AFC South: NFL Twindex

Video: Talk of the NFL Twindex

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
3:45
PM ET


We're putting the NFL Twindex on the shelf. Before you find a party hat to celebrate, let me explain.

NFL Twindex: Another Brown on top

September, 30, 2011
9/30/11
11:36
AM ET
Carlton MitchellAP Photo/Mark DuncanCarlton Mitchell leads this week's Twindex.
Faith is a key piece of the lives of a lot of NFL players on Twitter.

Many tweet Bible verses or favorite passages, particularly in the morning when they get in a prayer and a daily reading.

It can be a piece of a well-rounded tweeter, though it's not something that typically scores for a guy in the NFL Twindex.

We seek well-rounded players who deliver good humor, good commentary and good football insight.

You can find what I consider the best player tweets of the week by looking at my favorites.

I try to scan through as many tweets as I can, but it's difficult to see them all and I can always use your help. Call my attention to anything of interest at @ESPN_AFCSouth or @PaulKuharsky.

This week's list:

Chris HarrisAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhBears safety Chris Harris had an interesting take on the penalties in the Broncos-Raiders game.
Free advertising. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance?

When Randall Cobb gets his charitable foundation up and running, he’s likely to be using a logo he acquired thanks to a simple tweet.

Perhaps a young graphic artist out there will be able to add a line to his or her résumé after designing a mark for an NFL up-and-comer.

Cobb had a big debut in Green Bay’s season-opening win. Days later he decided to take advantage of the eyes on him. I’m guessing he’ll land a good logo out of it.

The smart marketing ploy gets him the No. 2 spot in this week’s NFL Twindex.

You can influence the poll by calling my attention to quality Tweers from NFLers. I’m @ESPN_AFCSouth and @PaulKuharsky.

Arian FosterHoward Smith/US PresswireThe Texans' Arian Foster leads the way in this week's Twindex ranking.
OK, the Twindex has been retooled a bit as we set sail on the 2011 NFL season.

While I sift through hundreds of players' tweets, only five will make our weekly list, though there will be quirky honorable mention categories for stuff that grabs my attention.

As always, I ask for your assistance. If there is a tweet that needs to be considered, call it to my attention at @ESPN_AFCSouth or @PaulKuharsky.

You can see the “finalists” by looking at favorites at the ESPN account.

An announcement to our fine player pool: It’s time to crank it up fellas. Camps are over, you’re back home and getting to your in-season schedule. It demands a lot of time to rest. During said rest, why not cleverly tweet us insight into football and life and football life?

We’ll be watching.

Chris HarrisMike DiNovo/US PresswireBears safety Chris Harris, right, rose to the top spot in the latest version of the NFL Twindex.

More football please.

When we started the NFL Twindex during the NFL lockout, many guys who earned top 10 spots did so on the strength of their comedy.

Now, it takes more. We need more. You, fare NFL player, have taken to Twitter to connect with your people. And to earn a top rating from this follower, you should have a reasonable share of football insight in the mix.

To stand your ground or gain some or to emerge as a member of the club, show us some of everything and be sure it includes some of what brought us to you in the first place.

I thought Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb (@KevinKolb_4) had the best recent football tweet: "Our Z receiver, @ARob12_Cards, has been tearing it up in practice. Get to know him this year."

Unfortunately, Kolb's busy learning a new team and hasn't been tweeting much. Understandable, but he doesn't even earn an honorable mention here for lack of volume.

With no further ado, our new list…

See a tweet I need to be aware of for the Twindex? Make me aware. I am @ESPN_AFCSouth and @Paul Kuharsky.
Austen LaneAP Photo/Stephen MortonAusten Lane has now been in the top-10 rankings of all four of the NFL Twindexes so far.
Show, don’t tell. We’re making it an NFL Twindex commandment.

“I usually hate when athletes tweet about how good their workout was,” Matt Hasselbeck (@Hasselbeck) tweeted Thursday in a good start, “but we had a great one today!”

Bad finish.

Plenty of NFL fans starved for morsels and insight into football and beyond would love to know what made it good.

J.J. Watt (@JJWatt) did very well with show-don’t-tell when he tweeted this picture. Yowza.

