Eagles Survive Autumn Wind, Rain and Wildcats

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Coach Talk: Eastern Washington’s Beau Baldwin talks with Weber State’s Jay Hill ahead of their Roos Field Halloween clash.

The Autumn Wind may be a Raider, but today it was a friend of the Eastern Washington Eagles. Three missed field goals by the Weber State Wildcats, all wind-related, propelled the Eagles to their sixth straight victory with a 14-13 win before 8,359 rain-soaked fans.

The win moved the Eagles to 5-0 in the Big Sky conference (6-2 overall). The Wildcats fell to 3-3 in the conference, 4-5 overall. 

Heading into today’s Halloween game, the only known commodity was that the weather would be a factor. Rain had soaked the area for the past couple of days. Rain was in the forecast off and on for Saturday.

However, it was the wind that was the major player today. 

On a day that saw winds blowing between 20-25 mph, early on it looked as though the wind was going to be the friend of the Weber State Wildcats.

Heading into the wind in the first quarter, junior quarterback Jadrian Clark led the Wildcats down the field on a 10-play, 87-yard drive to take an early 7-0 lead. Clark was 6-for-9 passing for 104 yards in the first quarter alone.

Even though EWU had the wind at their backs, they couldn’t generate much offense. 8 plays for 27 yards on their first drive and 3 plays for -18 yards on the second possession. 

Yes, you read that right. Minus 18. 

Penalties and a stout Weber State defense held Jordan West, Cooper Kupp and company in check. The Eagles managed only 62 yards in the first quarter. 

A Josh Kealamakia field goal made it 10-0 at the end of one. Heading into the game Kealamakia was 9-13 on the season. Respectable numbers for a player handling all three of the kicking disciplines for the Wildcats. 

That field goal wouldn’t be the last time Kealamakia’s name would be called. 

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A windy day in Cheney disrupted offenses…and flags. -October 31, 2015

Scary good.

It’s amazing to think how good this Eastern Washington Eagle offense has been this season. The #1 ranked FCS passing offense, led by the #1 passer in Jordan West, has been scary good this 2015 season.

Averaging 409 yards per game through the air, the Eagles faced a Weber State team that ranked seventh in the Big Sky conference having given up 17 touchdowns and 214+ yards/game so far this season. 

Today, had all the promise of a big EWU passing-day. 

Were it not for that wind, we might have had just that. Instead, Weber State mixed up their defensive pressure and blanketed the Eastern receivers throughout that first quarter. Said EWU Coach Beau Baldwin, “We knew coming into this game, that even if it was a clear day, that Weber State would be physically the toughest team we’ve played up to this point.”

After adding a Kealmakia 44-yard field goal in the first quarter that made it 10-0, Weber State looked to keep the prolific Eastern offense on the sidelines in the second quarter.

A strong drive to start the second had the makings of another Wildcat score. A tipped Clark pass fell into the hands of EWU freshman linebacker, Alek Kacmarcik. 

A promising Wildcat drive turned into a huge opportunity for Jordan West and the Eagle offense. 8 plays and 73 yards later and Eastern was on the board, highlighted by a 40-yard touchdown reception by Cooper Kupp from West. 

That pass just so happened to be on a 4th and 5 for the Eagles. 

Scary good. 

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Weber State took a 13-7 lead into halftime after adding a 24-yard field goal by Kealamakia. Momentum was on their side as they would get the ball to start the third quarter. 

 

 

Enter Miquiyah Zamora, Todd Raynes and the Eastern Washington defense. 

The Eagle defense forced a quick three-and-out enabling their offense to strike quickly in the second half. A 10-play, 41 yard drive capped by another West-to-Kupp touchdown and the Eagles had their first lead of the game. 

It was all the scoring they would need. And, all they could muster.

The remainder of the game was all about the defenses. Zamora led all defenders with a career-high 16 tackles. He and Raynes (13 tackles) were all over the field in the second half for EWU. “They won us this game,” said EWU junior wide receiver, Kendrick Bourne. “They forced them to kick field goals and we got fortunate for them to miss three and that’s just a blessing”. 

