The NFL has made a bold step forward in the world of social media, as they announced yesterday that players will be allowed to in-game tweet during the Pro-Bowl. As part of this groundbreaking experiment by a professional sport team, the NFL will have two kiosks on each sideline, equipped with computers and other Internet based devices.
Players will be allowed to access these kiosks anytime they are not on the field. Decisions have not been made whether players will be allowed to tweet during timeouts or after plays, but it is likely the use at those times will be minimal.
Currently, 61 players on the Pro-Bowl roster have verified Twitter accounts, possibly a big reason why the NFL is doing this. As it is, the Pro-Bowl is not the most exciting sporting event as players really have nothing to play for other than the $45,000 bonus check that goes to each player on the winning team. Even then, the losing players still get a cool $23,000 to put into their pockets.
This idea by the NFL could make the game more exciting as people might tune in based on what they see on Twitter. It also could have the inverse effect as fans who might have already been watching the game could decide to tune out and just get the updates via Twitter. Either way, it is something that will likely get the players more followers and perhaps create a new interest in the game which is otherwise devoid of skills competitions (as the other three major sports have).
So as the Pro-Bowl nears, let's take a look at all of the potential tweeters and some of the fun these guys can bring to make the game a little more interesting.
Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12): Rodgers is a summertime offseason tweeter as evidenced by the fact that his last tweet was sent July 25th. Now this could mean he has just stopped using his Twitter, but either way, he has one.
I wouldn't be surprised to see him reel off a few tweets at the Pro-Bowl. I can't see how he wouldn't want to tweet about how it is playing with the stars from other teams. That is, if he remembers his password.
Drew Brees (@drewbrees): Brees typically posts inspirational messages, adorable pictures and information about his family and of course uses the site to traffic followers to his foundation. During a regular season game, Brees would never tweet as he is so focused, but during the Pro-Bowl? I can see him sending a few tweets wishing his teammates, both the Saints and NFC, luck during the game and complimenting great plays.
Maurice Jones Drew (@Jones_Drew32): It seems that MJD is on Twitter whenever he has a free moment. He has so much to say and uses his 140 characters effectively to speak his mind to both friends, fans and other tweeters. He'll definitely stop by that Twitter kiosk to talk some trash on his NFC opponents and I'm sure he'll be sending tweets to teammates as well.
Arian Foster (@ArianFoster): Foster is one of those guys who just tweets. He tweets aspects of his life, tweets about what he is doing and where he is going. He just tweets and then tweets some more. I'll bet he'll be one of the first to visit the Twitter kiosk and tweet about beautiful Hawaii.
He'll probably have some comments about the Pro-Bowl parties, but I can also see him tweeting during the game to entertain his fans, especially since he'll have nothing but time on his hands since he is injured and not playing.
Ray Rice (@RayRice27): Rice is just like MJD and Arian Foster in that he is an everyday tweeter with a lot of interesting things to say and has a large social network to share his thoughts with. These three guys take advantage of Twitter and use it to its full extent. Rice has fun with Twitter, and since he is injured and won't be playing during the game, expect a lot of fun, trash-talking and of course teammate complimenting tweets from Rice and all across the board from the AFC backs.
Willis McGahee (@Willismcgahee): McGahee is likely going to join the other AFC backs in tweeting up a storm. He already tweets pretty frequently and a few days ago even tweeted that he has landed in Hawaii. Expect Willis to take advantage of any tweeting opportunities and expect him along with the rest of the guys to fuel up a bit of a rivalry with their NFC opponents. It's going to be a lot of #AFCisbetter hashtagging with these four guys in the game.
Lesean McCoy (@CutonDime25): McCoy is a pretty avid tweeter and often tweets short and simple messages. He also uses Twitter to mess around with teammates and to just post some everyday stuff. McCoy has already tweeted about how wonderful the Hawaii weather is and and he is pretty good with tweeting back at his fans. They are going to expect him to tweet some Eagles love and representation during the game as well as escalating some AFC vs. NFC RB trash talk.
