CadChica’s SSM Digest: August 2013

We’ve turned the page on the calendar. And all the people said, “AMEN”.

Football (and futbol) is back. The off-season of our discontent is over. Attention can finally turn to sports.

But, before we become fully immersed in football this month, let’s look back at some of the top sports/social media moments from August. There is plenty to choose from: NFL settlement, Biogenesis, Los Angeles Dodgers & Yasiel Puig, NCAA, New York Jets, Brian Banks, new bowl games — just to name a few.

But, I am going to start with something that was quite near and dear to my soccer-loving heart.

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  • August 1: You don’t like soccer? If you happened to be on Twitter and followed sports news on August 1, there was no way to miss this:

#DEMPSEYWATCH

Amid speculation and rumors, Seattle Sounders fans went into a frenzy, my son included, over the possible move of US Men’s National Team player, Clint Dempsey, from the Europe back to the America. There were rumors of where Dempsey would end up already circulating in social media circles. But, it wasn’t until this picture was tweeted out that it turned into a full-fledged bonkers-alert.

How crazy was it? Among other things, fans were roaming the Sea-Tac airport waiting for Dempsey’s plane to arrive. Seriously.

I went searching for the first tweet on that day of the hashtag #DempseyWatch and came across this (tweeted before the picture above)

A little anti-climactic but hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Dempsey would go on to sign with the Sounders. All of Seattle was joyous. And the ECS reminded us all:

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  • August 4: A very busy day was August 4. Leading off the day with Johnny Manziel.

The larger the profile, the more scrutiny comes an athlete’s way. That used to be reserved for professional athletes. But, with the advent of social media, that scrutiny is being leveled more and more on college athletes. And during this college football off-season, no one has shined brighter, and been more scrutinized, than Texas A&M’s  Johnny Manziel.

The latest Manziel story wasn’t centered solely on one day. But, today is when it started.

“Johnny Manziel autograph session under NCAA investigation, according to report”

When the NCAA is involved, you can expect swift, and decidedly passionate, reaction:

The Manziel saga, because that is what it’s become now, dragged on through the month. In the end, Manziel would be suspended for a half in the Aggies’ home opener against Rice, prompting even more reactions:

He’d go on to make even more news on August 31 with some of his on-field actions during the game.

Much would be written on Manziel this month. I recommend reading  this story, from the San Antonio Express News, with details on the Manziel family history and their refute of a Deadspin report.

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Early August means free time to watch something other than sports. August also means “Shark Week”, even in sports:

h/t to IndyStar for the Yamaguchi tweet.

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Picture of the day today was this special, and rare, moment of Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie, after his Bridgestone Invitational victory:

  • August 5: From one controversy on the 4th to another on the 5th. This time, we’re back to baseball and the Biogenesis scandal. 

PEDs in baseball are not a new story. But, MLB suspending a mass amount of players on the same day for PEDs is a new one. Yes, the number of suspensions still pales compared to the NFL over the last couple of years, but when names like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun are involved, it means a little something.

Maybe. Rather than looking further at the suspensions, Rodriguez’ appeal or the August 19th story on Ryan Braun I wanted to look at some social media reaction but this time from Google+.

Google+ suspension reactions

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Just like the 4th, there was no shortage of news this day. In other sports-social media news this day. A few extras:

1. Arizona State’s athletic department launched a social media command center

2. Spreecast made its entrance into college athletics with an agreement with USC athletics

3. I noticed the Twitter account of Jay Christensen and remembered something he did last year. Christensen, on his website The Wiz of Odds, shares football schedule posters, some of which include hashtags, like this one below from Temple. Pretty cool if you ask me. You can see plenty more on the website.

Wiz Of Odds Temple poster

  • August 7: Periodically, I’ll see a hashtag…and see a hashtag…and see a hashtag. A one-time hashtag, unless its #DempseyWatch, won’t usually catch my eye. But, when I see one that is constantly being used by an account, I take notice. The #LarryLovesMiami hashtag from the Miami Heat is one such hashtag.

Celebrating with the fans is always a positive move. While it’s not on Lord Stanley’s level, the Larry O’Brien trophy is prestigious enough to warrant a tour of the South Florida area. And that’s exactly what the Heat did throughout August, even asking fans where they should #BringLarryTo.

A brilliant hashtag from the Miami Heat as the Larry O’Brien trophy made its way throughout Florida this summer. Not only was it used to keep fans aware of where the trophy was, the Heat used it to run contests.

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Chipper Jones said goodbye to Twitter on this day too.

  • August 8: Suffice to say, in the world of baseball, August belonged to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Going 23-6 for their best month in 55 years, the Dodgers are a loose, fun bunch. Even when one of them makes a mistake during a game:

they turn it into something fun (on August 10) in the clubhouse:

Uribe's foot on the base

A post shared by @yasielpuig (@yasielpuig) on

]

No doubt about it. The Dodgers are a force to be reckoned with this October.

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NASCAR has been one of the leaders in social media implementation. Their drivers are engaged with fans and even parody accounts make some of the best follows (@theorangecone). One of their teams that is on the cutting-edge of engagement was announced this day.

The Digital Dashboard, announced via a Reddit AMA for Hendrick MotorSports, was launched to help the team and their drivers stay in touch with their fans across all platforms. Watch as they went behind the scenes with popular driver and non-Twitter user, Dale Earnhardt Jr, during the Reddit AMA.

