Life Stories on Twitter

Some days, deciding on a blog post is challenging. There may be so many topics to choose from that isolating what you want to write about is hard. That’s a good problem to have mind you but, with the limited amount of time I have after working all day, I have to decide quickly so as to have enough time to write about it. Other days, there’s not enough going on in sports (check back with me in July), that it’s almost like looking for the elusive end of the rainbow.

But, not today.

No follower updates today. Today, is about the human side of sports; life.

Life is precious. And it feels, quite often, too short. Take the story of Maggie Dixon, former Army women’s basketball coach. Written by Liz Merrill for, it’s the story of a young coach, who, albeit briefly, changed the lives of a team, a school, an assistant coach and countless others who we’ll never know. For those who don’t know, Maggie is the younger sister of current University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball coach, Jamie Dixon. For one season, Maggie, the 28 year-old coach at Army, took a team that nobody had high expectations for and took them to the NCAA women’s tournament. Cut down by a heart arrhythmia at the age of 28, 5 years after her death, many of the people interviewed are still impacted by her presence, her words and her life.

A second chance is all some people ask for when given a death-sentence diagnosis like former CNN Sports anchor Nick Charles was in 2009. Diagnosed with incurable bladder cancer, he was given 20 months to live. In an article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN, Nick talks about his life before and after his illness. Like so many of us, he has made mistakes. Fortunately, he has lived long enough, 21 months post-diagnosis as of the article, that he has been able to make amends somewhat for them. Whether you or a loved one are facing or has faced a diagnosis such as this, or even if you haven’t experienced it whatsoever, to hear the words of a man who understands and, shall we say “gets it”, you learn to appreciate life as a whole.

I encourage you to read those stories. Tweet about them. Post them on your Facebook status. Whatever it is you do, do it. Because in this crazy world and even this crazy sports world we live in, we need to share these stories to sometimes remind us that life is too short and you never know what tomorrow will bring. Read, count your blessings and share. God’s blessings to the Dixon and Charles families 

CadChica Sports

Follower Update and Twitter Trash-Talking

There is no stopping this Twitter train. Last night, I thought I had checked the follower lists one last time. But, somewhere along the way I’ve become fascinated by them. And so, without further adieu:


 Shaka Smart: @coachsmartvcu  =  6754 last night / 6840 tonight

Brad Stevens: @BUCoachStevens  = 12,601 last night / 12,283 tonight

Jim Calhoun: @CoachCalhoun = 366 last night / 386 tonight

Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1851 last night / 1851 tonight

Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin  4176 last night / 4207 tonight

Well done Rocky Top. No changes on the Missouri State account. Woo Hoo. Not sure if I typed the numbers wrong for Coach Stevens or not though. Hard to believe he “lost” followers so maybe last night’s number was 12, 061. We’ll keep an eye on it though to see if it’s a trend. Now that basketball is done, I’d expect a bit of a slow down. At least until we get closer to Midnight Madness.


The women’scollege basketball championship was tonight. Those two heavyweights UConn & Stanford met. Wait. The coronation of those teams would have to wait because they were beat in the semis on Sunday by Notre Dame and Texas A&M, respectively. And so we were left with two newbies. I know Notre Dame is not really a newbie but it seems the talk centered around UConn and Stanford as being destined to meet in the final for most of this year. Not that I’m a women’s basketball fan but if you listen to sports radio or read sports websites often enough, you’re more than likely to read about UConn and Stanford.

I didn’t watch the game tonight until the last few minutes. I followed along on Twitter, of course. Thankfully, it was a better game than what the men turned in last night. Texas A&M defeated Notre Dame 76-70. Naturally, after the fact, I went to Twitter and decided to check the status of one of the players, who shall remain nameless. From my search, I found tweets upon tweets upon tweets just denigrating this player. Most of them had nothing to do with her playing. .

The more I typed this, the more confused yet irritated I got about this subject. To prevent from having to “edit” myself, I will now stop this subject right now. But I will ask this one question. Why is it okay to talk about female athletes’ in non-sports terms if they don’t do anything but just play their sport????? I am in no way a champion of “all things women’s sports” but come on now. Is it really necessary? Really? I’m not a politically correct person but I do know when to grow up…every now & then.

CadChica Sports 

Oh How Ugly It Was

As I’m typing this, I’m watching one of the ugliest basketball games you’ll ever want to see. UConn & Butler is not a pretty game for a championship. It’s hard to imagine that this will get any better, but I’m not holding my breath.