Those field goal attempts were all the Wildcat offense could muster no matter if they were with or against the wind. EWU’s defense forced 29, 38 and 40-yard field goal attempts on the Weber State second-half possessions. 

It’s one thing to battle a motivated defense. It’s another thing to battle the elements. 

Each time Kealamakia and Weber State battled the second-half wind, they lost.

“Forcing field goal attempts were huge. Even if they made them, we were in a better situation on the scoreboard,” said Coach Baldwin. “Forcing field goal attempts were huge. Even if they made them, we were in a better situation on the scoreboard.”

A better situation on the scoreboard and in the Big Sky Conference. They host the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (3-2) next weekend. NAU currently is tied for fourth in the Big Sky. Last season, they defeated EWU in a tight contest, 28-27, in Flagstaff. 

It will be a 6-game winning streak for Eastern versus the 2-game winning streak for NAU. Something’s gotta give, right? 

Early forecast has rain set for Cheney next Saturday. It could be another wild one. Or, it could be another nail biter. The Autumn Wind may have a say again at Roos Field. 

Kickoff is set for 3:05 pm PT (4:05 pm Arizona time) on November 7.

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CadChica Sports

CCS Profile: NFL Female

My mom is a sports fan. True blue, die-hard sports fan.

Of all things Arizona sports.

Arizona Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Wildcats. Phoenix Suns, Arizona State Sun Devils, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. I’m sure even Scottsdale Community College Artichokes too. She is a sports fan.

She never identified herself as a female sports fan, so I never did either. Today, however, marketers and sports leagues feel compelled to segregate us as such. Treat us as if we are different when we know sports (or our sport of choice) just as well as most men.

Are we that different that we need to be labeled as a female sports fan? Aside from the obvious, are female sports fans that much different than men?

No. But, that’s just one female’s perspective. My perspective. Contrary to what those marketers and sports leagues say, I don’t speak for all female sports fans. So, I decided to ask some other ladies for their perspective on that and more.

These aren’t just any ladies. These are the ladies from NFL Female.

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NFL Female Beginnings

NFL Female was a site started in 2011 by Liz Panucci. Liz is an NFL and Miami Dolphins fan based in Canada. “Up here everything is hockey,” said Panucci in a 2014 interview with me. “I grew up in the Dan Marino days and he was my hero.” Panucci wasn’t alone in her love for football. She’d watch and play (strategy) games with her brother. “We had this game called Stratomatic Football which is like a board game – it was pre-Madden type of concept. You were the coach and you made all of the calls and it was so much fun. I really learned about the game when I was in my teens.”

Panucci was able to go to a Dolphins game – yes, all the way from Western Canada – about five years ago. She saw other females who loved their Dolphins, the NFL and enjoyed talking about it. That was the impetus for NFL Female.

NFL Female is a site that brings together females of all demographics. It’s a diverse group of ladies. They range in age from their 20’s all the way to their 60’s – students, professors, medical field professionals, stay-at-home moms not to mention from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. They come from across the U.S. Some grew up playing sports:

Marquita Quinones (New York Giants writer): “As far back as I can remember, I was around sports. My mother and my dad’s sister were both on the same track team and both were state champions. The story goes that my mom had hidden her pregnancy and actually went into labor during one of her track meets. This may explain why I had such a love for running. Although I was busy running track, playing on the high school basketball team, cheerleading and occasionally on the softball team, I loved football.”

Kasey McNelly (St. Louis Rams): “I was raised by my grandparents in a very traditional home where sport was a part of every day life. At that time, it didn’t always seem so good. This will show my age, but I grew up on ABC Wide World of Sports. Looking back now, I know that this is a good thing. I am a sports nut now.”

Roxaan Herrera (Philadelphia Eagles): “I didn’t play any sports religiously, but I was a cheerleder through middle school. I played basketball and was in dance all through high school. I started watching basketball since I could remember and football since I was 10 years old. I played it for recess one day and fell in love with the game.”

