Which Boston Sports Personalities to Follow on Twitter
Sports Illustrated recently released its annual list of the top 100 Twitter personalities, and while we appreciate their recommendation that we follow Lebron … it also prompted us to consider what our list of Boston-centric personalities would look like. After all, with a new NHL season, the Red Sox four wins away from a World Series appearance, a 4-1 start for the Patriots, and the Celtics seemingly destined to be the butt of many a 140-character joke, there’s a lot to keep caught up on. Here are some of our favorite follows:
Paul Flannery @Pflanns
Flannery is an NBA writer for SB Nation and teaches journalism at Boston University. He’s currently on a mission to preview every team in the Eastern Conference before the start of the season.
Jason Thompson pulled the chair on David Lee and my preseason hoops night is complete.
— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) October 8, 2013
Kirk Goldsberry @kirkgoldsberry
If you’re a visual learner, Goldsberry, a visiting scholar at Harvard and Grantland contributor, is as good as it gets. Goldsberry maps individual NBA players’ shot attempts (he’s expanded to the NFL, plotting the distribution of quarterback completions) to determine where on the floor they are most and least effective as scorers.
Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA
Lowe, another Grantlander with Boston connections, is the preeminent NBA writer on the net. He covers all 30 NBA teams and relies heavily on film analysis and advanced statistics.
Stephen Curry: genius pocket passer. Really smart timing, passing when defenders are off balance. — Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) October 8, 2013
Jeff Clark @CelticsBlog
CelticsBlog.com, SB Nation’s Celtics site, is a must-read for Cs fans and is another example of the tremendous NBA coverage being done online. Clark and the other contributing writers take a Lowean approach, providing smart and often humorous analysis.
Danny Ainge caught C. Lee from falling out of bounds, all while holding his cell phone (probably on with another GM trying to trade Lee)
— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) October 8, 2013
Sean Grande @SeanGrandePBP
Grande, the Celtics’ radio play-by-play announcer for the past 15 years, is among the most respected broadcasters in the NBA. He’s also the voice of the Frozen Four and has spent the summer broadcasting Red Sox games.
You lose. RT @DanGoddu Bet you can’t tweet and do baseball play by play the same time
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) August 6, 2013
Jeff Green @unclejeffgreen
If you’re not a fan of Drake or Catfish, then this is probably a stay-away, but Green tweets some gems among the slew of lyrics and Catfish reactions. As far as we can tell, Katy Perry never acknowledged Green’s crush.
Ben Rohrbach @brohrbach
Rohrbach writes a blog, Green Street, for WEEI where, in addition to his written coverage, he uploads a number of player interviews, available for his audience. In general any added element that brings your audience closer to the story is a positive.
Tim Britton @timbritton
Britton, the Providence Journal’s Red Sox beat writer, is especially adept at bringing the locker room to his followers. He tweets about his experiences around the team more than most beat writers in a way that is very accessible.
Bogaerts singled out Nava as a guy whose approach he followed. Nava: “He’s learning from me? When I was 20 I was washing uniforms.”
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) October 9, 2013
Gordon Edes @GordonEdes
Edes is ESPN Boston’s Red Sox beat writer, and this year you can’t get enough of those. Not as anecdotal as Britton, Edes tweets more in-game details. The two would complement each other nicely in a Red Sox beat writer list.
It was for this game that Red Sox traded Jose Iglesias. Peavy holding up his end of bargain
— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) October 9, 2013
Will Middlebrooks @Middlebrooks
Middlebrooks’s feed is everything you could hope for from a professional athlete: funny, sincere, and generally lacking in clichéd, motivational messages about working harder.
What’s the best movie on Netflix??? — Will Middlebrooks (@middlebrooks) April 29, 2013
Alex Speier @alexspeier
We would be remiss to leave Speier off the list after he was (unofficially) voted Boston’s best Red Sox beat writer by Deadspin readers earlier this summer.
Longoria can’t hold up on a check-swing against an Uehara splitter, and the Sox are advancing to the ALCS for the 5th time in 11 seasons. — Alex Speier (@alexspeier) October 9, 2013
Greg Bedard @GregABedard
The final product looks different, but Bedard is the NFL media’s version of Lowe. Few NFL writers are as dedicated to analyzing and understanding film as Bedard, who writes like a coach-converted-journalist He recently moved to MMQB from the Boston Globe, so he’s especially well schooled on the Patriots.