I thought refereeing would be critical in this game but not in the way it’s playing out. After watching UConn get their opponents’ key guys in trouble their last two games (See: Derrick Williams-Arizona, Josh Harrelson-Kentucky), I thought for sure Butler needed to keep their guys out of foul trouble. They have so far. But the game is not being called like their last 2 games. It’s being reffed like a Big East game, which is right up UConn’s alley. Here’s how I found this out:

** Sorry folks. I had to take my own personal time-out. I kept watching this game & getting more and more irritated by the above notation. I don’t like to edit my posts; like to just lay it all out there. But that game was just brutal. I watched Big East basketball this year and that’s what that was to a “T”. **

So, now this game is over, thankfully. The One Shining Moment disappointed, except for the 5 Arizona scenes they had. Derrick Williams had a couple in there but his best dunk did not show up. Major fail on CBS’ part. In addition, the game really was a sorry way to end this tournament. The tournament, while yes it did show parity yet again, really was enjoyable as a whole. Upsets, nailbiters, game-winning shots, players like Derrick Williams shining bright like the Tucson sun and just fun overall. I know I didn’t watch as many games last year as I did this year. But after this mock Big East finale, I’m glad it’s over. One last note: the Tweet of the night for me:

“And Now Here’s Something We Hope You Really Like” (shout-out to Rocky & Bullwinkle). (Google them, youngsters, if you don’t know who they are.)


Here is the breakdown: checking at 8:15 this morning, halftime & postgame

Shaka Smart: @coachsmartvcu  =  6556/6718/6754 followers (had 4,282 when I began)

Brad Stevens: @BUCoachStevens  = 11,501/11,894/12,601 followers (had 9,851 when I began)

Jim Calhoun: @CoachCalhoun = 321/350/366 (started with 230 when first checked a few days ago0

Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1848/1852/1851 followers (had 1,713 when I began)

Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin  4142/4169/4176 followers (had 3,596 when I began)

So what did we learn? I’m sure someone who understands “social networking” better than me can give a better explanation but, I think Twitter and sports go hand-in-hand right now. It is instant communication and connection in a world of microwave mentality. Sure in the past you could join a fan club, wait outside the ballpark or arena and hope to get an autograph but Twitter is allowing fans or just people in general to feel instantly connected to sports figures. I know it’s exploded in the entertainment industry but Twitter is going to take, if not already, sports to another level. It’s become the norm, if you will, in sports to tweet about an event. It’s instant blogging. It’s instant opinion. It’s that instant connection that fans love.

One caveat though. I still can’t explain why Coach Martin’s Missouri State account keeps gaining followers. Earth to Tennessee? Anybody home? You got some ‘splainin to do.

CadChica Sports

All Things Twitter (Almost)


Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1844 followers

Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin  4089 followers

 Yes, you’re reading that right. The Missouri State account “picked up” followers AGAIN!! Why? I have no idea. But, the Tennessee account gained as well. I can’t see Missouri State people following him now, can you?

Here is where it gets interesting. I checked the accounts of Coach Shaka Smart & Coach Brad Stevens 4 times today. I felt this would give me a better feel of the impact of Twitter in sports. The first number is from 8am this morning. The 2nd number is pre-game. The 3rd number is right after the game and the last one is at 10pm tonight. Quite interesting.

Shaka Smart: @coachsmartvcu Followers-5980/6092/6270/6355

Brad Stevens: @BUCoachStevens Followers=10528/10624/10765/10930

In the span of a day, each coach gained ‘around’ 400 followers. Coach Stevens gained the most since this morning with an increase of 402 followers. With his name & team still in the news the next couple of days. I will also keep watch on Coach Smart’s account. There are still at least a couple of coaching jobs he’d be rumored about. That alone will keep his name in the public eye as well.

I wanted to check on some other coaches’ accounts as well just to see the effect on Twitter. Here is the list with two comparisons for each; this morning & tonight. Everyone gained except 1. You can figure out why for yourself.

@CoachCalhoun = UConn Coach Jim Calhoun: 230/240

@UKCoachCalipari = Kentucky Coach John Calipari: 1,133,087/1,133811

@LonKruger = New Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger: 2900/2921

@MasonCoachL = George Mason Coach Jim Larranaga: 2673/2674

@JoshPastner = Memphis Coach Josh Pastner: 2965/2969

@CoachTubbySmith = Minnesota Coach Tubby Smith: 7239/7248

@CoachBrucePearl = Former Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl: 21656/21629

Somehow I can’t see Jim Calhoun as much of a Tweeter but, as die-hard as UConn fans are, his numbers may increase until Monday night. John Calipari led his Kentucky team to the Final Four this weekend so not surprised that he increased but I am amazed that he’s over a million; he does have another account (verified even) but he hasn’t tweeted since 2009 on that one so I didn’t count it. Lon Kruger just got hired by Oklahoma so I can understand the increase there. Not huge increases for Jim Larranaga or Josh Pastner but they were interesting to me so I thought I’d throw them on the list. I did see Tubby Smith during one of the games tonight so I’m not surprised to see a slight increase there. The power of a camera shot! And last but not least, at least some Tennessee fans get it don’t they? Bruce Pearl’s numbers decreased today. But maybe they started following @CuonzoLMartin instead of @CuonzoMartin. Maybe?