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COMMON CHALLENGES

Despite their differences, they all share a common bond – their love of NFL football. For some, like Julie Voigt (Indianapolis Colts), supporting an NFL team meant finding her own team, despite family ties. “I was raised in a Chicago area home where my brothers and dad supported the Chicago Bears. Since my family was from Texas, my dad also supported the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers,” said Voigt. “I became a Colts fan when Jim Harbaugh signed as QB for the Colts.”

Each woman’s story on NFL Female is different. The feedback they face as a woman writing about the #1 game in America is different too. “To be honest, I have had a lot of positive feedback from family and friends. Most of my women friends don’t watch football at all. I have male friends that are blown away by my football knowledge,” says Wanda Wiedman (Chicago Bears). Adds founder Panucci, “Most of my family/friends have no clue what I do – I’m just Liz or Mom or Grandma to them.”

Others, like Sonja Greenfield (Detroit Lions), don’t pay much attention to trollish feedback. But, as Greenfield points out, “You get some of those crazy trolls, but whatever – I don’t need to impress them.” Gwen Robinson (Baltimore Ravens) agrees, “I will never read the comments. People are mean and I don’t need strangers putting me down.”

That can be hard to do in today’s social media age. Many of the prominent female journalists and broadcasters have faced negative feedback on social media, especially on Twitter. Some minds don’t want to be changed. The only way to address it for NFL Female is with the positive. Panucci, who is in charge of NFL Female’s social media, says, “Men, especially, love to point out our mistakes on Twitter/Facebook. I simply say, ‘You’re good. Thank you for noticing’.”

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DV AND GOODELL

The ladies love their football. But, they don’t love what happens off of it. How the league has handled the off-field issues, particularly when it comes to domestic violence, is of concern. Ravens’ writer Robinson, “Ray Rice was made the poster boy for domestic violence yet no one has seemed to learn their lesson yet.” Robinson also referred to the recent Ray McDonald incident in this post-Rice video NFL world.

“I think the league is on the right path,” says Robinson. “They have recognized there is a problem with disciplinary actions and they are trying to fill in the blanks.” Adds Bears’ writer Wiedman, “I truly believe players should be evaluated every year on their mental state prior to playing. If they show any signs of mental instability, they need to take time to deal with those issues and submit to counseling. The NFL needs to stop waiting for something to happen and be more proactive!”

The NFL has been reactive when it comes to domestic violence, as Wiedman alludes to. And, that may be what Tennessee Titans writer Sharona refers to, “I see the NFL at a tipping point right now. There is an increasing awareness of the importance of violence against women and obviously some hig profile NFL cases to go along with it. How the league and teams handle this issue in the immediate future could dictate its future.”

One topic that the ladies are not all in agreement about when it comes to the NFL is…Roger Goodell. Says Sharona, “I have mixed feelings about Goodell. I think he is responsive to the NFL’s fan base which is a good thing. I think he genuinely wants the league to do the right thing so long as it doesn’t cut into the bottom line. He also isn’t above doing the owners’ nasty work if he thinks he can get away with it and it won’t become public.”

McKnelly, the Rams writer, says this, “I am not a fan of Roger Goodell. I am going to try to stay positive, but the facts are the facts. He has softened the NFL.” She added, “He is NOT fair in the way that he handles situations. The punishment should fit the crime. I was appalled by the Goodell press conference surrounding the release of the Ray Rice tape.”

Other choice words were used about Goodell (ass-clown was one). One writer says it’s “time for a new leader” and called for a “group of men” to run the league. But, to one degree or another, the NFL is still what Panucci refers to as the “Old Boys Club”.

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OLD BOYS CLUB

There is still a degree of the NFL being the Old Boys Club. How else to explain the lack of foresight when it comes to responding to domestic violence? Old ways of thinking. Old ways of thinking are reactive. Old ways of thinking are pink jerseys connecting with female fans. Old ways of thinking are disregarding a social media outcry over the league’s handling of domestic violence issues.

