Sports and Grief

~~ Sports may be an escape, but grief is an unforgiving partner.

Sunny Cadwallader, March 18, 2017

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March Madness. The most wonderful time of the year in terms of my sports fandom. Watching college basketball games all day long is pure pleasure for me. 

Or, at least it used to be. 

For the past 10 years, my friend and I have gotten together at the same local establishment to watch the first two days of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Known as “March Madness” because you never know what can happen. 

Giants of college basketball have been slayed by the little Davids of the hoops world. Cinderellas find their slippers. Monkeys are ejected off backs or……

Anything can happen. 

This year was especially important to me. Not for the college basketball but, rather, just for the friendship. 

**

In my last post, I wrote about loss. It wasn’t an especially sports-centric post, but it did have some sports themes. 

Three men, three deaths – all within a week or so of each other. Perhaps it sounds morbid, but one was expected while the other two were out of the blue. 

You would think that I’d mourn the family member, but he had lived a long, rewarding life. He made a positive impact on his family and community. Although I feel sadness for the grief his family and friends are going through, I trust that God will comfort them through this time. 

The other two…I guess I’m still trying to process the suddenness of both, unsure why I’m still grieving at all. 

**

Sports is an escape. 

They are an escape for many away from the reality of life. The reality of stress, struggle, challenges, adversity and even death. 

My hope for this year’s March Madness event was that it would be a reconnection, as well as a recollection of our shared friend. Plus, it would be a time to just enjoy spending time together with friends. Value the moment. 

But, we did not share much about our friend. We shared meals and small conversations together over the past two days but not much in the way of stories.

Why?

Was it because we didn’t want to talk about such a morbid thing like death or loss when a bustling environment was all around us? Did we not want to deal with sadness or the rawness of our emotions? Was it just enough to be together in friendship? 

As I drove away last night, I was emotional. I had been looking forward to these two days and now they were over. I felt a different kind of mourning. 

This, however, was mourning on top of mourning. 

I mourned the sudden end of these past two days with a friend whom I probably won’t see again until next year. I was still mourning the death of two friends. They were gone and I never got a chance to say another hello. I hope I’ll see my friend again before March Madness next year, but I just don’t know.

Mourning on top of mourning.

**

Sports wasn’t an escape this time. It was simply a brief interruption of a partnership. 

Grief has become a partner. No one is promised a tomorrow. As much as science would like to try, nobody can predict what will happen on Sunday, March 19, 2017. 

Will we wake up? Will we see, taste, touch, smell, hear, feel the same way we do today? The route we walk, run, drive today – will we do similar tomorrow without hinderance? 

The things that frustrate us today – can we let those things go tomorrow? Mistakes made today, will we learn from them tomorrow? 

I don’t know the answer to those questions. Neither do you. 

Partnerships aren’t meant to last forever. Until this one ends, I’ll work through it as best as I can using sports as part of the process. 

Time to escape. 

What time does Arizona play today?

***

CadChica Sports

They Know My Name During March Madness

You wanna go where everybody knows your name

It had been a year since I walked through that door. But, every year, like clockwork, I walk through the door of a local establishment to watch March Madness. 

For the past 10 years, I’ve been enjoying the NCAA Men’s Tournament at The Swinging Doors in Spokane, WA. My good friend (Kristy) and I have been coming here to sit, chat and enjoy watching basketball. Both of us are big college hoops fans so it’s a natural fit for us to meet here every year. 

Kristy and I used to work together at a nationally known insurance company. We worked together for well over a decade and became friends. Nothing like best friends or anything like that. It’s the type of friendship that isn’t high maintenance. Reliable isn’t the right word. It’s just…friendship. 

Even though we don’t work in the same building any longer, we have this bond of sports. Without fail, we know that come March, we’ll see each other at The Swinging Doors. We catch up on life, family, work and sports. We compare brackets and…we watch basketball.

But, here’s the funny thing about all of this. Kristy is a (sort of) regular here. Me? Once a year is all I do. And yet, one of the waitresses always calls me by name. “Hi, Sunny” is what I was greeted with this past Thursday. I hadn’t even sat down at the table yet and she remembered me. It wouldn’t be Swinging Doors without her.

You wanna go where everybody knows your name

As routine as it is for Kristy and me to come to The Swinging Doors, it’s more so for a group I’ll call The Smith Group. We haven’t quite figured out what type of company it is yet, but Kristy and I figure their bill has to be in the four figures (at least) by day’s end. Best way to describe it is a small business of around 30-50 takes the day off and comes here for the day. Not all at the same time – some are regulars that stay throughout the hoops day while others come for awhile, eat, drink and leave.  

