Archive for March 2012
When John Talty wrote a fantastic list of Sports Writer Must-Follows for the International Business Times, it struck me (and others) how most on the list had more than 10/25/50 or even 100 thousand followers.
So, I compiled this list of the greatest NFL sports must follows that have less than 10 thousand followers. The list ranges from bloggers to radio guys; from guys who break news to those who aggregate it. If you’re not following these people on Twitter, you’re simply doing it wrong. (Also, if you stumbled here without following me (@Schottey) feel free to do so as well.)
Note: ALL of these people talk about NFL at the league-wide level most of the time. While there are plenty of other great team-based tweeters, I tried to keep this list more globally-focused.
@ChrisBurke_SI (9001)—Sports Illustrated
Chris has been an NFL editor at Fanhouse, made a brief stop at Bleacher Report and took his talents to Sports Illustrated, where he runs “The Audibles” blog.
@PSchrags (8856)—Fox Sports
Pete’s got his finger on the pulse of the NFL and usually has either a funny or a poignant take on what’s going on. He also, literally, wrote the book on Victor Cruz.
A former NFL Scout/Director, Louis Riddick is now a fixture on NFL Insiders on ESPN. A good resource all the time, he’s especially great during live football.
@MikeTanier(8305)—Sports On Earth
One of the better “think outside the box” guys in the NFL blogosphere
He’s covered a host of divisions for PFW, but his tweets know no bounds. You’re missing a lot of great insider gossip and NFL analysis if you’re not following.
@SeniorBowlPhil (7755)—Former NFL GM/Senior Bowl
Phil Savage used to run NFL personnel departments, but now he has his hands full with Senior Bowl prep. He’s got great opinions and knows a ton about the game.
@PFF_Sam (7605)—Pro Football Focus
Sam also tweets from the @ProFootbalFocus account so he’s a little late to the twitter game. Still, for fantastic analysis and an unbiased look at the players you think you know about, Sam is one of the best.
@SalaryCap101 (7546)—Priority Sports/ESPN Radio/CSN
One of the smartest money guys around the NFL, J.I. Halsell has been on both sides of the negotiating table and also serves as the NFL Insider for ESPN Radio D.C.
@FOX_JayClemons (7386)—Fox Sports
An award winning fantasy columnist, Jay recently joined B/R as a baseball/NFL fantasy guru and shares all of his knowledge on twitter. Your league will hate you, but follow Jay and you might start bringing home first place.
@Ted_Sundquist (7191)—TheFootballEducator, Former NFL GM
Mr. Sundquist has insight that very few in the media can match after spending time in the Denver Broncos front office and at the Air Force Academy as an assistant coach. He has a way of looking at things from an angle no one else takes.
@SGW94 (6724)—SB Nation
Stephen White is a former defensive lineman and one of the smartest, most-opinionated football minds on Twitter. He’s also unabashedly liberal, which is a plus for me.
Want the “fairer side’s” perspective on the game? Screw that…Melissa Jacobs is one of the smartest and most opinionated NFL bloggers out there and will make anyone man or woman smarter with each tweet.
@FBGChase (5643)—Football Perspective
Chase Stuart has written for just about everyone in the football biz and now he’s writing for his own site–Football Perspective. His twitter feed is a great mix of highbrow football stuff accessible to the average fan and stats/analysis that will blow your mind.
@Ryan_Riddle (5249)—Bleacher Report
Ryan set Cal’s single-season sack record and was drafted in the 5th round by the Oakland Raiders in 2005. Now, Ryan writes for Bleacher Report and provides readers with an inside look at the game they can’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s personal stories about Ray Lewis and Aaron Rodgers or a breakdown of defensive line play, Riddle brings the heat with every tweet.
@Andrew_Garda (5165)—Bleacher Report, Football Guys
Andrew has written for countless outlets and has a well-rounded approach to the game while never shying away from tough topics. If it’s happening, Garda has an opinion about it.
@Dumonjic_Alen (4869)—The Score
Speaking of fantastic insight, Alen Dumonjic is one of the smartest football minds that no one knows about. His X’s and O’s analysis of NFL games is almost instantaneous and will teach you what just happened before the replay.
One of the best young writers around, Robert joined MMQB and has dominated with great features and interviews. He’s a must-follow and a must-read.
One of my favorite writers, Andy had spent some time bouncing around with his own site and on the NYT’s Fifth Down blog. Peter King’s new site wisely grabbed him and he’s been knocking it out of the park.
@AndrewBucholtz (4588)—Yahoo!; AwfulAnnouncing
Hailing from north of the board, Andrew tweets a lot about the CFL, but knows its American “big brother” pretty well too. Of course, you’ll get plenty of analysis of the analysts as well, which is always fun.
@CorryJoel (4533)—National Football Post/CBS
I like to think that I know a little bit about the business side of football. If I need to know something about a player’s contract terms, I can usually dig it up. Joel Corry, on the other hand, lives and breathes this stuff. He’s become a great resource not only for media, but also for the casual fan.
@JoshZerkle (3671)—Bleacher Report
Josh does video for B/R and (more importantly) also hosts our live fantasy show on Sunday mornings. Follow him for hilarious opinions, but also bug him about your crappy fantasy team.
@TySchalter (3443)—Bleacher Report
Ty Schalter is a Lions blogger turned national lead writer (hey, that sounds familiar!) for B/R and unabashed MSU & American soccer fan. Follow him for just about anything, but just follow him already!
