This column has more than 140 characters, but it's still relevant

June 11, 2011 

  • Get breaking news, story updates and a fast-paced look at all the Lowcountry sports world has to offer by following Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette Sports on Twitter.
  • Like high school and recreational sports in southern Beaufort County? Tennis, anyone? Get breaking news, story updates and more via Twitter by following Match Point.
  • If you follow sports in northern Beaufort County, you need to be following Fast Break on Twitter, too, for breaking news, story updates and tidbits about sporting events and people in your community.

@SportsFans: You are on Twitter by now, right?

No? Don't tell me you fell for that whole "I don't care what my neighbor is eating for lunch" nonsense. Nobody cares about that, and that's why your neighbor only has seven followers.

But I feel confident saying any sports fan who isn't using Twitter is missing a great opportunity to enhance his or her sports media experience.

If you're following the right people (like @IPBGSports -- hint, hint) Twitter can be your eyes and ears for everything that's going on, like, anywhere at any time.

If somebody is throwing a no-hitter, someone will tell you on Twitter, jinx be damned.

If, hypothetically speaking of course, a major Division I football program has its coach resign and its quarterback leave the school, you're guaranteed to hear it on Twitter first, assuming you don't work at a tattoo parlor.

In just the past two weeks, Twitter brought us news of Shaq's retirement (@SHAQ: "im retiring), Tiger's announcement he would skip the U.S. Open (@TigerWoods: "Not playing in US Open. Very disappointed. Short-term frustration for long-term gain."), and live updates from Gilbert Arenas' disastrous blind date, to name a few.

OK, so you probably don't care about Arenas' social life, and sometimes it's easier to like pro athletes the less you know about them, but it was entertaining, to say the least.

If you're watching South Carolina in the NCAA baseball super regional this weekend, I assure you pulling up Post and Courier reporter Travis Haney's feed (@TravHaney) will provide some insight you won't get from the television announcers.

And if you were sitting around yelling at your TV -- or "whisper-yelling" at your TV, if you have a sleeping 10-month old in the next room -- during the NBA Finals, the Twittersphere could have provided millions of like-minded folks to share in your revelry (or misery, depending on your perspective).

Come high school football season, our sports department will post updates for every scoring play from every game we staff, and periodic updates from most out-of-town games, too.

Of course, there is so much more on Twitter than sports news. When something big takes place anywhere in the world -- like the Iranian election protests or the Joplin, Mo., tornado, for example -- following a search term or hashtag (i.e. #Joplin) on Twitter is almost like being there.

You might have heard about another high-profile, non-sports, um ... revelation on Twitter this week, but we'll leave that to the news department. (A word to the wise, though. If you take up this Twitter business, be VERY careful about the distinction between an @reply and a direct message.)

The comedy such a dust-up produces on Twitter is priceless. The 140-character limit lends itself nicely to one-liners, and the practice of retweeting ensures you'll rarely miss the best ones.

You can even follow me (@justinjarrett) if you want, though I will warn you I'm just as likely to post about my son's bodily fluids or napping habits as a baseball game.

But I promise only to tell you what I'm having for lunch if it's REALLY tasty.

TWEET, TWEET

Our sports department has a Twitter feed for every local sports fan, if you're inclined to follow along.

@IPBGSports -- General updates on the local sports scene, links to stories and blog posts, live updates from big events.

@MatchPointBFT -- Reporter Sam McDowell's insight on south of the Broad high schools and local tennis.

@FastBreakBFT -- Reporter Stephen Fastenau's insight on north of the Broad high schools and local recreation news.

@USCBSharkBites -- Sports editor Justin Jarrett's insight on USC Beaufort athletics.

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