They eat. They drink. They play games. They talk and enjoy hoops. They are die-hard Gonzaga fans. Then again, most people are in this town. Especially during March. It’s all about the Zags. Even though the Eastern Washington Eagles made the men’s tournament this year, it is very much a Gonzaga town.

IMG_5150

We recognize each other every year. We give a look and a familiar nod. Even though I’m not a Zags fan, we know each other because of basketball. It all seems so familiar. Hanging out together on a March Madness day. It wouldn’t seem normal without them here.

You wanna go where everybody knows your name

Old, familiar faces come and go from our table each Thursday and Friday of March Madness. Some years I see more than others. They are folks I used to work with. Some I supervised. Some I was simply a peer.

Still, it’s good to see them. Sorting through that awkward familiarity, that finally realized recognition is reassuring. It’s a connection that is necessary, even if it’s only once a year.  I know their names. They know mine. It feels right. It wouldn’t be a March Madness without them. 

You wanna go where everybody knows your name

***

CadChica Sports

When Porcelain Does You In

The weekend of madness was coming to an end. My Sunday was set up perfectly to enjoy the sunshine early, soccer (El Clasico) and hoops (March Madness) later in the day. I did just that. Or, at least, I endeavored to. Then this thing came along:

porcelain

Porcelain became my friend yesterday and this morning. You know how it goes: weariness, pain, nausea, fetal position and then finally, the kneeling position. Soccer and hoops became a distant memory in the swirling dervish of my new location.

My best intentions also included writing something about the tournament, sports and social media – particularly schools’ use of their YouTube channels. Yeah, not happening. Instead, I went back to find a few favorite images and videos from the past weekend.

Okay, maybe one isn’t a favorite. It’s more…painful. I’ll let you figure out which one it is.

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Did I miss your favorite? Share your favorites with me from the March Madness weekend.

CadChica Sports

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#MarchMadness: Final Four 2013 Social Media Guide

Seems like only yesterday, the anticipation for the 2013 NCAA tournament gripped the sports world. Scrambling to complete brackets, school trash-talk flying across social media, the country went “beastmode” into March Madness. 

But we are now down to the Final Four. The Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and the Final Four of my #MarchMadness: 2013 Social Media Guide. 

To refresh, my list was originally organized by school ranking (pre-tourney from CBS Sports), Twitter handle, follower numbers, and additional social media links. I’ve added a few social media links (one for Louisville, one for Wichita State and two for Syracuse) after reading this article from SportTechie.com. Otherwise, all links are “official” based on information provided by each school’s website. 

The biggest winner of the four teams remaining in terms of Twitter followers is Michigan with an increase of 10,000+, followed by Syracuse, Louisville and finally Wichita State. For what it’s worth, the Sweet 16 Cinderella, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) started the tournament at just over 1000. As of today, they are over 8800 Twitter followers. A significant gain for this young school. 

Here’s the final post in my #MarchMadness 2013: Social Media Guide series. Enjoy the games! 

******

1. Louisville

@UofLSports 25,399 followers before the tournament26,151 last week / 28,658 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, PinterestPtch

** 

13. Michigan

@umichbball 45,350 before the tournament48,069 last week / 55,377 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook,  YouTubePinterestFoursquare

 ** 

16. Syracuse

@Cuse 23,985 followers before the tournament / 24,687 last week / 28,612 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTube, Google+, Pinterest

 ** 

35. Wichita State

@GoShockers 5,014 followers before the tournament / 5,524 last week / 6,844 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubePinterest 

 ******

On a personal note, this is my favorite “One Shining Moment” – Luther Vandross singing – 1997 Arizona Wildcats. Looking forward to Monday night. 

CadChica Sports 

 

#MarchMadness: 2013 Social Media Guide Check-Back

We started with 68 and we’re now down to 16. My #MarchMadness 2013 Social Media Guide is now down to 16 talented teams. We have our stalwarts like Duke and Kansas. And of course, our Cinderellas like La Salle and Florida Gulf Coast. The Sweet 16 promises to be an entertaining, and hopefully, surprising batch of games. 

But what does a Sweet 16 appearance mean for these schools? From a business standpoint, I’ll leave that to the sports business experts. From a social media standpoint, let’s see how it affected each team’s “official” Twitter account in comparison with my post from last week (#MarchMadness 2013 Social Media Guide). 