“As a woman, not an NFL fan, I felt disrespected. I felt belittled and I felt this was a huge step backwards for our country,” says Eagles writer Roxaan. Added Greenfield, “I think they don’t know what to do. They’re not prepared to handle it. It’s always been an issue, I do believe, but because Ray Rice was caught on camera, that’s when it blew up.”

Not everyone at NFL Female agrees. Some ladies view the league as “they’re doing the best they can”. That’s what makes NFL Female unique. Each woman brings her own unique perspective to coverage of the game and the external issues of the league. “No one person/player is greater than the game,” says Panucci. “We are always open minded, seeking first to learn and understand.”

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TRUE AND LOYAL

Learning and understanding. The NFL could take a clue from the ladies at NFL Female. They know the game and its nuances. They could probably teach some men a thing or two about the game. But, they aren’t all the same.

They share their love of the NFL. And, they happen to be women. But, that’s where the similarities end – much to marketers’ dismay. These ladies each have their own opinion on Roger Goodell, the game of football and the league itself. That includes how well the league connects with them.

More should be done or It’s trying but.., some ladies say. Others see themselves as just NFL fans. Colts writer Voigt, “I’ve come across some men who claim to be die-hard fans and not know an ounce of the game. It should all be equal. Unfortunately it’s not and I think the NFL should try harder at connecting with female fans.”

Passionate, knowledgeable, jersey-wearing, fantasy football playing and die-hard toward their team. They’ll talk NFL football with anyone who will listen – at home, at work, in the store, online – you name it, these ladies will talk about it. Sounds just like their fellow male NFL fans. “Accept us as true, loyal fans,” says Panucci.

True and loyal fans — not just female fans — is exactly what the NFL needs now and in the future.

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SAME BUT DIFFERENT

The ladies of NFL Female don’t all think alike. They don’t think like me. 

We share the common bonds of womanhood and an affinity for the NFL. We can discuss football with each other or with our male counterparts. But, beyond that, we each have our own viewpoints, beliefs, likes and dislikes…about football, sports and life.

That’s really the point, isn’t it? A multitude of voices in a single demographic. We’re fans. And, we’re females. We’re alike, yet different. 

Are you listening, NFL? 

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CadChica Sports

RIP Kenny Stabler, RIP Snake

I love the Oakland Raiders.

They are my team – the first team I ever cheered for. I like to joke that I came out of the womb saying RAAAAAAIIIIIIIII-DERS, instead of crying like most babies.

I was born in Oakland but raised in Arizona. There was no NFL team at the time, so I went with the team of my birthplace. Silver-and-black. No other team had silver-and-black. For whatever reason, I found that cool as a kid.

The Raiders became part of my identity. I was a good kid (at least I think so), but the Raiders weren’t. They were rebellious and did things their own way, led by owner Al Davis. They played hard. On and off the field, not that I would have known that when I was a kid. But, they were gritty and tough and they represented everything I thought of Oakland to be.

And Kenny Stabler represented the Raiders.

Stabler’s #12 was the only “jersey” I owned as a kid. I loved Cliff Branch too, but Stabler was “The Snake”. He was one of those quarterbacks that knew when to be elusive and knew when to hang tough in the pocket. His scrambling ability, well, I just thought that was so awesome. I didn’t see anyone else like him in the NFL.

Not that I paid attention, mind you (notable exception: Fran Tarkenton). Stabler was my guy. He was the quarterback on my team. He was special to watch:

 

He should be in the Hall of Fame, but he’s not. Longtime NFL writer, Russell Baxter, had this to say when asked about Stabler as a hall of famer: “I think he is. There was always the thing about him “reading the playbook by the light of the jukebox”. He was a magician. He was something to watch. The two guys I thought were the best were Staubach and Stabler.”

 

Baxter continued, “They (Raiders) were phenomenal teams in a conference where there were two other phenomenal teams: Dolphins, Steelers. There was nothing better in the 70’s than the Raiders-Steelers. It started with the Immaculate Reception and just kept getting better.” Stabler was a key part of that rivalry. Bradshaw gets the notoriety because of the Super Bowl victories and broadcast career, but Stabler was every bit the quarterback and more. 

