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.

To read Eddie's account of his adventure into the world of Twitter and why the service has changed the athlete-media relationship, you must be an ESPN Insider.