The list is organized by school ranking (pre-tourney from CBS Sports), Twitter handle, follower numbers last week (and today) and additional social media links. At a quick glance, no surprise to see Florida Gulf Coast’s Twitter account gain the most (over 3k gained). Michigan comes in behind the ‘Flying Eagles’ with under 3k gained. 

Reminder: Twitter and all social media accounts are the “official” accounts according to each school’s website

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1. Louisville

@UofLSports 25,399 followers last week / 26,151 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookPtch

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2. Kansas

@KU_Hoops 43,265 followers last week / 44,363 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTube

** 

3. Indiana

@IndianaMBB 29,396 followers last week/ 30,322 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubePinterestGoogle+TumblrFlickr

 ** 

5. Miami (FL)

@CanesHoops 9,242 followers last week/ 11,036 today 

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubeInstagram (Statigram)Google+

 ** 

6. Duke

@Duke_MBB (28,904 followers last week) 29,721 today

or @dukeblueplanet (76,434 followers) 77,476 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubeInstagramGoogle+

 ** 

8. Ohio State

@OhioStateHoops 19,397 followers last week/ 20,953 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubeGoogle+

 ** 

10. Florida

@GatorZoneMBK 13,637 followers last week/ 14,043 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookGoogle+

 ** 

11. Michigan State

@MSU_Basketball 41,725 followers last week / 43,344 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubePinterest

 ** 

12. Marquette

@MarquetteMBB 2,078 followers last week / 2,490 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubePinterestGoogle+

 ** 

13. Michigan

@umichbball 45,350 followers last week / 48,069 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook,  YouTubePinterestFoursquare

 ** 

16. Syracuse

@Cuse 23,985 followers last week / 24,687 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTube

 ** 

21. Arizona

@AZATHLETICS 19,052 followers last week / 19,514 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubePinterestGoogle+

 ** 

35. Wichita State

@GoShockers 5,014 followers last week / 5,524 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITE, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest 

 ** 

43. Oregon

@OregonMBB 8,726 followers last week / 9,421 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTube, InstagramPinterestGoogle+

 ** 

49. La Salle

@GoExplorers_com 2,490 followers last week / 2,944 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

 ** 

59. FGCU

@FGCU_MBB 1,014 followers last week / 4,784 today

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubeInstagram (Statigram)

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CadChica Sports

#MarchMadness: 2013 Social Media Guide

The selections have been made, seeds argued and now it is simply time to get down to the hoops. The action begins tomorrow with the “play-in” games or what the NCAA likes to call the first round. In reviewing various articles on March Madness last night and today, I came across an NCAA seed listing from CBS Sports. Seeing where every NCAA tournament team ranked, 1-68, is sure to provide fodder for fans across the country. What it did for me, however, was spark an idea. 

The last Twitter Guide I did was for the Daytona 500. Listing the drivers’ start positions, Twitter lists and follower numbers, my Twitter Guide proved to be a popular resource before, during and after the race. 

With the NCAA Tournament though, I wanted to “step up my game” (sorry, basketball on the brain). Rather than just a Twitter Guide, I wanted to encompass as much social media as I could into this resource. Whether it is the Twitter handles/follower numbers or links to other social media sites (Facebook, Instagram/Statigram, Pinterest, Google+ or team websites), this represents the most comprehensive social media list that I have ever done.  

In compiling this list, I began at every team’s official website. Being the most accurate way to find what I was looking for, it still proved to be a challenge. As you might imagine, social media accounts were not organized in similar ways. “Social Media” links were either organized under their repsective “FAN” tabs or “Multimedia” tabs. Given I know what to look for, I can only imagine what a fan does when searching for the social media information. Even when finding what I was looking for, a few schools had ‘bad links’ to their YouTube or Facebook accounts. Others, provided no actual “social media” information page. It became a matter of Google Search at that point. Not ideal.  

The bigger schools tended to have more variety of social media accounts available. Where there is no YouTube account for some big schools, they do have their own All-Access channels. I chose not to provide links. 

Twitter accounts are either team or school. A few schools use a coach or assistant coach’s Twitter account. I only chose to use one coach’s account (Cincinnati) as the official handle.

In addition, if the school did not provide an “official” YouTube, Instagram, Google+ or other social media account on their website, I did not include that link. I wanted to make this list as accurate as possible. That being said, if you have the link to an “official” account that is not listed, please let me know in the comment section. 