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One of the best off-season stories was that of Brian Banks. The former high school star who was wrongfully incarcerated was going to be given a chance to make an NFL team. His dream of playing in the NFL was achieved on this night.

Although Banks would be released at the end of the month by the Falcons, he did gain a follower along the way:

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I really have to bring this tweet up because it’s an ongoing theme every NFL preseason and season:

Derrick Docket, with the Twitter handle @ddocket (only one “t”), often gets misdirected tweets. People meaning to tweet Arizona Cardinals’ player, Darnell Dockett @ddockett (two “t’s”), have mistakenly sent their compliments, complaints and anything else you can think of to Derrick instead of Darnell. More on this from The Arizona Republic’s, Paola Boivin, back in June.

Surely, the meeting of the two is destiny in the making, right? How about it St Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals? You play each other this weekend in St Louis, Derrick is in Missouri so why not introduce the two on Sunday?

Destiny is waiting. #BeastMode is waiting.

  • August 11: The question for athletes and celebrities or anyone for that matter, is how to deal with negative comments on social media. For them, it seems to be a no-win situation. Respond, and some think you’re only feeding or giving in to what people want: recognition. Don’t respond, some believe, simply ignoring it will make it go away. On this day, British golfer Lee Westwood went with the former.

More on the story here from The Guardian.

My two cents: On a grand scale, ignoring is probably the better way to go for athletes and celebrities. However, that doesn’t preclude fans from themselves can police it, especially on Twitter. In my experience, neither ignoring or responding by athletes/celebs will alter fan behavior. But, when fans unite en masse against that type of trolling, said “trolls” may think twice about doing it again. 

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LockerDome and Showtime partnership was a big step forward for the social media network.

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When I asked my followers for possible stories to include in the digest, Ireceived onefrom follower Gina Muscato mentioning RGIII. Although I didn’t use her idea this month, thanks to Gina, I was reminded to find this story I had bookmarked on the 15th:“Rico Felix, his prosthetic leg and RGIII”

  • August 16: I saw this story on The Score and knew I had to include it on this month’s digest. The GIF is just fantastic:

Harden GIF

  • August 17: I’ve seen my share of people blasting announcers on Twitter. Whether it’s ESPN’s Chris Berman or Fox Sports’ Gus Johnson, announcers get their fair share of hate tweets. Take, for example, this story of Joe Buck.

Fans can be passionate. But, to not know who is actually calling a game? Not only that but, actually taking to Twitter to put the announcer on blast?

*Sigh* We have a long way to go fans.

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In other news, the NBA made a return (sort of) to Seattle in the form of Jamal Crawford’s Pro-Am. I was privileged to cover his All-Star Pro/Am in 2012 in Spokane. Getting to see players like John Wall and Martell Webster was a fun evening for all sports fans.

  • August 19: While researching sports-social media stories, I came across a headline that caught my eye (no, not just because it’s HUGE).

soccer star deletes followers headline

Juan Manuel “Burrito Martinez”, soccer star for Argentinian power-house, Boca Juniors,deleted all 92k of his Twitter followers as part of a NIKE campaign. Seeking to win back the followers by “playing every match as if it were my first”, with three assists so far in the Apertura, Martinez was back up to 55k as of today.

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I almost forgot about this big news in tennis. Not on the court but rather, a new offering for fans attending the U.S. Open.

Fans are constantly roaming the grounds at Flushing Meadows so a social media wall just makes sense. Integrating content from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the wall helps the USTA (United States Tennis Association) ‘connect with their fans‘ both on the grounds and around the world. As the U.S. Open website puts it, “Here, every  fan experiences the roller coaster of emotions that only a U.S. Open match can provide, keeping everyone on the edges of their seats.”

  • August 25: Twitter Takeovers are a common practice among teams and brands. By one person. But, the San Francisco 49ers took takeovers to another level during their third preseason game.

We’ve seen the success of Twitter Takeovers this year with the likes of Kobe Bryant and the Nike Basketball account but this dual-takeover was something new. According to Twitter’s blog, it proved to be a success. Mentions of the @49ers was highest during the takeover than the other two previous preseason games.

As a result, a single-person takeover might become yesterday’s news. Dual takeovers may become the norm.

Do I hear a trio-takeover?

  • August 28: Yasiel Puig. Like Manziel, Puig was a hot topic during the month of August – not always in a good way. The gifted right-fielder for the Dodgers made news this day for a “lackadaisical effort“:

Whether it’s a question of Puig’s emotions , his tardiness, or an umpire “trying to pick a fight” with him, Puig is a magnet for news during the Dodgers’ run thus far in the season. He’ll learn. Even before this latter-August news, Magic Johnson tweeted this:

Here is the full context of Magic’s tweet:

“Dodger Nation: With Mgr Don Mattingly and awesome @Dodgersteammates to learn from, Puig will learn the do’s and dont’s of baseball and in life.”

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FINAL THOUGHTS: This may seem like a lot of content but I promise you, there was so much more that I DIDN’T include. I increased my blog writing this month to make up for it but as you can tell by the amount of stories in August’s Digest, it was impossible. I wanted to bring not only the sports-social media angle but the sports angle as well. It was a huge challenge. Think about it. Did you see a single New York Jets story or tweet here? No.

With the football and futbol seasons starting, we’ll have to see if I continue doing it this way for September. I may just expand the writing even more. If you’d like to see something different, please tweet me, @CadChica. Until then, I decided to throw in some tweets/pics below to show just some of what I didn’t write about above.

TWEETS OF THE MONTH

My favorites:

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CadChica Sports

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