“He was a model of consistency,” says Baxter. “I know people will go over the numbers. Before the rules changed, 70’s quarterbacks were nothing about the numbers. They were all about controlling the game. Stabler was a great player on a great team that was unfortunately overshadowed by greater teams.”

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I’m sad today knowing Snake is gone. Almost to the point of tears, which isn’t normal for me. But, he was part of my childhood. I saw Stabler as the heart and soul of my Raiders. Whatever the Raiders were about, you saw it in Stabler.

He was the epitome of my team, on and off the field. I didn’t know anything about his partying ways when I was a kid. I probably wouldn’t have cared. I just wanted him to win.

And winning he did.

If you grew up as a Raiders fan, you loved Stabler. There was no one else you wanted as your quarterback. I’m glad I got the chance to see him, albeit never in person. I’m glad he was my quarterback.

RIP Kenny Stabler. RIP Snake.

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TWEETS ON THE SNAKE

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CadChica Sports

Christian Benteke – On the Move?

CadChica’s Note: This is a guest post from Lee Ball. Lee has been writing about football ever since he accompanied his father to watch his first game at the age of 12. Although it was a while until he came up with anything worthy of publishing, Lee now writes for several online football publications. In his spare time, he also enjoys playing golf and travelling Asia.

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Christian Benteke is arguably one of the English Premier League’s best marksmen, having first signed for Aston Villa in 2012 from Belgian side Genk for £7 million and he’s gone on to make a huge impression in Europe’s top league. He went on to score 18 league goals in his debut season eclipsing Dwight Yorke’s previous club record goals tally.

Although his second season wasn’t so prolific as he was blighted by injury, which saw him miss 6 months of the season due to an Achilles tendon injury. That inconsistency followed him into the 2014/2015 season where he struggled to hit any form during the first half of the season. It wasn’t until the departure of ex-manger Paul Lambert, and the appointment of Tim Sherwood that Benteke’s form changed. During Sherwood’s reign, the pacey Belgian hit 12 goals in 15 league games for Villa. It was this form that subsequently saved the Midlands club from relegation, and once again brought Benteke to the attention of Europe’s top clubs.

Now it seems, with the potential transfer of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City edging closer that Liverpool will soon have funds to replace their wantaway England international. With Liverpool desperate to find a 20-goal-a-season replacement for the somewhat irreplaceable Luis Saurez, Liverpool see Benteke as the nearest thing to the enigmatic Uruguayan.

But over the last the last two summers, a big move has eluded Benteke, so why should this transfer window be any different? Although “Tekkers,” as he’s more commonly known by Villa fans, signed a new a new four-year-deal in 2013 after initially handing in a transfer request, his argument would be that he’s given the club two good years.

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Though don’t expect to see Sherwood sanction a move just yet, if Liverpool, or any other club for that matter doesn’t meet Benteke’s buyout clause. The reported £32.5 million buyout clause is a lot of money even if the Merseyside club do receive £50 million from Manchester City for Sterling, they have already outlaid a lot of money this transfer window. And after Rodgers splurged so much money on poor signings last season, don’t hold your breath if this transfer doesn’t get past the notorious Anfield transfer committee.

There’s also the fact that Liverpool’s style may not suit the big Belgian, as football journalist Michael Lintorn even feels that they may have to change formation to accommodate Benteke. With Liverpool potentially having Benteke, Sturridge, Ings, Balotelli, Lallana, Coutinho, Markovic, Firmino and Origi all competing for attacking positions it could cause the Anfield side to drastically rethink their formation for the upcoming season.

With odds shortening on whether Benteke will make the move to Anfield, it’s looking more likely that than ever before. The only real sticking point seems to be if Liverpool will meet the buyout clause in Benteke’s Aston Villa contract.

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CadChica Sports

 

Athletes Watch, Learn On Social Media

Not all athletes get in trouble for what they say publicly or on social media. 

But, when it happens to someone else, it reinforces the lessons learned for other athletes.