Matt Forte (@MattForte22): Forte is likely to join McCoy in the running back tweeting war. He is on Twitter pretty frequently and typically has some creative tweets. In fact, just 16 hours ago, he was already posting Twitpics of Hawaii. Forte will be tweeting during the game for sure and he might even snap a few pics to share online with the fans back in Chicago.
Marshawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch): Lynch is going to tweet and then he is going to tweet some more. In fact, he might just spend more time tweeting than doing anything else. Look for him to start up the #NFCisbetter hashtagging and look for him to help McCoy and Forte in the RB Twitter battle that is sure to ensue.
Michael Robinson FB (@RealMikeRob): The "real Mike Rob" is the only FB with a verified Twitter account, but that won't stop him from joining teammate Lynch in tweeting. The PSU grad has been tweeting a lot lately about his alma mater, but come Pro-Bowl time, he will be right with the RB spending time thanking God and sending shout-outs to the folks back home.
Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid): Wallace hasn't stopped tweeting since he landed in Hawaii, informing the Twitterverse how much fun he is having hanging with his teammates, both Steeler and AFC. Wallace is an everyday tweeter and has fun with his tweets. He is already starting trouble comparing a picture him and the WRs created to one created by AFC defensive guys. He will be on the sidelines tweeting no doubt.
AJ Green (@ajgreen_18): Green is one of those guys who is such a personality on Twitter. Since landing in Hawaii, he has already spent lots of time fooling around with some AFC East Division rivals as there is a twitpic of a painting of him and his Pittsburgh teammates (if only for a day).
Green will probably be buddy-buddy with Wallace and Antonio Brown in the Twitter kiosk as well. Look for him to have some entertaining game-day tweets.
Brandon Marshall (@BMarshall19): Not surprisingly, Marshall has already re-tweeted a comment about one of the Pro-Bowl parties. For most of these guys, the parties are the best part of the weekend and Marshall, like his NFC and AFC teammates, is visiting and tweeting about them. B-Marsh will likely be found catching a TD on the field but in the interim, I'm sure he'll be caught at the Twitter area tweeting his fans and posing interesting questions.
Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald): Fitzy tweets a good amount when he gets the chance but focuses on the game first and foremost. It is obvious by the main message on his page: Faith, Focus, Finish. Fitzgerald likes to tweet about football as he spent the entire Championship Weekend sending various quotes praising great catches and great throws. The fact that he tweets about other games makes it seem very likely he will be the one offering the game play-by-play at the Pro-Bowl.
Greg Jennings (@GregJennings): Jennings is feeling a little bit of pain at the fact that he will actually be playing in this year's Pro-Bowl, evident by some of his tweets and re-tweets. As opposed to last year when he got out of it by going to the Superbowl, Jennings will be a full participant both in the game and likely the tweeting. As long as he doesn't post any Superbowl woe-is-me tweets, it will be fine, because when he isn't moping, Jennings has got some funny things to say with 140 characters.
Calvin Johnson (@Bigplaycj): Unlike his WR buddies, MegaTron does not tweet all that often. The last tweet came in December, nearly a month ago. Fans of the wide receiver have asked him to tweet more, and this is his chance. With kiosks on the ready, Johnson will have his chance to please his 90,000+ followers by sending some tweets during the game.
Roddy White (@roddywhitetv): Roddy is probably one of my favorite tweeters. His tweets encompass a variety of topics including some good MLK stuff, comments on the NFL teams and of course calling out Skip Bayless. Now all of that comes together to make for pretty interesting and entertaining tweets all the time.
The only problem with White? He hasn't tweeted in over a week! I bet he's just saving up for some big moments of tweeting during the Pro-Bowl.
Antonio Gates (@AntonioGates85): Antonio Gates doesn't tweet much, but when he does, it is either to promote an event or talk about sports. He hasn't tweeted since November and isn't one of those guys to spend every waking minute on the site unless it's the offseason. Gates may or may not tweet during the game, but he probably should because this a moment NFL players might never get a chance to do again.
Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham): Did you know Jimmy Graham is scoping out the surfing in Hawaii? You do now. Graham, who is a pretty frequent tweeter, has been posting some Hawaii updates including stuff about possibly surfing and commenting on the great teammates he has during the game. Graham is going to be tweeting and one can only hope someone else captures a Twitpic of him dunking the football in the goal posts.
Tony Gonzalez (@TonyGonzalez88): Gonzalez spends a good amount of time on Twitter but mostly just posts updates and cute stories about his family. He has, however, tweeted about being in Hawaii and had some other tweets praising some of the NFL's future youngsters. Expect more of those kinds of complimentary tweets if Gonzo stops by the NFC Twitter kiosk.
Ryan Clady (@RyanClady): Clady is a Lakers fan, Clippers fan, Boise State alum and, according to a recent tweet, apparently Brandon Marshall owes him $100. He tweets pretty frequently, especially about sports and his Boise State Broncos. He has also been tweeting a lot since getting to Hawaii. Look for Clady to tweet it up during the game, comment on good moments and of course cheer on the AFC.
Joe Staley (@jstaley74): Staley is still a little sore from the 49ers' tough loss to the Giants. That said, he is in Hawaii and has even managed to send a few tweets about it. He typically uses Twitter to send some re-tweets and hosts some contests, but during the Pro-Bowl, I'm sure he'll send a few tweets expressing mad love for his teammates.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson (@DBrickashaw): D'Brickashaw has some pretty good tweets, that is when he actually takes time to send them. Ferguson hasn't tweeted since the 4th of July, but in the Pro-Bowl, that could all change. Just like Rodgers, if he remembers his password, D'Brick, might take some time to send a few game-day tweets.
Jermon Bushrod (@j_bushrod7475): Bushrod spends a lot of time on Twitter and has been tweeting frequently since getting to Hawaii. He says some pretty hilarious things and tweets about anything from football, to what's on TV, to his love of Crocs and to trying to get more followers. It certainly won't be surprising to see him tweeting during the game and maybe he'll even get more followers.
Davin Joseph (@DavinJoseph75): Joseph tweets a lot and he tweets to people a lot. His last 10 or so tweets consist of him including other tweeters in asking them questions or keeping up a conversation. Now it is likely most of these guys are Davin's friends, but still, he is on Twitter a lot. I'm sure he will be tweeting up his friends during the game and letting them know how awesome Hawaii is.
Nick Mangold (@nickmangold): In his Twitter bio, Mangold says that he tries to find humor in everything he does. By his tweets, it is obvious he is doing just that. Mangold spent time messing with Dustin Keller in his recent tweets and has been tweeting about his excitement for the upcoming big game. Also, his Twitter picture is hilarious! We'll definitely see him tweet at points during the game and he'll likely have funny things to say.
Chris Myers (@CMyers55): Myers is on Twitter a good amount of the time. He is a pretty typical tweeter when it comes to the messages, but he does love to post pics (there are pics of his kids and pics of his teammates celebrating their division title). Myers will be spreading the Texas love at the Pro-Bowl and might stop by the kiosk to send a few tweets and post a few more pics.
Maurkice Pouncey (@MaurkicePouncey): Pouncey is another one of those everyday tweeters. He typically tweets inspirational stuff as well as sends messages to his teammates and friends. Pouncey reps Steeler black and gold all the way and is likely to do the same at the Pro-Bowl. I'm sure he'll tweet some love for his teammates and just appreciates the chance to be playing in the game.
Ryan Kalil (@RyanKalil): There isn't really anything extra special about Kalil's tweets. They are pretty much just conversations with his buds and those in his network. Kalil doesn't tweet all of the time but he, along with most of the other perennial tweeters, will likely tweet something during the game, just because it might just be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus, it will make the game more fun, and who doesn't want that?
