This article appears in the February 2012 issue of MemphiSport.
For months we have been tracking the world of Twitter to compile a list of 20 people all sports fans in the Mid-South should follow on Twitter. First, here is how we did it…
WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE LIST
1. You must call the Mid-South home. No out-of-towners.
2. Be an individual. No teams or groups/organizations.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD TWITTER ACCOUNT
3. engaging with followers (@ replies back)
4. no over-tweeting
The list of the 20 MUST FOLLOW Memphis area sports Twitter accounts (in no particular order):
WHO IS THIS GUY: Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies guard.
SAMPLE TWEET: I’m not a business man I’m the business man!! (22 Oct via Twitter for BlackBerry)
THE LOW-DOWN: Arguably the best, and without question the most entertaining NBA player on Twitter, Allen offers opinions on everything from music to traffic in between giving fans a look into the mind of one of the league’s most interesting personalities.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Gary Parrish, CBSSports.com college basketball writer and host of local radio show, “The Gary Parrish Show with Geoff Calkins”
SAMPLE TWEET: Who breaks up and gets back together more than the Big 12? I mean, besides Ronnie and Sammie? (20 Sep via Twitter for iPhone)
THE LOW-DOWN: Parrish brings to the table a national presence with local flavor along with sarcastically humorous commentary on anything from wiffleball, to Jersey Shore, to Tiger basketball.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Parody Twitter account for the Commercial Appeal’s Grizzlies beat writer, Ron Tillery
SAMPLE TWEET: MISHUN ACCOMPLISHED! Osamuh Bin Latin died on the same day as the Thunder’s dreams! Go Grizzly Bares and America! #Belieb #Grizz (1 May via web)
THE LOW-DOWN: Though he’s more active during the season, Fantasy Tillery regularly pours it on as he perpetuates his constructed persona of a Grizzlies-loving, Mike Conley-adoring superfan/beat writer.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Adonis Thomas, Memphis Tigers freshman forward
SAMPLE TWEET: Was doing my essay and my foot rolled on the outlet! Gotta start over!!!!! !!!! Was more than 1/2 way done! (20 Sep via Twittelator)
THE LOW-DOWN: Thomas regularly interacts with his followers (and gives them shout-outs) and gives you a daily look into how he’s living his life. Whether it be a trip to the barber shop or a meal after practice, it’s easy for Tiger fans to find out what’s going on with the star freshman.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Jon Roser, producer of the Chris Vernon Show on 730 AM.
SAMPLE TWEET: The U2 song “get on your boots” might be worse than Waka Flocka (2 Oct via Twitter for Android)
THE LOW-DOWN: Roser is an absolute must-follow for anyone who’s a fan of the Tigers, Grizzlies or even just the city of Memphis. Roser is a harsh, sarcastic critic, but he’s a smart and reasonable one. And his retweets are some of the best you’ll find.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Chris Herrington, Memphis Grizzlies writer from the Memphis Flyer.
SAMPLE TWEET: On the brightside, I’m leaving town tmrrw and will be gone for 3 days. Based on past history, lockout likely to end then. Thank me later. (20 Oct via TweetDeck)
THE LOW-DOWN: Herrington’s opinions aren’t always mainstream, but they’re always thorough, sound and worth considering. He’s without question one of the premier sources for Grizzlies news in Memphis, and thus, a must-follow for Grizzlies fans.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Geoff Calkins, Commercial Appeal sports columnist and regular radio contributor to “The Gary Parrish Show with Geoff Calkins”
SAMPLE TWEET: This is brutal. Memphis and Ole Miss both getting killed. As long as unhappy fans keep taking out full page ads, the CA should prosper! (4 Sep via web)
THE LOW-DOWN: Calkins mixes intelligent and thoughtful commentary with self-deprecating humor his (many) haters can’t help but love. He’s pithy and is as entertaining in his timeline as he is in the Commercial Appeal.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Parody Twitter account for George Lapides, longtime member of the Memphis media and current co-host of the radio talk show, “Sportstime”
SAMPLE TWEET: Puljols is some kind of good. I’m talking Ronnie-Grisanti-manicotti-and-miss-Mary-salad some kind of good. (2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone)
THE LOW-DOWN: Look no further than his bio: “The imitator of the originator of sports talk radio in Memphis.” Real Lapides, in fact, once spent a segment of his radio show talking about the account, but to no avail. The advertisements and hysterical commentary continue.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Hamed Haddadi, reserve center for the Memphis Grizzlies.
SAMPLE TWEET: finally can wear the grizzlies white & blue 2nite so excited 2 b officially back. who miss me?!?!?! (21 Jan 12 via Facebook)
THE LOW-DOWN: The Iranian Sensation is back. Hamed Haddadi, an emerging fan favorite in Memphis, has returned to the United States, returned to Twitter and is back on Twitter with a vengeance. He gives away tickets, loves Tim Tebow, tweets at national NBA writers (and the Iron Sheik) and has somehow figured out how to tweet in Arabic.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Resident supplier of Twit-humor on all things Grizzlies.
