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Friday, December 7, 2012
Social media: Te'o vs. Manziel for Heisman

By Maria Burns Ortiz
Special to

The 2012 Heisman Trophy is going to come down to either Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel or Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. (Sorry, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.)

Wheels down in NYC with my boy @mteo_5 looking forward to the weekend!…

— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) December 7, 2012

Or as we’ve come to adapt everything in the social media age: It’s #HeIsManziel vs. #HeIsManti. Hard to imagine two more hashtag-able Heisman contenders.

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Te’o added to the buzz surrounding him when he picked up three awards at Thursday night’s Home Depot College Football Awards, including the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top player.
Hey @ndfbequipment - can we send #ND1 over to go pick up all of @mteo_5's new awards? #NeedTheTrunkSpace

— Notre Dame Football (@125NDFB) December 7, 2012


Manziel also snagged some hardware, however, bringing home the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback. Unfortunately for 1991 Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, Manziel’s family was on hand to see him receive the honor.
Johnny Manziel won the 1st award of the evening. His parents are here. I was hoping to adopt him. #ReverseBlindside #CFBAwards

— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) December 7, 2012


However, post-award ceremony, Manziel seemed more in awe of his surging popularity on Twitter than of the O’Brien Award.

— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) December 7, 2012


Te’o already has topped that milestone with 111,000-plus followers. Te’o also holds an edge on Facebook with a fan page boasting more than 25,000 likes compared to Manziel’s 18,000-plus. Of course, one could argue the senior has had a few more years to build up a following than his first-year Heisman rival.

When it comes to who’s being talked about on Facebook, Te’o trounces Manziel, generating more than three times as much conversation.

Te’o also is getting love from the Twitterverse.
This is why my boy is the #Heisman winner for me...Manti Te'o 2012 Heisman @mteo_5

— Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino) December 5, 2012

@mteo_5 congrats on the hardware. Well deserved

— Justin Tuck (@JustinTuckNYG91) December 7, 2012


But that doesn’t mean Manziel isn’t getting his share of notable support on the Web.
Johnny Manziel not deserving of Heisman Trophy because he's a true freshman is the most ridiculous argument I've heard.

— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) December 6, 2012


No matter who wins on Saturday, either Manziel or Te’o will make history – not just as the first freshman or defense-only player to take home the award but as the first Heisman winner with a verified Twitter account.

NFL’s Most Engaged

The Chicago Bears have the highest Facebook engagement of any team in the NFL, according to a study released by social media company Unmetric. Engagement was based on the most likes, shares, comments and impressions that each Facebook post received on a team’s page. The Bears also had the most fan posts on their Facebook page. At the other end of the Facebook engagement spectrum, the Detroit Lions found themselves in the same place as they sit in the NFC North standings – last.

The Bears, however, don’t even make the top five in Facebook likes. The Cowboys lead the way with more than 5.2 million, which is double the Bears’ 2.6 million likes.

On Twitter, the Jets and their more than 460,000 followers hold down the top spot. But according to Unmetric’s data, the Bills post the most tweets and the Seahawks have the fastest-growing following.

Elsewhere in the social mediasphere

The WWE released an update for its WWE Active app, giving fans unique second-screen access to its live events, backstage content and more.

UCLA Bruins coach Jim Mora believes the punishment for Twitter impersonation should be harsh.

Red Sox players welcomed the team’s most recent pickups via Twitter.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew talked about the speed with which social media campaigns build pressure on athletes and coaches.

The NHL Podium became the most recent inanimate object to rack up 15,000-plus Twitter followers in a matter of hours.

Roger Federer launched his own YouTube channel.

Got a story we should feature? Have a site we should check out? Who's on your must-follow list? Tweet me at @BurnsOrtiz. If your idea gets mentioned in this column, so will you. Follow Playbook on Twitter at @ESPNPlaybook.