Elvis Dumervil (@EKD92): Dumervil had a lot of great tweets back when the Broncos were shocking the world. He tweeted praise to his teammates, especially Tim Tebow. Since arriving in Hawaii, Dumervil has yet to tweet. Maybe he is focused or maybe he just isn't that into Twitter. He probably won't be hovering around the Twitter kiosk, but he's probably going to send at least one tweet praising his team and his teammates.
Dwight Freeney (@dwightfreeney): The lone Colt representative, Freeney even updated his Twitter profile to include his now fifth Pro-Bowl appearance. Freeney has been tweeting and has been tweeted a lot about his recent selection to the ESPN Any-Era team, but other than that, the guy just uses Twitter to speak his mind and have some fun. Watch for him to send love back to Indy and to tweet some trash talk against the NFC boys.
Antonio Smith (@antoniosmith94): I'd like to be in Hawaii right now because apparently Antonio Smith had a ninja sighting there. That tweet along with a lot of other funny tweets about his plane trip to Hawaii, make Smith a pretty hilarious follow. He is always tweeting something interesting: He even tweeted that he wished his dog was with him in Hawaii. There is no way the frequent tweeter doesn't stop by that kiosk at various points during the game. I'm sure he'll provide something funny to say.
Jared Allen (@JaredAllen69): Jared Allen doesn't tweet much, and when he does, it is typically to support a charity or some sort of promotion. That said, he has an account, which makes him a candidate to possibly tweet during the game. I personally hope he sends a tweet after combining with end-mate Jason Babin on a massive sack of one of the AFC QBs.
Jason Babin (@JasonBabin93): If Allen can't be looked on to tweet a post about a massive sack, Jason Babin certainly will. Babin is on Twitter a good amount of the time and posts a good variety of content. He just recently posted about his Pro-Bowl interview, wished his man Brent Celek a happy birthday, tweeted about looking for a place to hunt boar in Hawaii, tweeted a local radio station asking when their next "girls in yoga pants" event was...
Oh, and he is also trying to get #Babining instead of Tebowing, trending. The guy is certainly a personality and I'm sure he will have some great and funny things to tweet about come game day.
Geno Atkins (@GenoSacks): Sacks is one of those guys that tweets pretty much all the time. Since getting to Hawaii, he has had a variety of different tweets and pics detailing that he is enjoying his time there. With all of the tweets he always sends, Atkins will find time to tweet during the Pro-Bowl.
Jay Ratliff (@JayRat90): Ratliff hasn't tweeted since touching down in Hawaii but he normally tweets pretty frequently. Lately his tweets have been dedicated to trying to stop hunger in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as he is supporting a great cause. Ratliff will probably plug his cause during the Pro-Bowl to get max exposure, but I'm sure he'll also take time to have fun and send some good tweets about his Pro-Bowl teammates and the game itself.
BJ Raji (@rajifreezer90): For as much as a personality Raji is on the field, he is relatively quiet on Twitter. Raji doesn't tweet often, and when he does, it is pretty normal stuff. Nothing too raunchy and nothing especially funny. Raji just tweets it how he sees it. Although he doesn't tweet often, the Pro-Bowl is the perfect opportunity to change that and accrue a pretty solid following.
Von Miller (@MillerLite40): Von Miller spends a good amount of time on Twitter interacting with his teammates, family and friends. He also seems pretty good at tweeting his fans and keeping it interesting. Miller posts frequently just sharing what is going on in his life. Now in Hawaii, Miller has already been tweeting and has been tweeted about by his Broncos teammates. During the game, he'll likely keep it up, tweeting mad praise when his teammates do something good.
James Harrison (@jharrison9292): Harrison is an everyday tweeter who tweets about everything and anything. Harrison posts updates about his kids, promotions, tweets to get awareness for special causes, love for his teammates and anything he feels like tweeting for the day. Harrison will be front and center at that kiosk, sharing great moments from the game and complimenting great work by other players.
