Thursday, March 20, 2014
Mack Brown becoming a Twitter star
By Max Olson
Mack Brown has put more time into a few hobbies now that he’s no longer a head coach. We know he’s watching a lot of sports, and because of another new hobby, Twitter, we’ve learned a few of his other interests.
The former Texas coach is developing into a bit of a star in the social networking world thanks to his newfound fondness for hosting late-night Q&As with his more than 59,000 followers.
On his @UT_MackBrown account, Brown has surpassed 2,300 tweets. Now that he no longer has to follow recruits, the 101 people he follows consist of former players, coaches, friends and football reporters.
Brown has stuck to his tradition of posting an inspirational quote each morning, referencing such thinkers as Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw, Zig Ziglar and Vince Lombardi. It serves as his thought of the day. And on a daily basis, Brown’s Twitter posts are about what you’d expect from an ex-coach who’s still living in Austin and loving Texas athletics.
He congratulated former players Jackson Jeffcoat and James Kirkendoll for receiving their T-Rings, Henry Melton for joining the Cowboys and Sam Acho for getting married.
He’s still following Longhorns sports closely and offering his support to the men’s basketball, women’s basketball and track teams these days. He’ll still retweet the Longhorn Network account from time to time.
Considering the public figure Brown became during his 16-year tenure in burnt orange, it’s no surprise he’s putting in an effort to keep up. He does seem to be enjoying this medium and the networking it offers.
And lately, on the nights he decides to take questions, Brown is open to chatting with anybody about anything. And he can really get on a roll.
On March 11, for example, Brown answered more than 60 questions in a span of about 70 minutes. Considering he does his tweeting from his iPhone, that’s quite the commitment.
His most prolific chat, to date, appears to be the one from March 3. He posted more than 165 tweets over the course of four hours, all in response to questions or comments he received.
That chat came the day after his close friend Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar. Brown’s live-tweeting of the Academy Awards drew lots of attention, too.
In case you’ve been missing out on these Q&As -- and that’s understandable, because you never know when one will get going -- here’s a glimpse of what we’ve learned about Brown during his ask-me-anything chats.
- Brown does not hunt, nor does he drink coffee or alcohol. He loves to golf but acknowledges “it’s a tough deal.” He would not reveal his golf handicap. He does own six pairs of boots, size 10 ½.
- The most common advice he offers to those who want to go into coaching: “Follow your dream.” Brown said the coaches he looked up to were Darrell Royal, Bobby Bowden, John McKay, Joe Paterno, Bo Schembechler and Paul Dietzel. He’s also a fan of Bill Snyder.
- If Brown hadn’t gone into coaching, he says he would’ve become a lawyer. He says he’s never considered running for state office.
- His favorite meal is chili. He does prefer beans in his chili, which some Texans frown upon. His favorite Cajun food is crawfish, and his favorite candy is chocolate.
- His favorite movie is the 1969 classic “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” His favorite McConaughey movie is “A Time to Kill.” Brown did watch the first season of “True Detective,” but he does not watch soap operas.
- His favorite band is the Longhorn Band. His favorite Beatle is Paul McCartney.
- He believes Kevin Durant would’ve made a great wide receiver in college had he played football. It's hard to disagree with that.
- When asked if he would comment on Johnny Manziel, Brown said: “i only talk UT guys.” But he did offer that he thinks Tony Romo is a “great competitor” and that Oregon’s Marcus Mariota was tough to game plan against.
- If Brown were stranded on an island with three people, here’s who he’d want to spend his time with: Joe Jamail, the Longhorn booster who is his lawyer and best friend; Red McCombs, the billionaire Texas booster; and former President George W. Bush.
And that’s just the fun stuff. He’ll entertain questions about games he coached, offer nuggets about the big moments from his Texas career and all sorts of other football-related knowledge. Or, if you just want to be retweeted by Mack Brown, he can usually help you out with that too.
Brown is no doubt doing plenty of other things with his newfound spare time, but connecting with his fanbase is becoming one of his more popular endeavors. He’s simply out to offer up advice, praise and some honesty.
Why’s he doing this? Because Brown, as he recently reminded his many followers, is just trying to stay true to himself.