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Thursday night, the men’s basketball team from West Virginia was crushed by Kentucky 78-39 in a Sweet Sixteen game of the NCAA tournament. This came on the heels of a prediction by WVU Mountaineers freshman guard, Daxter Miles, Jr. Earlier in the week Miles Jr had predicted that the undefeated Wildcats of Kentucky would be 36-1 after their game with WVU. As the Wildcats proved, talk is cheap if you can’t back it up. 

It is that premise that brought me to the Spokane Regional of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. With the WVU loss fresh in minds, I asked coaches and players about predictions, social media and more Friday during media day at the Spokane Arena. 

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We do a great job of when we do post (2)

MARYLAND

Lexie Brown: We have relationships  with a lot of these players that we play against but, we’re at that age where you know not to say too much on social media. Like you said, yesterday, the Kentucky game, that completely back fired on that  player’s  part.  But, Rose does a great job with helping with us know what to say, what not  to  say on social media. And, starting tomorrow, we’ll be off social media completely until we win both of our games or until our season is over. So, we’ve got to stay locked in. You can’t let the outside world influence how you play.

Laurin Mincy: Just piggybacking on what she said, we know what and what not to say. And from the fun aspect, we do a great job of when we do post something, it’s about the team or about Maryland, period. So, we usually stay positive on social media.

Shatori Walker Kimbrough: Just be smart. I know when I’m looking on the outside, if someone says something about our team, that would just be added motivation. I guess the other night he was using that as some confidence that he had, but, like Laurin and Mincy said, just knowing how to be smart and a time and place for everything.

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DUKE

Amber Henson:  I  wouldn’t say I have intentionally stepped all the way away from it but, I do make a point to kind of block out things that are going on about  the women’s tournament or our team. We kind of have tunnel vision right now.  But, I do keep up with the men’s team on social media.

Ka’lia Johnson:  I would have to agree. We’re just going  to  watch  the games, the games are on in our hotel, and I  just  watch  the  games  on  TV.  But, definitely when  it’s  game day we go straight  into  tunnel  vision. And, that happens with practice  today,  we’re  in tunnel  vision  now.  Maybe take a step back.

TENNESSEE

Ariel Massengale: Some of our coaches instilled in us from the beginning of the season, we have social media rules, curfew times, where you shut that stuff off and things that we just don’t talk about on social media. So, you kind of look at other players and some mistakes and whatnot that they made but, yes, it’s something we’re very conscious about and if we see a teammate tweet or put something out there, we are very quick to call them text them like, hey, you need to take that down as soon as possible.

Some of our coaches instilled in us from

 

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GONZAGA

Sunny Greinacher:  I  actually just heard about this incident that kind of got a lot of attention about social media and athletes. But, I  don’t think it’s necessarily a problem for our team.  I know that all the girls on the team are more reserved when it comes to that.

But, what we use social media for is for more of getting ourselves hyped and just maybe spreading the word of where we play,  encouraging other people to watch us and stuff.  But I don’t think it’s a problem for us to be inappropriate on social media, those kind of things, just knowing the girls on our team.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: Opportunities to learn from others mistakes is one thing. Learning from your own mistakes is…humbling. Daxter Miles Jr will (hopefully) learn that braggadocio doesn’t win games. But, his experience is a reminder for not just athletes, but all of us. We all need to be mindful of what we say publicly and yes, even privately. 

As the ability for mobile devices to take pictures, record video and share instantly on social media, so will the likelihood of people getting in trouble. It is imperative for each of us to be mindful of how we conduct ourselves publicly and on social media. Act naturally is always a safe way to go.

Unless, of course, you’re a natural jerk.

CadChica Sports

Five Tips for Using Twitter Video

I am a fan.

Yes, yes, you know I am a sports fan. That’s not news. No, what I am a fan of is the new Twitter video feature.

Twitter is the #1 social media platform for me. That’s where sports discussion of all kinds takes place. Mostly because that’s where sports journalists hang out to talk about and share sports news. But, there’s always been something missing to me.

Video.

