- Ryan Corazza
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Until last week, athlete tweets were like the stars before the invention of the telescope: plentiful, but hard to identify. Twitter's search engine is weak, and fake accounts are plentiful.
The brainchild of the folks behind SportsFanLive.com, the goal of the site is to serve as a holding pen for most -- if not all -- genuine athlete tweets on Twitter. It's currently at 143 accounts and counting.
"I've referred to the athlete-driven Twitter feeds as the best reality show not on TV," SportsFanLive CEO David Katz says. "You read what these people are writing and for the first time you get this unvarnished, authentic glimpse into the lives of these athletes that we follow on TV and watch in the games."
"Athlete Tweets is an attempt, in a user-friendly way, to present a really compelling experience for fans which are these live athlete feeds, without them having to go to Twitter."
For now, the site exists as content only. You can read what all the athletes or coaches are writing, but there's no option to interact.
"You think about 100 million sports fans who go online every month in the United States," Katz says. "The majority of them are not on Twitter. A lot of them technologically don't think they're savvy enough to go on Twitter, or don't really want to start publishing what they're doing on a regular basis. It doesn't mean they wouldn't be interested in what kind of content is coming out of Twitter."
Besides reading what athletes are up to, a fan can discover who's on Twitter from the sports world. Katz added they use a rigorous verification process for each new athlete-driven Twitter feed they add, though he admits it's not perfect.
As for the future of this constantly evolving project?
"You're going to see all of this stuff get a lot more interactive," Katz says. "We have a lot of other ideas around new features and enhancements and improvements that we're going to be adding into this experience. What you see right here is a nice, clean, easy-to-understand, simple-to-use Phase 1. There's a lot more coming down the pike."
Andy Roddick got married earlier this month to model Brooklyn Decker. (He has a hard life.) He checked in on his blog yesterday for the first time in a long while to tell us about it … and the special appearance from Elton John:
"The actual ceremony was great," he writes. "We had to set up a tent cause the weather was not agreeing with us, but it ended up working out, so all good … Elton played at our reception and it was very, very surreal. It was beyond awesome of him to make time for us and needless to say it was beyond amazing.
"As much fun as everything has been I have still been at the track and am getting back into hitting a bunch of balls and and home training hard and laying the foundation for the rest of the year now. Also, I got a new phone that supposedly makes it easier on Twitter … (not sure if that's the right term ha ha)."
On the eve of the Red Sox-Yankees series this past weekend, Curt Schilling had a message for all of Red Sox Nation:
"Boo their asses off," he writes. "But don't act like idiots. One of the perks of playing for the Red Sox, or the Yankees for that matter, is home-field advantage. Home-field advantage is ALL about the fans and the environment.
"Don't act like idiots, don't throw stuff on the field, don't be stupid. Be a Sox fan, have class, act like you've been there before, act like winners.
"DON'T reach over the fence on a ball down the line when it's hit by a RED SOX player!!!
"Don't reach over the fence to catch a ball in the air when it's hit by a YANKEE player!!!
"Keep enforcing that thing you've always had, make Fenway a nightmare for visiting players."
This public service announcement was brought to you by 38 Studios.
Despite Tony Parker's 43 points last night, the Spurs lost to the Mavericks. Now Parker is facing the reality of not advancing in the playoffs for the first time in his career:
"What is more frustrating for us is that we know we could have won a few of these games, especially Game 4," he writes. "As a team, we need to be more balanced on the offense. There aren't as many options. Give the Mavs credit because they doubled teamed me in the second half and thus would not let me shoot as often as I wanted. Tim took over but we would have needed more help on the offensive in order to come out on top."
Mariners pitcher and Australian native Ryan Rowland-Smith wants to set you straight on stereotypes:
"Got to hang out with one of my best mates Grant Balfour when the Tampa Bay Rays came to town," he writes. "I could lie and write that we sat around ate vegemite, drank Foster's and tossed the boomerang, but sorry it didn't happen! Believe it or not Aussies don't drink Fosters! Lets get that straight! We eat vegemite though! Gotta know how to spread it!"
But does he have a pet kangaroo?