Commentary

ESPN 100: No. 28 -- Follow me!

Athletes made Twitter their personal mouthpiece in 2009, changing everything

Updated: December 4, 2009, 1:35 PM ET
By Eddie Matz | ESPN The Magazine

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This story appears in the Dec. 14 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

I hate Twitter. There, I said it.

I hate Twitter because I fear one day it will render my job obsolete. I hate Twitter because everybody talks and nobody listens; there is little dialogue and a whole lot of monologue. (Hey, at least The Magazine has its Reply All page.) I hate Twitter because it breeds vanity, narcissism, egocentrism and every other self-serving neurosis. I hate Twitter because it reaches the masses like Facebook on steroids. I hate Facebook. And steroids.

Alex Nabaum

So naturally, when my bosses at The Mag assigned me a story on how Twitter transformed our relationship with athletes this year, I nearly hurled. Because I knew that professionalism, not to mention the need to pay my mortgage, required me to try the free and fast-growing (estimates range from 15 million to 50 million total users) microblogging service. Like a legion of star athletes have done, I must enter the Twittersphere, join the Twitterati, send tweets to my tweeps.