Google+ is 1A. What I love about Google+ is the Hangouts On Air (HOA) feature. With HOAs, I can actually interact with and see people face-to-face on Google+. 140 characters is too limiting when it comes to getting to know people. People can easily fake who they really are on Twitter. The rise of parody accounts is an indicator of that. Communicating with someone on video allows you to get a better feel for who they are (think: body language, facial expressions).

But now we have Twitter video.

And I’m loving it.

Although it doesn’t allow for the continuous interaction between people like G+, it does allow you to go beyond the sometimes stifling 140 character limit. It takes the “engagement” factor to the next level on Twitter.

There are a few different ways I’ve already used Twitter video. I have some ideas for using it in the future too. So, I put together this list in the hopes that it will get your creative juices flowing in my Five Tips for Using Twitter Video.

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1. Break news

I haven’t had the chance to use this yet, but this is probably my #1 tip on how Twitter video can be used. Authentically.

Adam Schefter is one of the most connected people in the NFL. Schefter has gained a huge following on Twitter because of the news he breaks, from NFL draft picks to coach firings to player releases/signings – Schefter is a must-follow for NFL fans. But, as Schefter’s following grew, so did parody accounts. Parody accounts that were shrewd enough to fool people with breaking news. Like this one:

Adam Schefter   AdarnSchefter    Twitter

At first glance, this looks like “Adam Schefter”. But, upon closer evaluation, the Twitter handle name is “Adarn Schefter”. The letter “r” and “n” together form an “m” on Twitter. The number of people (especially those of us in media) that have been fooled by this account has to be in the thousands. If media members like (the real) Adam Schefter used Twitter video to break news, the parody accounts wouldn’t be able to fool people much longer.

Example: A form of breaking news on Twitter video was used by Eastern Michigan football during National Signing Day:

And, more recently, the Anaheim Ducks (h/t @njh287):

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2. Talk to me

When you’re having a discussion with someone on Twitter (yes, it does happen), 140 characters just isn’t enough. If you’re talking sports with your friends, how often do you have short answers to their questions or assertions? Not often. Try having a Twitter discussion about the top 5 quarterbacks in college football. The names alone take up most of your 140 characters.

Love this Twitter Q&A reply from Team Great Britain (h/t @charliemales

Now imagine replying with Twitter video. Not only could you provide an answer, but you can add some extra context in the tweet itself. That’s 140-characters PLUS 30-seconds of video. I’ve used video to answer a question a few times already. 

NOTE: Word of advice for women in the broadcast side of media. Put make-up on, have your hair done and check your background. I failed at these three things in this video. But hey, if I can help someone learn from my mistakes, I’ve succeeded for the day. 

EXTRA THOUGHT: If you run a team, league, athlete or celebrity Twitter account and do regular Twitter Q&A’s, this might be a way to change things up a bit. Reply to fan questions with video. It doesn’t have to be done on every Q&A, but it could be a good way to change things up a bit. 

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3. Call-to-action

Let’s face it. In today’s cluttered social media world, the competition for eyeballs and interaction is fierce. Grabbing someone’s attention as they’re scrolling through their timeline of thousands of people is a challenge. Try posting a tweet with your latest blog post on it. 

Not so much…traffic. 

Give followers a call-to-action. Give them a reason to “click the link” in your tweet. I am a visual person. When I see someone’s face and hear their voice, I’m instantly engaged. It’s easier for me to gauge whether that person or brand is worth trusting. Trusting enough for me to click the link to read their blog or, in my case, watch their show.

Brands, teams, schools can do this too. From a sports perspective, how can teams use video promotions? Exactly like the Missouri Valley Conference did here:

Additional thought: One of the reasons I use Twitter video in this way is that I want people to know that I’m trustworthy. I want them to know that there is a reason to click the link in the tweet. I can tweet uplifting quotes until my fingers are raw, but that doesn’t mean I’m trustworthy. Just because someone replies to me doesn’t mean they’re trustworthy either. Through video, I’m putting connecting just like I would in real life: face-to-face. 

Don’t just tell…show!

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4. Interviews or Live Reports

When you watch a game on tv, there are always interviews. Before, during, after and even in-between sports intermissions, there’s bound to be an interview at a sports event.

