What the Little Birdies are Tweeting
Tweets deliver what you can't find anywhere else. This tweet from ESPN's Mike Tirico isn't a take you'd hear on-air: "I got a new electric toothbrush and I'm in heaven. There's nothing like it." At least on Earth.
A Nielsen report released Tuesday says Twitter, a micro-blogging service that limits entries to 140 characters, is by far the fastest-growing social network.
No wonder. As sportscasters began Twittering in recent weeks, they reveal how little we really know about familiar faces. Like this tweet - in its effervescent entirety - from NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp: "Spa Day!!!!"
Test your intuition and match the verbatim tweet with its author:
A) "I'm nearly out of pop but who knows if the mini market guy is open at 10p on a Sunday. Mobil is just too far. Gonna be a long night."
B) "Bummer. Carnegie Deli finally arrives and it's the wrong order. Not really a roast beef fan."
C) "Let's all make a wish together that it doesn't rain in Darlington on Saturday night ... ready ... one ... two ... three. WISH!!!"
Answers: A) ESPN's Kenny Mayne. The night can be dark, my friend.
B) NFLN's Rich Eisen.
C) Fox NASCAR reporter Dick Berggren before it poured at Darlington on May 9. We who did not wish must share guilt.
Now, guess who Twittered:
A) "Why do so many people pick their noses when they are driving? (Pretty good case for buying new.)"
B) "The man in charge of our show today is dressed like a homeless person."
C) "At the miss scv teen pageant! Don't ask!"
Answers: A) ESPN's Rebecca Lobo, and thanks for noticing.
B) ESPN's Trey Wingo.
C) TNT's Kenny Smith, but we're "dying" to ask. Despite their brevity, tweets can reveal our dreams, our sins - even what "really "goes on behind closed doors.
Identify who authored these outpourings:
A) "I had a dream I was wearing a nadal headband. Now I want to buy one."
B) "While you were listening to commercials, went to the cafe and got a diet coke. I didn't pay for it. I'll pay for it later."
C) "I'm cleaning my house. Talk about a glamorous life! Ha!"
D) "Looking for ridiculous catch phrase. Whichever reply is best I'll use on air this weekend!"
Answers: A) CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell.
B) ESPN's Scott Van Pelt. Could be a congressman.
C) ESPN's Linda Cohn. Say it ain't so: We only see you doing the cha-cha at the Copa.
D) Big Ten Network's Mike Hall. Here's one that just might work: "Rama Lama Ding Dong".''
"Freedom, of course, doesn't come free. And, as ESPN's Matthew Berry notes, the right to Twitter is one we should never take for granted: "Apologizes in advance for binge tweeting during tonight's Laker game thanks our Armed Forces, past and present for the freedom to do so."
Amen. Because while we might disagree with Tirico, we would all defend to the death his right to tweet: "There is really nice bathroom soap in Indy."