Alas, Hasselbeck and Watt are snapshot examples for us here at Twindex HQ, where we’d like to host Cleveland receiver Carlton Mitchell and Green Bay tight end Tom Crabtree. They hold the top two spots in our new poll, flip-flopping their standing from two weeks ago.

We could have a 10-event competition for the two including feats of strength and intellect and concluding with a tweet-off or a tweet-up or a tweet-meet.

They were neck and neck, and it came down to my gut feeling -- Mitchell was more consistently amusing.

Scroll through my favorites to see what was considered as we made the final cuts -- we are now trying to track 493 guys.

And hit me at @ESPN_AFCSouth and @PaulKuharsky with tweets I need to see and people I need to follow.

Tom CrabtreeMichael Heiman/Getty ImagesCreative tweeting earns Packers tight end Tom Crabtree the top spot on the latest Twindex.
Want to rise and grind? Want to know how long a flight is delayed out of Atlanta? Want motivational quotes and bible passages?

Me neither.

That’s not what I am looking for on Twitter. But I am curious what NFL players are saying and I have made a commitment to sort through it all to give you the highlights from NFL players since the last edition of the NFL Twindex.

Comedy is key during the lockout, but once things are settled we expect far more football talk to be involved here.

It’s not all about laughs on Twitter, and Amy Nelson illustrated so well in this piece about Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds.

Check out tweets I made favorites. That's the list I then worked with to craft our new poll.


Seeing quality tweets you want to make sure are considered? Point me to them. I'm @ESPN_AFCSouth and @Paul Kuharsky.
While studying up for the next installment of the NFL Twindex and requesting your help in pointing me to stuff I shouldn’t miss, I’ve been directed to a quality back-and-forth between a couple of rookie quarterbacks.

Christian Ponder’s been having a good time making fun of Blaine Gabbert for heading to Key West on vacation. Gabbert did well talking about all he did to free up the vacation time.

The good-natured banter is a bit of a commentary on what some fans/cynics would expect them to do before thinking it appropriate for them to have any summer fun.

A sampling:
@BlaineGabbert: Early flight...will be in the Key's in a matter of hours. I'm pumped

@cponder7: @BlaineGabbert I can't believe you are actually going out and having fun--You need to spend 26 hours out of each day studying the playbook

@BlaineGabbert: @cponder7 have you thrown your 1,971 passes today and ran your 10k? I have and 1300 pull ups. That's why I can fish and hang with my family

@BlaineGabbert: @cponder7 well come catch one more, gimme one of them post route things

@cponder7: @BlaineGabbert it's called a bang 8...obviously you haven't been studying if you didn't know that...good luck with an incompetent QB#Jags

@BlaineGabbert: @cponder7 it's a Glance. Are u still on your Viking ship from Norway? Or wherever you come from

@cponder7: @BlaineGabbert at least my mascots didn't go from one cat to another..tigers and jags #prrrrrr oh so scaryyy...

@cponder7: Going to throw and get better with #ChrisWeinke at #IMG while others (@BlaineGabbert) are frolicking in the Keys working on their tan

Fun stuff. Please don’t take it seriously and turn it into something more.

They’ve gotten themselves in the mix for the Twindex. What else have you seen that I need to be sure I’ve seen?
Carlton Mitchell and Steve BreastonGetty ImagesCarlton Mitchell and Steve Breaston were the cream of the NFL tweeting crop in the latest Twindex.
My eyes glazed over as would-be analysts offered little worthy of attention on Twitter regarding the NBA Finals, starting with too many of these: “Who ya got tonight, Mavs or Heat?”

Yawn-inducing, akin to, “What up [insert city here]?”

Over the last two weeks, we heard who came close to missing a flight and who was delayed and what they thought of the airports they were delayed in.

But even in such a desolate landscape, wonderful things popped up.

Little-known Carlton Mitchell, a second-year Browns wide receiver, was consistently hilarious and emerged from nowhere to take the top spot -- not by a nose, but in a landslide.

Laughs are aplenty among the rest of the field in the second edition of the NFL Twindex, one man’s subjective rankings of the best NFL tweeters out there over the last two weeks.

Big names who did well in the feature’s debut disappeared, with only three players retaining a spot in the top 10.

Without further ado, the new list:


Have a tweet I need to see? A Tweeter who needs more consideration? Find me at @ESPN_AFCSouth and @PaulKuharsky.
You need look no further than 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis for evidence that the NFL Twindex is sweeping the nation.