 The list is organized by school ranking, Twitter handle, follower numbers and additional social media links.

1. Louisville

@UofLSports 25,399 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, Ptch

2. Kansas

 @KU_Hoops 43,265 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

3. Indiana

@IndianaMBB 29,396 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubePinterestGoogle+, TumblrFlickr

4. Gonzaga

@ZagMBB 5,606 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

5. Miami (FL)

@CanesHoops 9,242 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagram (Statigram), Google+

6. Duke

@Duke_MBB (28,904 followers) or @dukeblueplanet (76,434 followers)

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagramGoogle+

7. Georgetown

@GeorgetownHoops 7,906 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, Google+

8. Ohio State

@OhioStateHoops 19,397 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeGoogle+

9. New Mexico

@UNMLobos 12,578 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

10. Florida

@GatorZoneMBK 13,637 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, Google+

11. Michigan State

@MSU_Basketball 41,725 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubePinterest

12. Marquette

@MarquetteMBB 2,078 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubePinterestGoogle+

13. Michigan

@umichbball 45,350 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTubePinterestFoursquare

14. Kansas State

@kstatesports 31,118 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

15. Saint Louis

@SaintLouisMBB 3,379 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

16. Syracuse

@Cuse 23,985 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

17. Oklahoma State

@OSUMBB 7,735 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeFlickrSoundCloud

18. UNLV

@UNLVAthletics 10,845 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

19. Wisconsin

@BadgerMBB 12,126 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubePinterestFlickr

20. VCU

@VCUAthletics 7,056 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

21. Arizona

@AZATHLETICS 19,052 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubePinterestGoogle+

22. Butler

@BUTLERMBB 14,357 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

23. Memphis

@UofMTigersHoops 26,628 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagramPinterest,

Google+TumblrFoursquare, Tout

24. UCLA

@UCLAMBB 6,177 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

25. Creighton

@BluejayMBB 5,852 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

26. San Diego State

@GoAztecs 9,562 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeGoogle+

27. Notre Dame

@NDMBB 8,061 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube,  Google+

28. Illinois

@IlliniHoops 21,123 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, Pinterest,  Instagram

29. North Carolina

@UNC_Basketball 122,246 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeTumblr

30. Colorado State

@CSUMensBball 5,637 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

31. Pittsburgh

@HailToPittHoops 2,314 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

32. North Carolina State

@PackMensBball 20,529 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubePinterest

33. Missouri

@MizzouHoops 22,004 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

34. Temple

@TUMBBHoops 2,379 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

35. Wichita State

@GoShockers 5,014 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

36. Colorado

@CUBuffsMBB 6,123 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

37. Cincinnati

@CoachCroninUC 10,959 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

38. Villanova

@Novaathletics 6,184 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagram,foursquare

39. Iowa St.

@CycloneMBB 13,982 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

40. Oklahoma

@SoonerHoops 7,369 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagramPinterest

41. Minnesota

@GopherBBall 8,715 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagramPinterest

42. California

@CalMensBball 3,631 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagram

43. Oregon

@OregonMBB 8,726 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube,

InstagramPinterest, Google+

44. Belmont

@BelmontMBB 3,834 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebookYouTube

45. Boise St

@BroncoSportsMBB 1,522 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

46. Saint Mary’s (CA)

@smcgaels 4,631 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

47. Ole Miss

@OleMissMBB 7,404 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

48. Bucknell

@bucknellhoops 793 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

49. La Salle

@GoExplorers_com 2,490 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

50. Middle Tennessee State

@MT_MBB 1,363 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

51. Akron

@ZipsMBB 2,920 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube,

InstagramPinterest, Google+

52. New Mexico State

@NMStateAggies 2,716 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

53. South Dakota State

@SDSU_Jacks 5,567 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

54. Montana

@UMGRIZZLIES_bb 1,677 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

55. Davidson

@DavidsonWildcat 3,577 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeGoogle+

56. Valparaiso

@valpoathletics 1,598 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

57. Northwestern St

@nsudemons 2,059 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

58. Harvard

@hoopsatharvard 2,064 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

59. FGCU

@FGCU_MBB 1,014 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTubeInstagram (Statigram)

60. Pacific

@PacificMensBB 336 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube,  Instagram

61. Iona

@ICGaels 3,489 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

62. Albany (NY)

@ualbanysports 2,611 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

63. Western Kentucky

@wkusports 6,242 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

64. Southern

@JaguarHoops 295 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

65. LIU Brooklyn

@LIUBasketball 1,529 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

66. James Madison

@JMUDukesHoops 557 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

67. North Carolina A&T

@NCATAGGIES 2,029 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook

68. Liberty

@libertyflames 5,051 followers

OFFICIAL WEBSITEFacebook, YouTube

ADDED: Jonathan Gandolf put together a unique list and bracket for each school but using their hashtags. Hat tip to Tariq Ahmad for tweeting this out today. Yet another way to track the action in social media.

