Two weeks ago, Major League Baseball suspended Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen two games and fined him an undisclosed amount for (relatively benign) comments he made on Twitter following an ejection at Yankee stadium. Yesterday, the UFC announced that it plans on paying its athletes for cultivating a following on Twitter. MMA Fighting reports:
Starting June 1, UFC and Strikeforce fighters will be divided into four categories, based on how many Twitter followers they currently have. At the end of each quarter, three fighters from each category will be awarded a $5,000 bonus. The three winners will be based on who has gained the most followers since the start of the quarter, who gained the highest percentage of new followers and who wrote the most creative tweets. White will be the judge of the last category.
Let's get this out of the way: this is a great policy. The four big sports leagues have reacted to Twitter like the out-of-touch, white-haired men that they are. The UFC has done a great job leveraging social media, even if it occasionally backfires. Putting more money in the pockets of fighters while expanding the reach of the sport? Great.
That said, have you actually followed these fighters on Twitter? We can break them down into the following categories:
- Ghost accounts. Example: Georges St. Pierre. Not surprising considering his corporate image. Try to read any of his English-language tweets in his voice. And no one uses that many exclamation points outside of Elaine Benes.
- The bad comedians. Example: Miguel Torres. There's nothing worse than watching people try to be funny.
- Failing to reach low expectations. Example: Mike Goldberg. He's not a fighter, per se, but if you buy in to the idea that Goldberg is smarter than he play on TV, I suggest you check out his Twitter. Overusing ellipses. Random words in ALL CAPS. Meaningles one-word tweets. If Goldberg is playing the fool, he's keeping the kayfabe alive 24/7.
- Twitter Whore. Example: Jon Jones. If anyone's going to tweet between rounds, it's this guy.
- Posting about mundane daily events. Example: Eddie Wineland. This is where we can file 95% of Twitter accounts. You're on the way to the gym? That's great. You're shopping for groceries? Cool story, bro. If you ever want a reminder that fighters are just regular-ass people, follow one on Twitter.