@BKissel7 (3370)—Bleacher Report
BJ Kissel knows both baseball (was Academic All-Big 12 at Kansas State) and football. He’s got a great scouting eye and B/R was very happy to be able to poach him over from Arrowhead Pride. So, if you’re a fan of the Chiefs or the NFL Draft, he’s even more of a must-follow!
@JoshKatzowitz (3363)—CBS Sports
Part of the Eye On Sports blogs, Josh can be found tweeting about almost any big NFL topic. He’s also currently finishing a book about Sid Gilman which promises to be fantastic.
@patrick_hruby (3186)—Sports on Earth
If you care about the social issues around the game (I do, you should), Patrick is a must-follow.
The problem with doing lists like this is that you always leave someone off. So, here’s another short list of fine follows who “missed the cut” (ie, were inexplicably left off by me/I’m too lazy to up this list to 50): @realshaunking, @ckparrot, @RobRang, @NFL_Bridge, @SoftliSTL, @CaptainComeback, @BaxFootballGuru, @MikeMcCartney7, @TysonNFL, @RotoPat, @AlexDunlapNFL
Congrats to these guys who used to be on the list but have crossed the 10K threshold–@PatKirwanCBS, @SigmundBloom, @MoveTheSticks, @ChrisWesseling, @Aaron_Nagler, @WillBrinson, @MichaelDavSmith, @JoeFortenbaugh, @dpbrugler, @footballfacts, @brian_mcintyre, @Chet_G, @MattWaldman, @NFLOsophy, @JeneBramel
Danny Walton, father of Denver Broncos center J.D. Walton, has given me a crash course in parenting. As a father of a 2-year-old son with another son on the way, I thank him for this masters course on how not to be a sports parent.
It all started with a mock draft in which I said the Broncos should draft a center in the 2nd round of the upcoming NFL draft. Now, let’s take a moment to realize what a mock draft is–complete prognostication, very little basic in reality, and mostly an exercise in futility. The reason I do mock drafts is to emphasize team needs and the players who might be available to fill those roles. In the grand scheme of things, complaining about a mock draft might be one of the stupidest things on earth.
Still, Mr. Walton took the time to complain about my belief that the Broncos could use an upgrade at center.
Your prediction for Broncos 2nd round pick at center is just stupid. You need to do research so you don’t embarrass yourself. Walton is one of their best linemen.
At first, I didn’t realize who I was dealing with. I figured it was just some fan hate mail. But, doing my due diligence, I Googled the strange domain name of his email address and found that Mr. Walton, an employee of the Denton Independent School District, lists his son as one of his accomplishments.
My assessment of Walton was a completely unbiased result of charting linemen during the Broncos games I watched. As someone who has coached in similar schemes as the Broncos used with Tebow under center, I knew that high rushing totals didn’t always equal great line play. With the Broncos, this held true as their line struggled for much of 2011 and the Broncos still put up huge numbers. I did not scout every center in the league, but of the ones I did, Walton was the worst. On the Broncos OL, he was clearly the weakest link.
Of course, I’m not alone in my assessment of Walton. Matt Miller (as part of his B/R 1000 series) ranked Walton as one of the worst centers in the NFL, saying: “Hands down, the worst run-blocker I scouted at center. Fails to engage the defender, doesn’t have the strength to hold his ground and is run over consistently. “ Pro Football Focus ($) ranked Walton as their worst center of 2011 noting he gave up 15 QB pressures, 4 QB sacks and 4 QB hits. They also credited Walton with their worst (by far) run blocking grade. Recently, Ben Muth at Football Outsiders also remarked how the Broncos could upgrade the center position this offseason, saying Walton, “got shoved around at times.
I’m not the only person getting fan mail from Mr. Walton either. Other members of the national and Denver media have told me that “Danny doesn’t like me very much,” or remarked “Is J.D.’s dad emailing everybody?”
The Broncos recent pursuit of Jeff Saturday was telling exactly how the Broncos felt about their starting center. Even if they were comfortable with him, they felt he could be upgraded by a man who reportedly contemplated retirement before signing with the Green Bay Packers. Make no mistake, Jeff Saturday chose the Packers over the Broncos and the Broncos were very interested in signing Saturday. However, Mr. Walton emailed again:
Wow!!!! Can you believe the Broncos coaches and the personnel decision makers decided to keep and support the “worst center in the entire NFL”, JD Walton? What are they thinking? … Looks like the “weak link” maybe centering to one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. … You don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to JD, and it is not right to repeat what other people have said about him, they obviously don’t know either. Be positive, the world could use a little more of it.
I guess that’s the point isn’t it
My job actually is to study the game of football and to repeat what other knowledgeable people say about it. It is also, my job to state my opinions–positive and negative and not worry about whose dad might be lurking on the other side of the computer screen. Plenty of people disagree with me on various topics, but simply stating that “I’m wrong” (with no supporting evidence other than your DNA similarities) is ridiculous.
Speaking of jobs, does the Denton ISD pay Mr. Walton to spend his Monday mornings emailing sports writers? Doesn’t Mr. Walton have better things to do than make sure no body is saying bad things about his son? Does his son even know his dad is wasting his time on this nonsense?
This is helicopter parenting not at it’s worse, but possibly at its most hilarious.