Sports bloggers have been waiting for the white whale of the Internet sportswriting community to join Twitter while it’s still white-hot.
That day has come: Bill Simmons is now on Twitter. But how did he get there? And did the Sports Guy say a little too much in losing his Twitter virginity?
Those who caught yesterday’s highly entertaining B.S. Report heard Simmons talk to ESPN’s Kevin Wildes about Twitter for about three minutes. Simmons recited the cliches about why he doesn’t want to be on Twitter, then had Wildes read him a few of his tweets, which lead to a digression about rappers’ names. (Simmons thinks “Redrum” would be a good one, which gives me an excuse to direct you to this Re-Up Gang song with NSFW lyrics and Pusha T, in the last verse, rapping “He who says names?/Redrum, redrum.”)
It was more or less a throwaway chat, and I thought nothing more of it until I looked up Wildes tonight, hoping to follow the funniest B.S. Report guest not named Adam Carolla. When I found him, and followed him, I then clicked on his “following” list to find a “sportsguy33.”
I’m guessing this is the real Simmons for four reasons.
- No one else would pick a name as dorky and AIM-worthy as “sportsguy33,” which I can only assume is an homage to Larry Bird. (Note to Simmons: You can kick off fake Twitterers squatting on your name.)
- The only person Simmons is following is Kevin Wildes.
- His profile’s bio contains a reference to his long-awaited basketball book, so I’m comfortable with the amount of self-promotion.
- The fine folks at Sportslist think he’s real.
- Simmons said so on his blog.
Obviously, it’s him, and because, as he writes on his blog, we’re not going to get “mundane updates about (his) life,” his contributions so far are understandably scant, and the buzz next to nonexistent. (Update: Simmons is now asking for the Tonya Harding treatment for Tony Allen.)
In the future, Simmons might be a heavy user:
For me, Twitter might work as a combination of these things: an RSS Feed (for when I post new columns or podcasts on ESPN.com); a miniature version of my old “Links” page (passing along any links that I like); an FYI for any radio/TV appearances I might make (example: when I go on Carolla’s podcast); entertaining e-mails from readers that were too time-sensitive for a mailbag; quick-hit solicitations for mailbag questions; a running update for my book tour when it happens this fall; and down the road, maybe even some quick hit Ramblings-type jokes if I grow to like the format.
That link, if you’re curious, leads to an article about Kelly McGillis coming out. There’s nothing wrong with the joke, and just like the last time Simmons talked about gay people glibly, it was actually pretty funny rather than in any way offensive. But I’m going to guess ESPN tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to dump it. (Update: It seems Simmons pulled only it to run it again in a link-dump of sorts on Friday. This tweet, though, might be a little more inflammatory.)
So, Bill, if you’re reading this, a tip: You can’t delete tweets by just hitting the trash can icon. They’re still in the public timeline, and they still show up in search results. Think carefully before you hit send.
Also, Bill, if your team gets involved in a triple overtime playoff game, you might consider using Twitter to make and read pithy observations about it.
And, further, Bill, you might want to find a better way to use Twitter than the web interface. It’s awful.
Oh, and welcome to the Twitter world. (Some call it the “Twitterverse,” but you don’t like those cutesy names, right?) I think it’ll welcome you with open arms.