I was a guest this morning on "The Grady and Big Joe Show," and Colts punter and Twitterer extraordinaire Pat McAfee sat in for Big Joe. The vast majority of my segment consisted of McAfee bemoaning his status in the initial Twindex last week, when he garnered just an honorable mention.

He took a shot at the original No. 1, San Diego’s Shaun Phillips, while praising the runner-up, Aaron Rodgers. But his biggest complaint was over No. 8 Jay Feely, the Arizona kicker. McAfee called Feely “boring.”

Of course this got back to Feely -- "the wonder of twitter," he tweeted when I asked how. He was quite non-boring in a three-tweet response. Tone’s always tough in type -- I read this as in completely good humor:

http://twitter.com/#!/jayfeely
http://twitter.com/#!/jayfeely

That left McAfee doing something my 19-month-old son likes to do -- backing up while making beeping noises:


Yeah, not strengthening the Twindex bid there, Pat.

McAfee was an excellent radio stand in. But he’s on Twitter notice for the next seven days. (And you think a jailbreak on a punt creates stress.)

I’m planning the second edition of the Twindex next Friday.

All of this was a long way of getting to this point: My player list is up to 463. (No, not all verified. If a guy is an unverified contender and I plan to touch on him here, then I'll make a positive ID.) That’s a lot of people to track.

So if you see a great tweet or string of tweets from a player you follow, I urge you to call my attention to it. Aim it to me at @ESPN_AFCSouth or @Paul Kuharsky.

And thanks in advance for contributing.

Welcome to the NFL Twindex

May, 26, 2011
5/26/11
11:01
AM ET
Shaun Phillips/Aaron RodgersGetty ImagesShaun Phillips, left, and Aaron Rodgers hold the top two spots in the debut of our NFL Twindex.
Welcome to the ESPN.com NFL Twindex. Or Twitterdex. Or Twitter Index. (Shall we vote?) No, we’re going Twindex.

This is our periodic look -- I’m thinking twice a month for now, weekly once we’re in a season -- at what players and others who work for NFL teams are saying via Twitter. Because I love being subjective and we all love lists, it’s a subjective list.

I’m following everyone I can find -- 328 people and growing -- and I hope they’ll follow me back. It’s difficult to read every tweet every day, so if you see a great one, forward it to me. I’m @ESPN_AFCSouth and @PaulKuharsky. The Twindex will be built from the best sampling I am able to do while still also fulfilling the obligations of a full-time job.

Each guy who makes the list each week will get a tweet notifying him of his status. We’re fluid. If a guy is interesting this week, he may find himself in the top five. Be boring next week and he may disappear, depending on what his competition is doing. Former players, coaches, owners, equipment guys and mascots are eligible, too. Bring it.

What gets you here? Tweets beyond the ordinary.

You’re scored down for morning greetings (sorry @MikeSimsWalker), birthday wishes, constant song lyrics (sorry @JimIrsay), weather updates and dinner reviews (unless, maybe, you are @PotRoast96).

You are rewarded for witty observations, clever lines and exchanges, smart life advice, amusing family stories, a great re-tweet or picture and, certainly, high-quality football information or commentary. A good week of tweeting can get you a spot. One outstanding tweet can, too.

As I am a positive guy, this is a positive list. Generally, we want to be a place players want to be. Like in our MVP Watch or the best restaurant in town or in unrestricted free agency after a great season. It’s an evolving concept, and whether you’re a candidate or a reader, I welcome your input.

Titans cornerback Jason McCourty and his twin brother, Patriots Pro Bowl cornerback Devin McCourty, combined Twitter accounts and have made a big push to let fans see them.

When I told him about this during their recent ESPN car wash, Jason wasn’t ashamed to say he wanted @McCourtyTwins to get a spot on the initial Index.

“I think guys are so competitive, anything like that with a list and a top spot, guys will get some enjoyment out of it,” he said. “Somebody may post, ‘Hey, check out so-and-so, he’s No. 1 this week on the Twitter poll.’ I think it’ll probably be a cool idea. I’ll check it out.

“Hopefully that gets us to No. 1.”

Maybe next week, Jason.

Here’s the debut list.


Need to point me to a tweet? Have ideas for the NFL Twindex? Find me @ESPN_AFCSouth and @PaulKuharsky.

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