Let me make something clear first – I love this guy. I love the way he goes out of his way to talk to fans, I love his earnest passion for his job, and I especially love his incredibly appropriate surname. But the most boring man on Twitter? Nick Swisher.
As a baseball fan who’s lived in England all my life, I was genuinely excited when the Suggested Users page told me I could follow dear Nick. I’m not quite sure what I expected from him, but I think I was hoping for some insight into what being a baseball player was actually like. Clearly, I didn’t think I’d signed up for the inside scoop on A-Rod and Jete’s latest heart to heart. But I did think I might get something that was, well, interesting. Here instead, are his latest tweets:
Busy morning…got tons done. Happy to be back in NY
Great win last night! Let’s keep it going!
Good game last night and something to build on for tonight. Heading to park. Can’t wait to get back home to NY.
Nice win for us tonight! Great 7th!
Now I’m not saying that these stunningly matter-of-fact tweets aren’t useful for those of us who didn’t get a chance to check the score last night. Or who weren’t sure whether we’d made it into the afternoon yet. But they’re about as insightful as a man who leaves a bulldog and a plate of sausages in a locked room and then comes back an hour later and wonders where his lunch has gone.
I’m certain that Nick lives a life that’s incredibly interesting to his fans. His everyday routine – how he stays fresh over an epic schedule, what he thinks about an hour before a game, what the players talk about in the dugout – may not thrill him, but his thousands of followers would love to hear the details. That’s why they followed him in the first place.
Unfortunately Nick’s playing it safe at the moment, and sticking so close to the party line that even the Yankees’ PR department must be getting bored. I don’t blame him – sportsmen get so much media training these days that every trace of personality is washed out before they reach puberty.
But Twitter isn’t a medium that allows you to be bland or innocuous. You’re competing against 1000s of other voices and you’ve got 140 characters to send out a hook to your followers. They want news, gossip, a joke or some personality. Send an automated response and they just won’t bother.
I’m going to keep following Nick because he’s a Yankee and he keeps hitting home runs. But I hope he develops a bit of confidence and starts to tell us the things we didn’t see. Otherwise, he’s going to remain as Twitter’s most glorified scoreboard.