The Rams and Social Media

Dilip Vishwanat

Twitter offers fans unique insights into players lives and allows fans to connect with other like-minded people. It is here to stay and everyone should take full advantage of the magical machine that is Twitter.

Before Twitter, players were gift wrapped by their agents in order to manage their images. Media members were, for the most part, antiquated and calculated in how they presented themselves. Fans were left to shoddily made forums, the comment section of online newspapers, and shouting at games in order to voice their opinions. Twitter has offered all of these people a personal soapbox, and we as fans should be thankful.

To me, being a Rams fan, circa Twitter, meant wearing one of my Rams jerseys on Sunday, yelling at the T.V. and then going about the rest of my week having no other Rams fix. I would occasionally read an article on STLToday.com about the Rams, but I would be left thirsting for more Rams interaction. I don't live near St. Louis, so I wasn't able to listen to Rams talk radio. Talking to friends or colleagues about the Rams wasn't possible because there are no Rams fans where I'm from (If I hear "Da Bears" one more time, things could get ugly). Thankfully, Twitter changed all of that.

As fans, Twitter has changed everything from how we access information about our team, to communication between Rams fans and players. The microblogging site has offered me, and many others, the opportunity to connect with other fans in a personal manner that didn't exist before Twitter. The Rams fan social media presence is nothing short of spectacular. The Rams fans social network includes people of all walks of life who all share a common interest. There are fans who offer more unique and in depth insight than any major media outlet. I honestly believe that. Twitter has opened the door for fans to share what they have to offer. On Twitter, I follow nearly any and every Rams fan. Fellow contributors here at TurfShowTimes are some of my favorite tweeps *we will see why a bit later*.

Want a crowd to hear your habitual Sunday rant? Then Twitter is for you. Have suggestions or opinions concerning the Rams that don't receive any ears at home? Come check out the magical land of Twitter, where anyone can be an expert. Not only has Twitter altered how we connect with other Rams fans, Twitter has afforded fans the opportunity to peer into the minds and hearts of the players.

A large proportion of Rams players, and players around the league, use Twitter. Fans want a soapbox to stand on and so do the players. In the past, players haven't always been available to share who they are as a person to fans due to the potential for disaster. While the potential for disaster is still there, players have found that medium with Twitter. Prior to Twitter players were looked at as more than human. Affording players a personal connection with the fans, Twitter has allowed them an insiders look what players really do when they aren't wearing their jerseys.

For example, if you follow Chris Givens or Janoris Jenkins you would have found out that they both play NBA 2k and apparently Janoris isn't very good.

@CG1three It’s @JjenkzLockdown birthday yal, wish him happy birthday as I teach him how to play 2k

Or if you follow Cortland Finnegan, you found out that he is an avid St. Louis Cardinals supporter.

@CortFinnegan Dear St.Louis Cardinals lets do the dang thang.. We all behind you lets go to WORK.. Whoooooooooo let's go baby# crunk tweet

Or that he listens to country music.....or does he?

@CortFinnegan Stop by the crib on the bye week and check out CMAs.. Boot scoot boogie

Being able to read what players think, feel, and care about allows for a greater connection between fans and players. Twitter has allowed fans to gain a sense of importance when it comes to their favorite teams which has only served to strengthen their bond with their team.

The St. Louis Rams have been one of the front runners in keeping up with the growing need for social media. Per the St. Louis Business Journal:

" Rams try and separate themselves from other teams in the National Football League (NFL) by putting more effort and time in promoting the team during the offseason, said Brian Killingsworth, vice president of marketing and brand strategy for the St. Louis Rams.

In the last three months, the Rams added more than 50,000 fans on Facebook and more than 8,500 followers on Twitter. "

For a team that has a small fan following when compared to other NFL teams, it is impressive that the Rams have been on the forefront of the social media movement. As Rams fans, we are the beneficiaries. I urge anyone who reads this to take advantage of all Twitter has to offer. Don't want to put yourself out there? When signing up for Twitter, there is no requirement for you to use your real name. Twitter offers a wealth of knowledge from fans, players and media alike. News breaks on Twitter well before it every comes across your ESPN ticker or gets mentioned by your sports talk radio host. Do you love TurfShowTimes and the information the contributors bring you week in and week out? Well I suggest you check out their Twitter feeds, because these guys go deeper than just St. Louis Rams insights...

@3k_ As long as you don't have a child, you can wear a costume. Once you got kids, you can't. Ain't nobody wanna see daddy playin dress up.

@3k_ I have this vision in my head of Spidey spilling molten hot coffee on himself and screaming in agony as he flies between buildings

@birktothehead Not only is it the start of "No-Shave" November, but also it is National Sweater-vest Day. Prepare accordingly.

@Daniel_Doelling I was almost 'that kid' who told the teacher that he forgot to assign his students homework. Almost.

@TylerBishop Jags should grab Tebow. They aren't winning games, might as well fill seats and get a top pick. Personally, Tebow could be a great TE IMO

@NoPlanB_ Tonight I am dressing up as a #Rams rushing TD. Phantom of the endzone.

To go along with their wit, all of these gentlemen offer unique ideas, arguments, suggestions and overall knowledge when it comes to the Rams.

Take advantage of Twitter; it offers fans insight that wasn't possible prior to its inception. As Rams fans we have struck social media gold. We follow a team who is on the cutting edge in social promotion and should relish it.

If you are on Twitter already or plan to join, check out Daniel Doelling's list of Rams players accounts.

You can reach me on Twitter at @HawkWayOfLife

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