurch42||Should I get my first tatoo or keep it clean?|
|BarryChurch42||Man torn between gettin a tat or not guess I'll sleep on it|
|Will he or won't he?|
|BarryChurch42||The angry birds App, may be the best app to kill time|
|Barry keeps it clean and plays one of the best apps available|
Martellus Bennett takes pleasure from an unlikely source:
|KungFuAstronaut||Sooo I'm about to read my children's book to like 200 kids. Hopefully they like it if not then they must not know wats good for. Evil laugh|
|KungFuAstronaut||I go on in like 10 mins wish me luck. Lol|
|an hour later …|
|KungFuAstronaut||They loved it. Yes!|
The weight room: where players spend a lot of their offseason time
|StephenMcGee07 (Stephen McGee)||Got a date w the weight room for Vday- romantic|
|AlexDaniels4 (Alex Daniels)||I went to the gym twice very Beasty|
|bmac929 (Bryan McCann)||Back on my grind today. Took a lil time off for superbowl week but now I'm back in the weight room gettin better. I GOTTA EAT|
|jbrent92 (Josh Brent)||Just got done with a workout. Re-fueling with @OneCoconut...|
|bigsyoung76 (Sam Young)||morning yall off to get another great workout in today!|
|DEZ_88 (Dez Bryant)||Rehab on the ankle first... then hit the weight room|
Finally, a thought by Tashard Choice that is echoed in various forms by almost all players at one time or another:
I love Sunday mornings. God is good all the time. What a life I live. What a great family I have but what a wonderful God I serve. Be bless
Here’s a list of all the Cowboys players with a Twitter account that I’m aware of. They are ranked by number of followers. * denotes accounts that have been inactive for quite some time.
|1||Miles Austin||102,888||@MilesAustinIII||16||Martin Rucker||3,022||@RuckerSouthSide|
|2||Dez Bryant||56,705||@DEZ_88||17||Stephen McGee||2,425||@StephenMcGee07|
|3||Jason Witten||35,106||@JasonWitten||18||Stephen Bowen*||2,385||@S_Bowen72|
|4||Martellus Bennett||34,250||@KungFuAstronaut||19||Chris Gronkowski||2,228||@Chrisgronkowski|
|5||Marion Barber||30,447||@24marionbarber||20||Bryan McCann||2,210||@bmac929|
|6||Marc Colombo||29,793||@marccolombo||21||Alan Ball*||1,810||@TheRealAlanBall|
|7||Tashard Choice||24,331||@tchoice23||22||Brandon Williams*||1,694||@bwill59|
|8||Felix Jones||15,193||@felixjones28||23||Sam Young||1,336||@bigsyoung76|
|9||Kevin Ogletree||9,959||@KOforPrez||24||Barry Church||1,161||@BarryChurch42|
|10||Marcus Spears||9,938||@mspear96||25||Alex Daniels||618||@AlexDaniels4|
|11||Gerald Sensabaugh||8,848||@Gsensabaugh||26||Danny McCray||488||@dannydmac44|
|12||Leonard Davis||7,693||@LeonardDavis70||27||Terence Newman*||427||@terencenewman41|
|13||Jesse Holley||6,424||@Mr4thAndLong||28||Manuel Johnson*||204||@ManuelJohnson|
|14||Jason Hatcher||5,195||@hatcher97||29||Josh Brent||168||@jbrent92|
|15||Orlando Scandrick*||3,871||@oscandrick32||30||Andrew Sendejo||152||@Asendejo|
We know that more than 2,500 of you follow BTB on Twitter, but do you follow an NFL player on Twitter? Or do you follow any news sources with any regularity on Twitter? Let us know which it is in the attached poll, and feel free to express your thoughts on the twittering athlete in general as well.