200 Miles From the Citi

November 28, 2010 12:03 AM

I'm All A-Twitter


Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XLVIII)

I've become addicted to Twitter.

I'm not sure I fully understand it yet, but I'm getting there.

It's equal parts intriguing and baffling.

It's become the dominant part of my internet experience - If I'm on-line, chances are there's a Twitter window open on my browser.

So now it's time for the obligatory blog post about my Twitter experience.

There are a few different uses for Twitter - and I'm not sure I even am aware of them all yet.  Here are a few:
-Social networking: A lot of the people I follow use Twitter as a way to interact with one another.  Almost like a chat.  Except instead of a private chat it's out there for everyone to see.  Sometimes I wonder why the people who do this don't use private messages instead - or direct messages, they're called on Twitter.  I still don't know how those work, really.
-Information:  If you follow the right people, Twitter is becoming more and more the place to get breaking news.  It's where I've found out the latest Mets news all off-season, from Sandy Alderson to the Mets managerial interview process to the Tuesday presser being scheduled where Terry Collins was introduced.  I've also found, though, that a lot of sportswriters come across on Twitter as arrogant know-it-alls.  140 characters doesn't suit them too well.
-A finger on the pulse:  Twitter gives you a real window into the fan's point of view.  I'm following a bunch of Jets and Mets fans, and there's instantaneous reaction to any news out of those teams' camps.  Sometimes you find out which fans are woefully uninformed (I've been unfollowing people lately), but for the most part you get an accurate read into how fans are feeling.  (Terry Collins has not been popular with the majority of the Mets fans I follow on Twitter.)
-Celebrities:  There are comedians, musicians, actors, and athletes out there to follow on Twitter.  It's neat to read information straight from them.  I'm still hoping I can get Anthony Becht to follow me.

Twitter has opened my eyes to a number of new Mets blogs.  (Usually I try to avoid reading other blogs so I don't let other writing bias my opinions, but with so much happening during the Mets' off-season I've been reading around...and it's interesting that there are tons more baseball sites than football ones.)  I've enjoyed reading those and reading the opinions of the informed fans on Twitter.  I haven't live-blogged in a while because I like tweeting during the Jets games and reading other fans' reactions to the games.  (And getting feedback on my tweets - I like knowing someone is responding to what I write.)  I enjoy the challenge of fitting what I have to say into 140 characters or less.

And I like gaining followers.  I'm at about 70 right now.  I figure there are thousands upon thousands of Mets and Jets fans out there still to follow me.  It's all I can do not to scream "FOLLOW ME" whenever someone I follow doesn't return the favor.  My goal is to narrow my following-to-follower ratio as close to 1:1 as possible.  I have a long way to go.

Twitter is going to keep my attention for a long time.

FOLLOW ME! @200miles_citi.

*So my dad and I decided midday on Thanksgiving not to go to the Jets game.  We went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my daughters that morning and that was tiring, and decided we'd rather sit on the warm couch than in the cold stands.  I don't regret that decision at all - especially considering it is such a hassle to get to the Meadowlands from our house in Queens.  If it was one train ride, or we could drive in and out easily, I'd have gone, but it's not.

I still want to see a meaningful game at New Meadowlands Stadium, but I'm thinking it'll have to be the playoffs.  (I only did the preseason game against the Giants, and that doesn't qualify as meaningful in anybody's book.)  After I see a meaningful game (hopefully two in the post-season this year), I'm not sure I'll be going back ever again.

*It occurred to me as I was watching Saturday night's 'Sound FX' on NFL Network that the participants in the game where a record number of participants were miked were the Jets and Bengals - the last two 'Hard Knocks' participants.  Neither team there is shy around the cameras or microphones.

*I don't have a strong opinion either way on Terry Collins.  If he's tough, I think that's a good thing for the Mets - I'd love to see some guys who don't hustle get pulled from the game.  They need that.  I'll hold my opinion until I actually see what he can do in the season.

*Collins is the 20th manager in Mets history.  First of all, as my brother-in-law and I discussed over Thanksgiving dinner, 20 managers in 50 years is a lot.  That's one every 2-and-a-half years.  Ugh.  Secondly, we tried to name all 20 in one shot.  I got 12.  Who did I miss?  Glad you asked:  Wes Westrum, George Bamberger, Salty Parker, Joe Frazier, Roy McMillan, Frank Howard, Mike Cubbage, and Yogi Berra.

*I drove over to Citi Field on the way back to Massachusetts from Thanksgiving in New York.  Figured maybe Collins or Alderson were working the long weekend and I might run into them, or maybe I'd take some pictures on what was a cold but clear day in New York...but I couldn't do any of the above.  There was a barrier set up preventing any cars from getting into the parking lots.  Not even so that you could access the team store.  I could have parked elsewhere (outside the park's lots) and walked around the barrier, but it was too cold and inconvenient...and maybe there was another way around...but this one was the main area and it was blocked off.  Seemed strange to me, especially considering it was a holiday weekend where people may have been trying to access the team store.

*I forgot to give an NFC South update a couple of weeks ago - the Panthers were unable to continue the trend of road teams winning those division games at the Bucs.  They couldn't even cover.  I will continue to follow that trend (and pick the games that way) the rest of this season - it's still been pretty effective.

*Interesting article in Saturday's New York Times about the 'Hartford Whalers' brand being brought back to Hartford - the New York Rangers' minor league affiliate in Hartford is changing from the Wolf Pack to the 'Connecticut Whale'.  A couple of things I didn't understand, though - it seems like this change is taking place 11 games into the season?  Why not right away?  Is Saturday their first home game - is that why it took 11 games?  Did they start with an 11 game road trip?  None of these questions were clear in the article - also, I'm surprised it took me so long to find this out.  Not that I follow the Rangers super close, but this seems like it should get some play in New England.

*A couple of Jets references in this week's Sports Illustrated - Rex Ryan was voted in the player poll as the coach players would most like to play for, and Mark Sanchez gave a pretty good interview with Dan Patrick.  He came off, again, sounding more mature and well-spoken than he looked on 'Hard Knocks'.

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