Don’t be lazy and blame Cowboys QB Tony Romo for the INT vs. Broncos http://t.co/g2yuXowt3Q
— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) October 9, 2013
Jeff Howe @jeffphowe
Howe distinguishes himself from a crop of great Patriot beat writers through a continuous supply of information to his readers. His Twitter account is very active, and when covering a team like the Patriots, there is rarely a dull moment.
Brady is now 96-4 as a starter when Pats surrender less than 20 points in a game. It was his 1st ever loss when they’ve allowed 15 or less.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 7, 2013
Devin McCourty @McCourtyTwins
If you follow Devin McCourty you actually get the added bonus of following his twin brother Jason as well. The McCourty twins are good natured on Twitter where they interact with fans, promote their charitable work, and give us a sense of what it’s like to play in the NFL (x2).
New England Patriots @Patriots
The dynamic between front office and media relations can be strange at times, but the Patriots have found a balance that works. The team’s official account often breaks news about player transactions and is a good source player information that you don’t get from other sources.
We’ve placed DL Vince Wilfork on IR, signed WR Austin Collie & released TE Zach Sudfeld: http://t.co/sGM3W1eMk2
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 3, 2013
Mike Reiss @MikeReiss
Reiss is the gold standard for beat writers. He’s as tapped into the Patriots organization as anyone and has an impressive understanding of the bigger picture. Tracking snaps is one of the staples of his reporting.
Offensive snaps for the Patriots in 13-6 loss to Bengals: Brandon Bolden leads running backs in pass-first plan. http://t.co/RVyYM8cUrK
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 7, 2013
Field Yates @FieldYates
Reiss’s colleague at ESPN Boston, Yates covers league-wide stories and is a go-to fantasy football resource, in addition to his beat with the Patriots.
Patriots rookie P Ryan Allen has dropped four consecutive punts inside the 10-yard line. His team has definitely needed him today.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 6, 2013
Ryan Whitney @ryanwhitney6
The Panthers’ net minder is a Scituate, Mass. native and is an avid sports fan who often shares his two cents with his more-than-100,000 followers.
This sox team has a special feel. Every night a new hero. Makes you realize how bad Bobby Valentine really was.
— Ryan Whitney (@ryanwhitney6) September 14, 2013
Joe McDonald @ESPNJoeyMac
Bruins’ Thornton on Sox: “It feels like they want to win for each other and not themselves. That’s what you need to have a successful team.”
— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) October 8, 2013
Just about your one-stop shop for all things Boston sports. McDonald is ESPN Boston’s beat writer for both the Bruins and Red Sox and makes a concerted effort to examine the similarities in approach between the different franchises.
Michael McCann @michaelmccannsportslaw
A Massachusetts attorney who represented Maurice Clarett in his attempt to declare early for the NFL Draft, McCann is as reputable a source as there is on Aaron Hernandez’s trial and future prospects
Judge wants to hear Hernandez testify for key reason: if he’s convicted, makes it harder for him to claim ineffective assistance of counsel.
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) October 9, 2013
Bob Ryan @GlobeBobRyan
If you can forgive him the occasional blank tweet here and there, Ryan usually does a pretty good job sharing his insights via Twitter. After all, it can’t be easy to condense his wisdom into just 140 characters.
Make that the bottom of the 9th. Have never seen a team bat around in the bottom of the 9th. Another example why baseball is the best game.
— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) August 2, 2013
Bill Simmons @BillSimmons
It’s difficult to include Simmons on a list like this, but ultimately it’s harder to omit him. Most of his tweets are Grantland related, but when Simmons discusses Boston sports, he doesn’t hold punches and says things that few of his peers are willing to voice.
Celts saved 21 mill, lost a coach who had already quit on them + picked up an unprotected future 1st from a crazy franchise. Nice day.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 24, 2013
Bob Walsh @CoachBobWalsh
Rhode Island College men’s basketball coach Bob Walsh is as social-media savvy (and smart) a coach as you’ll find. He routinely takes to Twitter or his blog to pose and answer the most pressing questions for college basketball coaches at all levels. Rarely do coaches as insightful as Walsh make their thinking so readily available for consumption.
One thing you can definitely tell after just one college practice is who played for a really good high school coach.
— Bob Walsh (@CoachBobWalsh) October 1, 2013
And of course we don’t intend this list to be exhaustive, so if you think we missed one of your go-to follows, leave it in the comments.