SAMPLE TWEET: The NBA officially announced a lockout. In related news local retaliers will sell Grizz themed subscriptions to Viagra. #NoGrizzInMyPants (30 Jun via TweetDeck)
THE LOW-DOWN: It’s one thing to follow those who cover the team, but it’s also important to hear the opinions of a fan. This guy is not only funny — how can you not appreciate such a Twitter handle? — but his thoughts and commentary on the franchise is worth a follow.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Jason Smith, Memphis Tiger basketball beat writer for the Commercial Appeal.
SAMPLE TWEET: I cant say anything abt Lindy’s error. I wrote in blog this morn Mphs and Ark lost out on Archie “Griffin.” Good RB prospect, that Griffin (21 Sep via web)
THE LOW-DOWN: Smith is still pretty green with the tweet game, and he openly admits as much. That said, he’s still the source — be it on Twitter, in the newspaper or on the Internet — for Tiger hoops. Smith has also kept an active blog, and his Twitter feed keeps Tiger fans updated on when to check it for a scoop.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Kyle Veazey, Commercial Appeal sports enterprise reporter.
SAMPLE TWEET: Memphis is 113th in the 120-team FBS in total offense; Ole Miss is 117th. Yay Mid-South! (16 Oct via TweetDeck)
THE LOW-DOWN: Veazey is pretty new to Memphis, but his humor helps him fit in. The former Ole Miss beat writer for the Clarion-Ledger, Veazey isn’t any stranger to bad football and the humor necessary to make it bearable. He’s got a pulse for the region and plenty of witty commentary that makes him perfect for Twitter.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies small forward.
SAMPLE TWEET: Ice bath and advil, last night was mad real! (9 Oct via Twitter for iPhone)
THE LOW-DOWN: If you don’t follow Gay, you’re missing out on some free shoes. The Grizzlies’ star forward regularly holds Twitter trivia, and among his favorite thing to give out are his size 14 shoes. He also posts a lot of photos, which helps Grizzlies fans see a little more of what it’s like to be the Grizzlies’ $82 million man.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Preston Laird, Tiger basketball senior walk-on
SAMPLE TWEET: The new transformers is by far the best one. It was ridiculous. So sick. #mustsee(29 Jun via Twitter for BlackBerry)
THE LOW-DOWN: Outside of when he’s tweeting to his teammates, you almost can’t tell Laird is a member of the preseason No. 9 college basketball team in the country. And that’s a good thing. Laird plays mini golf, goes to see movies and is active with his fraternity. It’s like following an average college guy — except he’s not that at all. Refreshing.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Rick Trotter, Memphis Grizzlies public address announcer.
SAMPLE TWEET: Note to self: When announcing hockey, wear thermals and a parka. No one cares that you’re in a suit. (18 hours ago via TweetDeck)
THE LOW-DOWN: Trotter is a funny dude and a great follow. A very unique thing about Trotter — he’ll respond to tweets during Grizzlies games. He can’t quite convey his deep, powerful microphone voice through 140 characters, but he can still give you insight into the Grizzlies from a unique perspective.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Kevin Cerrito, managing editor of MemphiSport Magazine and radio host of MemphiSport Live.
SAMPLE TWEET: It’s a historic day here in the Bluff City: NFL Today is on Channel 3 instead of church. (16 Oct via web)
THE LOW-DOWN: Cerrito offers a witty, clever timeline with the perfect mix of sports, pop culture and entertainment. Because of his wit, he’s particularly interesting to follow during the sporting events he’s covering.
WHO IS THIS GAL: Carrie Anderson, weekend sports anchor/reporter for WMC-TV.
SAMPLE TWEET: Dear #Fiat, your little car is ugly and seeing the JLo commercial 5x every hour makes me like it even less. Sincerely, Carrie. (21 Sep via TweetCaster for Android)
THE LOW-DOWN: Carrie falls in line with a lot of Mid-South sports fans. When she’s not covering the Grizzlies or the Tigers, she’s rooting for the Cardinals and the Cowboys and offering commentary on both.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Greg Gaston, co-host of the Middays Show on Sports 56 WHBQ.
SAMPLE TWEET: Only in Memphis and the movies do u have a storybook season followed by a lockout completely draining the momentum and souring the fans. (20 Oct via web)
THE LOW-DOWN: Gaston isn’t a native Memphian, but he’s still plenty opinionated on sports in the area. It provides for a fresh, unique perspective on local sports topics that’s worth a follow when you need to see information through something other than rose-colored glasses.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Chris Vernon, host of the Chris Vernon Show on 730 AM.
SAMPLE TWEET: If I had a time machine and could go back to any time, I would travel back 3.5 hrs and not watch that game (2 Oct via Seesmic)
THE LOW-DOWN: Vernon brings it on Twitter just like he does on his radio show. He’s outspoken, obstinate and informed. What makes Vernon’s Twitter feed special is that he doesn’t even have to be tweeting about Memphis to be entertaining.
WHO IS THIS GUY: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Memphis Tiger legend and former NBA All-Star
SAMPLE TWEET: Billionaire basketball game tonight in Macau. 10,000 tickets sold at 250.00 to 500.00 per tic. Sold out!! Crazy money! (17 Dec 11 via txt)
THE LOW-DOWN: Can you have a list about Memphis and NOT include Penny? No, you can’t. Penny is Memphis, and Memphis is Penny. The man has his own logo and his own nickname, and though he hasn’t been in the mainstream sports news in Memphis in some time, he’s still one of the most recognizable and adored figures in all of the city.
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