Valentine's Views: Twitter is changing the world

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If you read the Antonio Pierce-Mike Garafolo exchange from Friday's OTA carefully, you can see plainly that AP gave a pretty testy, snide interview.

It's really all Twitter's fault. From recent experience we know all too well that AP is big into the hottest new form of social media.

Seems like at Friday's OTA he was delivering the same message to the mainstream media that he delivered to me when I sent him questions a couple of weeks ago. The message? You want to know what I think, check my Twitter page.

And what does AP think? He obviously thinks he has very little use for the media. Here are a couple of his recent 'Tweets.' (God, I hate that word. We are going to go around from now on communicating with each other via 'Tweets?' Ugh!!)

Anyway, here are a couple of AP's Tweets about the media.

First ...

Media day today always looking forward to some of those amazing questions!

This one, too ...

Funny how the beatwriters follow me on twitter and they claim they can not understand what i am writing about. Arent they around all thetime

Unfortunately, I think mainstream media members and bloggers are going to have to get used to athletes using Twitter the way Pierce is. Witness what Shaquille O'Neal did the other day, using his Twitter page to poke fun at Dwight Howard and Jeff Van Gundy. Now, I'll admit that the Howard and Van Gundy's baby picture is hilarious. even if it makes Shaq look shallow and spiteful.

What I don't like is this idea that athletes like Pierce are using Twitter to put themselves above reporters and bloggers, forcing us to go decipher their thoughts from their Tweets.

Sports Illustrated looked at this whole new phenomenonn the other day. Here is some of that piece, largely offering the athletes' perspective.

Twitter lets athletes speak on their own terms. "It's going to be useful during the season, because after a game, I'll be able to say my piece instead of just allowing different media outlets to portray me how they want to portray me," said St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, one of football's prolific tweeters. Talk to any athlete or coach about the benefits of Twitter, and they'll put message control at the top of the list. "In this world we live in now, everybody becomes media," said Shaquille O'Neal, whose enormous following of more than 1 million has fueled Twitter fever in sports. "If something is going to be said, hey, it's coming from me, it's coming from my phone." Journalists may lament athletes passing over the middle men. But honestly, what's more interesting, a "we gave 110 percent" from the postgame podium, or a tweet like this from Shaq: "Dam manny ramirez, come on man Agggggggggh, agggggggh, agggggh."

Maybe this is actually a good thing for bloggers like myself. I guess, in a way, it is another nail in the coffin of mainstream sports reporters. Who needs locker room access when you can just get the players' thoughts from Twitter?

I'm not sure I like it -- in fact, I know I don't like it -- even if it has some beneift for me. I'm too traditional, and I guess I still believe in properly spelled and constructed sentences. I don't have to like it, though.

Whether I do or not, this is how it is going to be. So, I will have to get used to it.

Now, down off my soapbox and on to a few of my other thoughts for a Sunday.

  • I think we have found out this week that Giants' GM Jerry Reese was prudent in signing both Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard this off-season. The health of both Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield, last season's starting defensive tackles, is currently in question.
  • I think I have no idea how Football Outsiders calculated it, but FOs finding that the Giants were the NFL's most efficient team in 2008 in terms of using the salary cap is another huge 'kudo' to Reese.
  • I think it goes without saying that the health of Philadelphia running back Brian Westbrook's surgically-repaired ankle will have a big impact on the NFC playoff picture. Matt Bowen of The National Football Post reminds us that this is nothing unusual for veteran running backs.

As our own Michael Lombardi wrote this morning, this is anything but a death sentence for the Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes, as the time off might be beneficial for both Westbrook and the Eagles. But it doesn’t hide the fact that running backs who turn the calendar to 30 frequently break down like old cars.

Think of it this way: Every time an NFL running back is tackled in the hole, it’s the equivalent of a head-on car accident on their bodies, and the effects — when multiplied over years — catch up to them when they reach their 30s.

  • Plaxico Burress can try, but I think he has almost zero chance of playing in an NFL game this season.
  • I think I hope Jim Fassel's experience in the newly-formed UFL goes well. I also think I have doubts that it will.
  • I think Jeremy Shockey's comments the other day about attending OTAs with the New Orleans Saints are kind of sad. Included in his remarks, Shockey said "I can mature a long way." Unfortunately, as Shockey showed by apparently drinking himself into the hospital a few weeks ago, he's more talk than action.
  • It sounds more and more like first overall pick Matthew Stafford is going to end up as the Detroit Lions' starting quarterback. I think the Lions will end up regretting that. They have a terrible offensive line, and Stafford will get pounded.
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