Interviews provide two key things for fans. First, a good interview can provide information. Second, they provide insight into thought process, emotion, reaction or the interviewee. While some may discard the in-game interview, there is something that generates connection for fans to hear the voices of their team’s leaders. 

On February 4 (aka National Signing Day in college football recruiting), Western Michigan was one of a handful of schools that used Twitter video that day. After each signed letter was received, Head Football Coach, Bill Kenney, talked a little bit about each player (see below).

What a great way to hear from a coach on a significant day for college football fans. Normally, fans would have to wait for the coach’s press conference or interviews later in the day. Fans who were already on Twitter anyway waiting for news on the next signing class, got to hear from Coach Kenney instead of just waiting for a tweet. 

The Seattle Mariners’ Gregg Greene also used Twitter Video creatively from Spring Training in Arizona, using slo-mo:

I plan on using Twitter video in this way for two events I’m covering next month – at a sports conference and an auto race. I’m hoping to share some great content from the guests and/or fans I talk with. If you want to see how I use it, connect with me on Twitter, @CadChica 

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5. Create a Series or Show

What are you talking about, CadChica? 

Hear me out. Whether it’s been on YouTube or Vine or now, Snapchat, there are people who thought outside the box to use these tools in very creative ways. There are more creative ways to use those platforms than just point the camera and record.

People have created one-time skits, ongoing skits or shows, some of which have made them instant stars (think: Vine Stars, YouTube Stars). Snapchat recently debuted a series on its new Discover tab, called Literally Can’t Even

So, if those platforms can be used for a series or show, why not Twitter video? 

 As you can see, I’m trying something new. A quick, inspirational, non-sports series using Twitter video. But, what if someone took that a little bit further. Say, an athlete doing his own weekly 30-second show giving a peek into his/her life. Or, taking the best questions they’ve received from fans and answering them. Or, using Twitter video to showcase their foundations, or their communities. 

Now as I’m typing it, what about using their highly visible platform and Twitter video to speak up daily, weekly, monthly about the causes they care about? Same for anyone working in sports. Video takes the impersonal connection of 140-characters into something more personal. 

Practical? Well, it depends on your idea for a series or show. It could be something simple like what I’m doing, or, once uploads are available with Twitter video, you might be able to share pre-produced 30-second shows. 

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Have some other creative ways to use Twitter video? Drop me a line in the comments. Would love to hear from you creatives out there. If I can come up with the ideas listed here, you can too. 

5 Tips for Using Twitter Video

CadChica Sports

Social Reactions: RIP Jerry Tarkanian

RIP Jerry Tarkanian

The college basketball world lost another coaching legend today: Jerry Tarkanian. North Carolina’s Dean Smith passed away over the weekend. 

Much like his legendary UNLV Runnin’ Rebel teams, Tarkanian was a bit of a rebel, in his own way. Tark, as he was often called, was unafraid to take on the NCAA and its arguably tyrannical ways when it came to player eligibility. As author Marc Isenberg tweeted today:

As The Cauldron’s Andy Glockner tweets:

Many will weigh in with their thoughts on Tark, including Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel. I can remember those Tark teams. It was like the college version of L.A. Lakers’ “Showtime”. So much talent on one team. Just five guys on the floor having fun. Unless they were playing your team. Then, well, then you hated them. They HAD to be cheating (see Marc Isenberg’s tweet above), right? 

But, that talent. Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony and the rest of those Rebels teams. They were Tark. They embodied who he was. 

As did those towels…and of course, the chair. 

While his legacy extends beyond Vegas, he became a symbol for all that is Vegas and sports:

The Twitterverse reacted today to the news, as only they could. Here are just a select few of the tweets (and videos) for #RIPTark

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UNLV and MWC Reactions

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PLAYER REACTIONS

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MEDIA REACTIONS

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WHEN TARK FINALLY MADE THE HALL

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FAMILY TWEETS

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A FITTING TRIBUTE FROM UNLV

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CadChica Sports

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