That’s it for the Twitter updates today. Lots went on today in sports, not the least of which was the start of the Final Four in men’s basketball. Two close games with Butler and UConn pulling out the wins. Thoroughly entertaining. I did want Butler to win so I was satisfied. But, for some reason I was cheering for Kentucky. I’m not much of a fan of either coach but I had to choose one. Regardless, I’m hoping for a Butler win on Monday night. It appears that their coach and players are doing things the right way. Reminds me of the old Gonzaga ‘Cinderella’ days. And what do you know??? They’re both BULLDOGS. Let’s go Butler!!

 Seattle Sounders played the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-2 tie. UGH-LY tie. Some would say all ties are ugly but it was just hard to watch sometimes. It probably didn’t help that I was watching the San Jose television feed. I understand homerism to an extent with local broadcasters but, their announcers were over the top. Nearly every bit of contact that the Sounders made with one of the San Jose players, their announcers were all over it, calling for a yellow card or foul. I’m not defending the Sounders mind you, but this is soccer/futbol/football. It’s not a sport for sissies. You play hard, attacking football or you go home with a loss. As a broadcaster, I think you can be objective while still being a homer. It’s called balance. Good broadcasters and journalists are “balanced” in their reporting. Prime example: late Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus. He loved his Mariners; boy did he love them. But he also wasn’t afraid to say what the fan was feeling when a mistake was made, a lead was given up or another loss in a lost season. He was balanced.

Prayers go out today for a member of the Gonzaga family. Longtime announcer, Harv Clark, passed away today from heart failure. I remember seeing Mr. Clark roaming around the fields of the old “North Complex” during my daughter’s soccer games. He was part of the soccer association’s growth in the 80’s and 90’s here in Spokane. I didn’t realize he was part of the Gonzaga family as well. Not only was he part of Gonzaga but he was involved in local radio too. Great, great voice for radio. We extend condolences and prayers of comfort to Mr. Clark’s family. 

CadChica Sports 

Friday Fun Facts

April Fools Day.

This is one of the many days of the year I’m really glad I work from home. No worries about falling for an April Fools joke at work. Twitter on the other hand, you had to be careful about everything you read from what I hear.


Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1835 followers

Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin  3999 followers

And again slight increases in both. Still not sure why the Missouri State one increases unless they are “confused” Tennessee fans?? Up by 23. Hello? Tennessee fans?? Are you paying attention to your new coach’s Twitter profile??? Sheesh! He even has a new picture with a Tennessee orange colored tie. Not so in the Missouri State picture.

Shaka Smart: @coachsmartvcu :    5936 followers

Brad Stevens: @BUCoachStevens :    10484 followers

Coach Smart with the bigger gain since last night. With the game between VCU & Butler tomorrow, I think I’m looking forward to checking the follower status more than the game. (NOT. Well……….maybe.)


  • Earlier today, given that it was April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d check real quick to see what was trending. When I checked, both Worldwide & in the United States, the top 2 trending topics were: #sincewebeinghonest & #aprilfools. Now that struck me as quite odd. If you’re being honest, do you really want to do that on April Fool’s Day? Why be honest about that?
  • Catching up on the tweets this evening, reporting anything true or factual seemed to be slightly more challenging. Case in point: Lon Kruger, leaving UNLV to coach the men’s basketball team at Oklahoma. Some people weren’t sure if it was true as it seemed to come out of left field. Then it was reported as true. Then it was hold on, not done yet. And finally, he takes the job. Trying to get it straight on April 1 seemed quite confusing.
  • Warren Moon played the race card regarding Cam Newton. He spoke on The Kevin Calabro Show about it. **I’m not here to argue the point. However, I will say, if you’re working with a guy in preparing for a draft, somehow it doesn’t surprise me that you come to his defense. Sometimes, your past will dictate how people look at you. Poor choices in Cam Newton’s past, will dictate much of the scrutiny he is under. Hear ESPN’s Todd McShay’s take on it on The Scott Van Pelt Show today.
  • LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Soccer. I love soccer. Many of my sports fan friends/acquaintances do not. However!!!! Great article by writer Grant Wahl regarding his attempt to run for FIFA president. If you think the NCAA is bad, FIFA is either not far behind or right there with them.

As of this writing, the Mariners are leading the A’s 6-2. We are in the 9th inning and Felix Hernandez is going for the complete game. A nice start to a long season. Too bad Dave isn’t calling it. RIP Dave.

CadChica Sports 


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