Athlete Twitter accounts are wildly popular, as you would expect. Shaquille O'Neal's account has more than three million followers. Nick Swisher's follower total is up to seven figures as well. C.J. Wilson has more followers than Community's Gillian Jacobs. Even a little-known non-prospect like the Texas Rangers' Michael Schlact has a few thousand people following along and hanging on every word.
Why do we follow? If I can speak for everyone, and I most certainly can, we follow because we want to get a glimpse of what these people are like when the games are over and the cameras stop rolling. The average American is as interested in an athlete's personality as he is in the athlete's ability, and Twitter, in theory, may provide a window into a given athlete's true soul.
The problem is that few athlete accounts - or celebrity accounts, for that matter - are run in the way that we wish they were. Few of these accounts actually follow through in giving us a glimpse through the window. More often than not, the tweets are worded very carefully, and/or are intended to draw broad attention. Other times, the tweets will focus on promotional appearances, charity work, and inspirational quotes. These tweets can be interesting, to be sure, but seldom do they give us what we want. Few accounts are run in such a way that we come away feeling like we actually know the person who's tweeting.
Thank goodness for Oakland's Brett Anderson. A selection of recent tweets by the 22 year old ace:
Ha tebow's haircut is money
Pretty pumped to know there are White sharks close to the bay...that's awesome. I want to see one.
Pumped for the off day
Nothing like Joe dirt to make it all ok
Heading to dallas
where to eat in seattle?
norma jean new album any good?
watching home alone on hbo makes me want it to be Christmas time
cant beat the office
What's up everyone?
good tv so far tonight with dumb & dumber and forrest gump...
Out and about
Brett Anderson's Twitter account makes me feel like I know exactly what it's like to spend a day hanging out with Brett Anderson. For that, I am eternally thankful.