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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Updated: April 23, 10:42 AM ET
Twackle Gets in the Game


Tweet, tweet.

Last time we checked in with Twackle, the sports-specific Twitter platform was just getting its feet wet. Some five weeks later, Twackle is starting to submerge itself more deeply in the sports social media game.

Twackle recently launched on the Web sites of the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Washington Capitals. Any Twitter-related chatter specific to these teams now directly filters onto their Web site.

"You're able to leverage all the content being produced through the general Twitter universe, take that and put it onto your own Web site," said Jim DeLorenzo, VP of Octagon Digital. "When your hardcore fans come to your site, they have the ability to consume that content or join in that conversation and participate, which makes your site, as a team, that much more engaging and compelling.

"The teams that we've dealt with so far were pretty eager to get it going once we started talking to them and explaining how it all worked."

In addition to these three organizations, DeLorenzo adds that Twackle signed an agreement with a WNBA team last week and is in talks to have their platform run on several other sites, including more NBA and NHL teams, as well as other leagues and sports organizations.

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Even though Twitter has exploded in recent months, there's a limited pool of collegiate coaches on the micro-blogging platform. USC's Pete Carroll is the biggest name, but after him, there's not much to wet your palette. Indiana men's basketball coach Tom Crean might change that. He joined last week, and so far, so good. Crean runs the gambit on information. He mixes bits about the team: "We tell our players this. You are either getting better or you are getting worse. You never ever stay the same." He gives some sound advice: "When you have to eat in a hurry but don't want fast food you can never go wrong with an authentic Mexican restaurant. A meal served in 5 min." He's funny: "The Celtics need a win tonight or Jeremiah Rivers will be looking for a bridge to jump off of. We need him. GO CELTICS."

As is always the case with a new tweeter or blogger, time will tell. Enthusiasm often runs dry after a few weeks behind the keyboard or cell phone. But Crean rarely runs out of gas in any facet of his life. As such, I wouldn't expect his tweets to slow down any time soon.

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Steve Nash and his Suns are not in the playoffs this postseason. But does that mean he can't blog about them? Heavens no. On his official Facebook page, Nash has dropped three lengthy entries about the playoffs. A sample from his latest post:

"Ben Gordon is one of the most flammable guys in the NBA," he writes. "Maybe he's streaky, but it seems like almost every other week he goes for high thirties or forty-something. I walked in the house and turned on the television to see him hit a tough jumper over Ray Allen and Big Baby for his 42nd point and tie the game with about 12 seconds left. Where was I? (No offense Mike Duda!) The Bulls just won't go away and it took a special performance from Ray Allen to send them home with a split rather than their second overtime in succession. You may say over the course of his great career that a 30-point playoff game isn't that special in the case of Ray Allen but after going 1-for-12 in game one and missing a shot to tie, he hits a tough 3 for the win to finish with 30 big ones. From the highlights it looked like he hit everything down the stretch and he apparently needed to because Ben Gordon was doing the same."

I think this man has a future in NBA commentary. Any room next to Charles on the TNT set?

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Peyton Manning checked in on his blog to talk about the coaching change in Indianapolis:

"Well there's certainly going to be an adjustment," he writes. "We know that with a new head coach and new leader, there will be changes. Even though I think Coach Caldwell (who has been my quarterback coach and I'm very close with) will coach in a similar mode to Tony Dungy (you know Coach Dungy is one of Caldwell's influences), it is a new head coach regime. There will be differences. There will be changes. That's just natural in any business and sports are our business. So everybody has got to be prepared for that., We had our first a team meeting a month or so ago, which was the first time that Coach Caldwell addressed the team as head coach. But I could probably give you a better answer in October when I know what it's going to be like."

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Chantelle Anderson of the Atlanta Dream is happy Chamique Holdsclaw is not only back in the WNBA, but on her team. In her latest blog entry, she drops some terrific thoughts about what it really means to be an athlete:

"What you also have to understand is that, as professional athletes, we are commodities," she writes. "We can be bought, sold, traded, and even thrown away. On the good side, that can motivate us to continue to work and get better because we always have to earn our spot on the team. But what that also means is the people we see most everyday can only care about us to the point they can maintain their objectiveness in business decisions. Our lives depend on someone else's viewpoint of what is 'best for the organization.' And then we are told not to 'take is personally' when those decisions change almost everything about our day-to-day lives with just a phone call and a signature. So can you really blame us when we make a decision based on what's best for us and not necessarily what's 'best' for everyone else?"

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Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett is doing some sort of cultural anthropology on his blog, at least as it pertains to food. He has a question for you: Why do black people love fried chicken?

"Why do black people love chicken is a question my white friends ask me constantly," he writes. "Honestly, I don't know the answer to the question besides the fact that fried chicken is delicious.

"My answer: everybody loves chicken despite race, sex or gender. Chickenis scrumptious and everyone enjoys it. If you haven't had chicken go get some."

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