Terrell Suggs (@untouchablejay4): Suggs, out of "Ball So Hard University," is one of the more fun guys on Twitter. He always posts great comments about his Baltimore Ravens and his home of Charm City, but in addition to that, he interacts with his followers. Suggs posts questions to his followers and often asks their opinion on things. He is one of those guys that will definitely be posting pump-up messages from the game.
Clay Matthews (@ClayMatthews52): Matthews can be pretty funny on Twitter especially when he is posting about Aaron Rodgers and the good ol' "discount double check" commercial, and of course his great love affair with Ellen. Even his Twitter bio ("I'm just an average American... with extraordinary hair!!") speaks of the humor he shares on his account.
I'm sure Clay will be tweeting. Maybe it will be after a great sack, maybe it will be when one of his Green Bay teammates does something cool, or maybe it will just be because of a great moment.
Demarcus Ware (@DeMarcusWare): Ware has got some great tweets to his name and he is already hashtagging #2012ProBowl. He posts some good inspirational messages, re-tweets fans and sometimes just posts whatever is on his mind. I can't see how he won't make his way to that Twitter area to send some good and likely inspirational and praiseworthy tweets during the game.
Lance Briggs (@55Berger): Briggs tweets up a storm. At one point he is posting a pretty solid conversation with NFL's Chris Harris and the next he is giving his own comments on movies, vacation spots and an interesting commentary on anything that comes to mind. If you follow Lance, don't be surprised if your Twitter feed blows up come game time as he will have a lot to say no doubt.
Ray Lewis (@raylewis52com): Lewis doesn't tweet too often, but when he does, it is often promotional. There are few companies he is associated with and certain networks he is a part of that he promotes. Other than that, Lewis does a lot of advocating for his foundation. Although not really much of a social tweeter, Lewis might send a few tweets during the game just to keep up with his Ravens teammates.
Patrick Willis (@PatrickWillis52): Willis is on Twitter pretty frequently and is one of those guys that could tweet about anything. He is typically tweeting people and sharing a variety of stories, but he also talks about his Madden prowess. Willis will most likely be tweeting during the game, and his tweets will probably be fun and entertaining to read.
Brian Urlacher (@BUrlacher54): Urlacher doesn't tweet much (only 31 total tweets to be exact). When he does tweet, it is typically to send messages to his followers, cheer on his teammates and support the U.S. military. Urlacher will hopefully add to his 31 tweets with a few during the Pro-Bowl, likely supporting his teammates and thanking those that helped him make it to the game.
London Fletcher (@LFletcher59): Fletcher uses his Twitter page to support his foundation but recently has taken to a different approach. Fletcher will be tweeting during the Pro-Bowl and I can say that with certainty as he has gone to his site asking his followers for suggestions of what to tweet. I'm not sure what will come of it, but there are some good suggestions so far and I can see London using any of them.
Champ Bailey (@champbailey): Bailey doesn't really tweet too much. In fact, his latest tweet came as far back as October. Despite this, he has a Twitter account and, as I said before, any player with a Twitter account is likely to at least tweet once during the game.
Darrelle Revis (@Revis24): The league's No. 1 shutdown corner, or so it says in his Twitter bio, likes to keep up with his nearly 260,000 followers by frequently tweeting people in his network. Revis has also tweeted since being in Hawaii, and it is likely that once the game starts he will tweet some more. Revis will find his way to that kiosk after making a big play to tweet something about his status as the league's best cornerback.
Ryan Clark (@RealRClark25): Ryan Clark has probably tweeted the most out of all of the guys since landing in Hawaii. He is tweeting about the upcoming game, about watching Real Steel, about his LSU Snuggie and even trash-talked the Ravens a bit. He is on Twitter all of the time and this likely means we can expect some great game-day tweets. No doubt Clark will frequent that Twitter area quite a few times over the course of the game.
