Pocono 400 - PracticeA long time ago, people watched sporting events without the benefit of social media. This is commonly referred to as the dark ages of sports. Then, in the late aughties, Darren Rovell brought us into the light when he invented Twitter for the dual-purpose of better commodifying the human experience and giving individual members of society a means by which we might inflict increased scorn upon one another for differing opinions on sports.

After this, we began to consume sports in an entirely different fashion, conversing in the most snarkish fashion imaginable while exchanging insults with people all around the world. It was a revolution.

And that revolution continues today, shifting the measurements by which we judge each other as sports fans. No longer do we consider how long one has supported a sports franchise to be telling of one’s status as a fan. Instead, we look to the amount of sick burns one has laid down on opposing players and fans of other teams. One’s success or failures in social media now informs one’s success or failures as a sports fan.

As it is with everything, there is an absolute right way and an absolute wrong way of using Twitter to follow sports. It’s black and white with absolutely no gray, whatsoever. As a self-proclaimed expert in this field, I get mentioned all the time on Twitter by followers asking me about proper social media etiquette. In order to avoid these requests from further polluting my @ mention feed, I thought I should share my depth of knowledge on issues pertaining to Twitter, as it specifically relates to sports fans in an easily accessed blog post.

And so, without further ado, here are the ten most important rules that exist for sports fans using social media.

1. Tell It Like It Is

No one’s interested in the opinions of a namby pamby poindexter more concerned with being politically correct than stating one’s opinion without pause for such things as “context” or “reason.” Speak your mind.

A movement is afoot to label “telling it like it is” as nothing more than an excuse to lazily spout off hateful words based on a limited understanding, but that’s rubbish. There’s nothing interesting about being cautious. Be bold. Be strong. Let your opinion, no matter how ill-informed, flow freely from your tweets.

2. Always Retweet Famous Athletes

The tweets of athletes are every bit as remarkable as their respective abilities on the field, court or rink of play. We are privileged that such a channel as Twitter exists for receiving every thought that they might bestow unto us. Be sure to retweet everything that they send out so that your followers won’t miss a single thing.

3. Ask Famous Athletes For Retweets

There are few things that reveal the awesomeness of an individual more than having a request to be retweeted actually retweeted by a big-time athlete. I’ve never been so lucky, but it probably gives you like a million new followers and a ton of cred.

4. Retweet Compliments

If someone tweets something good about you, be sure to let all of your followers know about it with a retweet. This confirms to your followers that they made the right decision in following you, and solidifies the resolve of anyone who was wavering at the time. It also gives your followers the opportunity to retweet the very same compliment so that their followers will also know how great you are.

5. Wage War Selectively

There are three types of responses to your tweets for which you need to look out: 1) Mentions that confirm what you tweeted; 2) Mentions that prove what you tweeted to be false; and 3) Mentions that attempt to prove what you tweeted to be false, but are in fact wrong themselves.

Here’s how you should deal with each:

  1. Confirmations should be replied to in a courteous manner, thanking the sender for seeing things the right way.
  2. Mentions that prove you wrong should be ignored.
  3. Failed attempts to prove you wrong should be retweeted with a sick burn in front of it that let’s your followers know how clever you are.

6. Tweet About Your Fantasy Team

People are always interested in learning about other people’s fantasy teams. The more details you’re willing to provide the better. My personal favorite are anecdotes about guys you thought about picking up on the waiver wire, but ultimately decided against. Fascinating and riveting stuff.

7. No Regrets You Were Hacked

At some point, you’re probably going to tweet out something that’s a little off color, whether this is the result of having too much to drink or you get caught up in the heat of an argument, it’s okay. Just delete the tweet and claim that your account was hacked or that someone was pulling a prank on you.

8. The Importance Of Followers

We all know that according to the Worthington Law a person who earns more money than you is better than you. Your net worth is synonymous with your human worth. More money = better than. Similarly, on Twitter, a person with more followers than you has a more valid opinion than you. More followers = more valid.

As such, in order to tweet with authority, tweets have to come from a source with many followers. If you’re not a celebrity, it takes a long time to amass a large following and therefore demand the respect that your tweets deserve. A good way of getting around this is by purchasing followers. Yes, one need only part with a small sum of money to increase your following numbers. And the best part is that no one even knows the difference between real and fake followers.

9. Use Hashtags

It’s not annoying at all to include as many hashtags as possible in the content of everything you tweet. In fact, it let’s all the millions of Twitter users who use hashtags for completely unironic term searches to access the information and opinions they seek on any given topic. Personally, I like to prefix tweets with a hashtag classification before I send it out. For example:

#RealTalk: The #BlueJays will be #fine with #R.A.Dickey on the #mound. #Knuckleball #Let’sGoJays #I’mInLoveWithThisTeam

10. Interact With Play-By-Play

It’s important to interact with your followers on Twitter, and a great way of doing that is to give them what they want, and more than anything else, people on Twitter want play-by-play of live sporting events. Whether it’s pitch-by-pitch at a baseball game or pass-by-pass at a hockey game, be sure to spare no detail when relaying the action that you’re witnessing whether it’s on television or in person.