Couch Slouch

Couch Slouch: Norman Chad on Athletes on Twitter

By Norman Chad
Monday, March 30, 2009

Sports Nation has turned into Twitter World. Shaquille O'Neal and Lance Armstrong are among a growing number of athletes who are postings "tweets" -- short, online messages -- to instantly communicate with the public.

(Twitter is a so-called "social networking site." Old-school social networking was playing squash with a Kennedy, who then got your son a summer job on Capitol Hill. New-school social networking is posting a note to friends and paparazzi that you just bought a Juiceman that you're going to try after getting home from Pilates class.)

In-game Twitter posts are the wave of a bleak future because people want to know and need to know and have to know what's running through the mind of a Milwaukee Bucks forward at halftime of a 52-44 game.

Not only are we all going to hell in a handbasket, but we all apparently will be texting about it.

The new Women's Professional Soccer league is making Twittering an in-game priority, allowing players to post notes.

(As a rule, I won't follow any sport that has more tweets than goals.)

Poker champion Phil Hellmuth -- who believes his life is an open book that should be read around the clock -- is a serial Twitwit. Here are some of his recent tweets:

"Just drank Cristal at my home with Gavin Smith, Layne Flack, Jeff Madsen and Joe Sebok!"

"I am a writing machine! I wrote . . . 4,000 words for my autobiography today!"

"I am at Starbucks . . . eating and going to the driving range."

If Hellmuth has a significant bowel movement today, I'll be the first to know.

Alas, several trends are accelerating our digital descent into the abyss.

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