Friday, September 7, 2012
Social media: NFL's McCourty twins tweet
By Maria Burns Ortiz Special to ESPN.com
Twins Jason and Devin McCourty will be trash talking off the same Twitter account this weekend.
Players engaging in some good-natured Twitter trash talk before a game is nothing new. Doing it on the same account? That’s a first.
The New England Patriots take on the Tennessee Titans in Sunday’s Week 1 matchup. The game won’t just be the first for both teams this season. It will mark the first time the McCourty twins -- Patriots cornerback Devin and Titans cornerback Jason -- will be competing on opposite sides of the field.
The game also will mark the first time players who share a Twitter account will be facing off against each other. Setting the stage for tweets like the ones Jason posted this week.
“Hate to break it to u this way Dev, but Mom just told me that this is the hat she's gonna be wearing on sunday...” Jason tweeted with a link to a photo of an over-the-top Titans getup. The Tennessee cornerback also posted a photo of the twins' older brother wearing a Titans shirt.
Alike in so many ways, the McCourty twins have used the fact they’re identical to set themselves apart from all other athletes on the social media scene.
“I always hear people saying that it’s so cool that you share the Twitter account with your brother,” Jason said. “I think people like to see that we’re doing it together. Every once in a while, we’ll get people that don’t want to follow the other one, and they’ll say they don’t like it, but I’d say around 90 percent of people like it.”
Ribbing aside, the shared accounts allow the brothers to connect with fans and to win over new ones.
“Some Patriots fans have become fans of me, and vice versa,” Jason said. “Some Titans fans have become fans of Dev, just because of the fact that they got a chance to learn who both of us are.”
They don’t have any kind of arrangement as to how often each will share an update, but it balances out pretty evenly. The regular updates and juxtaposition of the two voices give fans a chance to get to know both brothers.
“People know how similar we are,” Devin said. “It’s kind of cool for people to get a chance to see personality-wise how different we are.”
Considering that engaging with fans is key to social media success, the twins also reap the benefit of having two authors on the account. (They end each tweet with J-Mac and D-Mac so followers know who is writing.)
“I think we get to respond to people more than some other athletes because sometimes I’ll be practicing and he won’t, and he can respond or the other way around,” Jason said.
That is unless they’re playing against each other.
Elsewhere in the social mediasphere
Twitter provided a useful guide for NFL fans to follow their favorite teams.
The NHL season might be up in the air, but the New Jersey Devils are in the process of finalizing their newest class of Devils Army Generals. The team had more than 330 social media hopefuls for 25 spots.
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.