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CadChica Sports

The 140 Character Sports Connection

Passing the 1 year blogiversary/blogbirthday last week prompted me to look back at some of my work from the early days. One of the early practices I adopted was tracking followers. Long before it became en vogue to track such things, I incorporated follower-tracking into my blog. Not so much tracking just to track but rather, tracking event-based follower increases.

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Earlier this year in NASCAR’s Daytona 500, an explosion caused a major delay of the race. While waiting, driver Brad Keselowski used the delay to take to Twitter. One of the tweets included an image, while hard to see, of the fire from the explosion.

According to Mashable.com, within two hours of Keselowski tweeting from his phone, he had gained 100,000 followers. 100,000!! That is a tremendous increase in a short amount of time.

Centered around a sporting event.

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Last year at this time, March Madness was nearing it’s pinnacle weekend: the Final Four and national championship game. Two storied programs (Kentucky vs UConn) and two ‘Cinderellas’ (Butler vs VCU). Goliath vs Goliath and David vs David. We were guaranteed a David and Goliath showdown in the championship game.

However, that wasn’t the only story taking place in college basketball. Paling in comparison but still an important story was the University of Tennessee’s hiring of new men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin. While on the surface it may not have the cache of March Madness stories, Martin replacing Bruce Pearl was a popular topic on Twitter at the time. 

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“Looking back”, Cuonzo Martin was the first person I ever tracked Twitter followers for on his accounts. That’s right, I said accounts. Back then, he had two accounts. On March 28, 2011, the day he became Tennessee’s new coach he had “@CuonzoMartin” and the now-defunct “@CuonzoLMartin”. The latter was from his tenure at Missouri State, which one can only assume he deleted. 

It’s a good thing he deleted it. For more than a week, his follower count grew on the Missouri State account from 1,713 on March 28 to 1,851 on April 4. The bio for that account even described him as the Missouri State coach. Which begged the question, What exactly do they teach in school in Tennessee? (I’m only kidding.)

As for his then-new account @CuonzoMartin, on March 28 he had 3,596. On April 4, it had grown to 4,207. Today, he has more than 17,338 followers. 

*

Coach John Calipari. Coach Jim Calhoun. Coach Brad Stevens. Coach Shaka Smart. Those were our coaches for last March Madness-Final Four weekend. Two veterans and two new guys. The storylines and angles were all well-played out in the media and talkshows around the country. All except for one. Twitter followers. How did the four men stack up way back when? 

By far, the most interesting of the four were Butler coach Brad Stevens and VCU coach Shaka Smart. They were most definitely on Twitter. As of March 29, Coach Stevens had 10,089 followers while Coach Smart had 4,716. Throughout the week leading up to the Final Four, they both steadily gained followers. Finally on  April 4, Coach Stevens had 12,283 while Coach Smart wound up with 6,840

Today, @BUCoachStevens has 20,631. Coach Smart? He’s not too far behind at 19,405

And the two legends? 

I was none too sure that Coach Jim Calhoun from UConn would have a Twitter account. He does @CoachCalhoun. While it may not be a verified account, with no tweets since 2009, pretty safe to say that it’s his account. No tweets since 2009. I’m guessing he’s been a little busy the last few years. His follower numbers back on April 2 stood at 240. Today, he has 458

By far, the king of Twitter for college basketball coaches in 2011 was Kentucky Coach John Calipari. @UKCoachCalipari‘s follower numbers on April 2 exceeded the million mark at 1,133,811. Twitter now shows Calipari at 1,174,233

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Slow growth for the coaches when comparing it to the exponential growth of Brad Keselowski. The impact of Twitter is part of the story. In the context of college basketball, there’s no significant down-time during the event to make an impact like Keselowski. What he did was unique but the reaction was instant on Twitter. 

And that is the point of looking back. What once started as a novelty for me, has become an integral part of the sports story today. Whether it be media, fans, coaches or athletes, the sports story is told in each tweet in a 140 character narrative.

The narrative, no matter how small it may be, has become the connection. 


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CadChica Sports

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