Ed Reed (@TwentyER): Reed hasn't tweeted in about a week, but that doesn't mean he has fallen off the face of the Earth. When he does tweet, it is a lot of conversational stuff directed to his followers. Reed speaks his mind on Twitter and expresses what he feels. Look for the big play maker to do something spectacular and then, of course, to tweet about it.
Earl Thomas (@Earl_Thomas): Thomas has been tweeting about a variety of subjects since getting to Hawaii, but most of all it has been love and respect for his Seahawks teammates that also made the game. Thomas will likely keep this up as he tweets during the game and gives props when his Seattle guys do something special.
Kam Chancellor (@Kam_Chancellor): Chancellor is just like his Seahawks secondary mate in Thomas. He has been tweeting non-stop since getting to Hawaii about everything from mai-tais to hotel views to fireworks. Chancellor has sent over 27,000 tweets, so look for him to be one of those guys to take advantage of the opportunity to tweet during the game.
Dashon Goldson (@thehawk78): Goldson is just like the other NFC safeties in that he tweets pretty frequently. He hasn't tweeted anything about Hawaii, but give it time. When it comes time for the game, Goldson will probably spend some time in the NFC tweeting area, sending messages and re-tweets to his followers.
Brian Dawkins (@BrianDawkins): Motivational quotes, expressing his faith and love of God, praying for those who need prayers—that is what Dawkins uses his Twitter account for. He is extremely humble and considers himself to be very blessed, even going as far as to say he doesn't deserve all that he has. Now we all know B-Dawk deserves it all and he has been granted it by going to another Pro-Bowl. There is no guarantee he'll tweet, but if he does, it no doubt will be thanking God for putting him there in the first place.
Adrian Wilson (@adrian_wilson24): Wilson has tweeted about a variety of different topics. Just like a lot of the other guys, he is not afraid to speak his mind and just tweet about whatever he wants to. Recently, he tweeted about being in the presence of some pretty talented guys in his Pro-Bowl teammates. During the game, it is likely he will continue to tweet about these guys and he'll probably give some game commentary as well.
David Akers (@DavidAkers2): David Akers doesn't have the best season ever from a kicker without the help of his and now the NFC's Pro-Bowl kicking team. In his tweets, Akers is quick to praise these guys as well as his other 49ers teammates. During the Pro-Bowl, he'll likely tweet if he gets a chance, but knowing Akers, even if it is the Pro-Bowl, he will still be focused. If he does tweet however, look for it to be more praise for his teammates and for the other great football players.
Brian Jennings (@Jennings141): Jennings is on Twitter but is actually one of the guys not yet verified. As this list was only to include those players verified by Twitter, I am only including Jennings because he has been tweeted at by teammates and the 49ers organization. So, in my mind, that makes him legit.
Anyway, Jennings doesn't tweet too much but he has tweeted about the Play 60 events taking place before the game. He might tweet a few times during the Pro-Bowl, and maybe then Twitter will give him that coveted blue check mark after seeing him tweet on live TV.
Andy Lee (@andy4lee): Again, not yet verified, but Akers and the 49ers have used him in tweets so I'm trusting their judgment. Lee has tweeted about games, the weather in Hawaii and other comments to his Twitter followers. Just like Jennings, Lee should send at least one tweet during the game just to prove he is who his account says he is.
Antonio Brown (@AntonioBrown84): Brown has tweeted a lot upon reaching Hawaii. As he bonds with new teammates, he always seems to have something new to comment on and say. During the game, he'll likely use the AFC Twitter area after he does his job of returning kicks. Look for him to send many tweets about his teammates and their hopeful AFC success.
Patrick Peterson (@ThE_rEaL_P2): Peterson has a lot of fans and followers on Twitter and has spent a good portion of the past week responding to those people and sending tweets their way. Other than that, he has tweeted a little about Hawaii, including a helicopter ride he took with his wife. Peterson will be looking for some big returns come game time, but when he isn't returning, he'll be probably be tweeting.