Friday, December 9, 2011
Liberty University disgusts me, for reasons that go well beyond hockey. So rather than talk about them more than I have to, I thought I'd try something different than a preview ahead of this weekend's semester-closing games.
Twitter is a gigantic part of what I do in that it allows me to stay on top of news relevant to Penn State hockey in a way that simply didn't exist before its creation, and it also helps me connect with all of you. If you're not on, I highly recommend getting there - even if you don't ever tweet and use it essentially as a personal news ticker for stuff you care about. Hopefully TYT (@TYTBlog) is on your ticker.
If you're unfamiliar, one Twitter tradition is called Follow Friday, and the idea behind what's called #FF in Twitterspeak is to recommend accounts that you find to be worthwhile follows. I almost never participate, but to make up for that, I'm taking things to the next level with the First (Annual? And Only? Who knows?) TYT Twitter Awards.
I'm going to assume you already know about official accounts @PSUMensHockey, @PSUWomensHockey, @HockeyValley, @psuicelions and the Daily Collegian's @TDC_Icers. Beyond that, here are the best of some categories I made up. This is by no means a comprehensive list. I follow 334 people, all of whom are great (I don't follow sucktitude), so if you follow TYT and are offended by your exclusion, let me hear about it. If I hear from enough of you, maybe I'll make this a two-parter.
Best Current Player (Men): Steve Edgeworth (@stedgeworth). Guy just cracks me up 100 percent of the time.
Sample tweet: What's the job application at Hooters? They hand you a bra and say "fill this out"?
Best Current Player (Women): Cara Mendelson (@cmen12). Mendelson gets the nod over close runners-up Abby Miller (@AbbyMiller17) and Sara Chroman (@sjchro) mostly on frequency. But she gets at it without sacrificing quality.
Sample tweet: After a semester long of my English prof asking me about hockey, he proceeded to tell me after my report that he thought I ran track #idiot
Best Current Player (Ice Lions): Creek Lewis (@creekaleak7). Lewis clinched the win here with his tweet about UMBC players cracking Jerry Sandusky jokes in the hotel after losing to PSU. However his body of work as a whole, while infrequent, is great.
Sample tweet: forgot to shave before november 1st #gonnabealongmonth
Best Future Player: 2012 men's recruit Jonathan Milley (@jonathan_milley). I think my favorite thing about Milley is that his genuine excitement over coming to Penn State next season comes through quite frequently.
Sample tweet: Living in Canada I don't get to watch much college hockey, but the game I just watched between CC and DU was #unreal #cantwait #PSU
Best General News Site: College Hockey News (@chnews). What separates CHN from chief rival USCHO in my book is that they use Twitter as more than a dumping ground for links to stories and get heavily into the retweet, interaction and opinion business as well.
Sample tweet: Not sure sports org. should have authority to implement dress code on the media, but the sentiment is admirable. Media should show respect.
Best Legitimate Reporter (Penn State Affiliated): Andrew Dzurita (@adzurita247). On Thursday, Dzurita broke the story of the outdoor game announcement a few hours ahead, which allowed me to have a post ready to go. This is me thanking him for that. But seriously, he's great for that kind of stuff. And for PSU basketball, if you're into that sort of thing.
Sample tweet: You know what I want to do in my free time? Illegally stream the Penn State - Lafayette hoops game on my computer. I've got a problem.
* Not meant as a slight to Collegian reporters James Nicol (@JamesSNicol) or Katie Montgomery (@k8emont), just an acknowledgement that they keep their personal accounts, well, personal. They're great follows too.
Best Legitimate Reporter (Non-Penn State Affiliated): Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark). The Fargo Force reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead knows more about what's going on in the USHL than anyone on the planet.
Sample tweet: I can confirm the Tri-City Storm has fired coach Drew Schoneck making him the second #USHL coach to be fired this season.
Best Legitimate Reporter (Freelance): Rachel Lenzi (@rlenzi). There's probably not a single person out there who understands the medium better, including its limitations (yes, it has some). Plus, I'm a huge fan of her blog, which I've already plugged on here.
Sample tweet: Even worse: Once had an editor who wouldn't handle a plagiarism situation. "Imitation is a great form of flattery," said editor told me.
Best Official Account of a Future Big Ten Team: Michigan State (@MSU_Hockey). Much like CHN, a big part of my recommendation comes from their willingness to interact and retweet, in addition to the standard fare for any official account. What clinches it though: their in-game tweets, without fail, begin with score, time, period. It sounds like a simple, obvious thing, but it can make all the difference in the world.
Sample tweet: Today's biggest surprise came in that none of @TomAnastos' children RT'd the link to the All-Access show. #slacking?
Best Blogger Account of a Future Big Ten Team Coming From the CCHA: MichiganHockey.net (@MichiganHockey). Whenever my ego gets a little large, I look at these guys and crawl back to my place. Simply put, their ability to stay on top of everything to recruiting to UM's numerous NHL alumni is unparalleled. And they even have the Swedish Chef in their pop culture reference library.
Sample tweet: BORK! BORK! BORK! RT @mavanco Carl Hagelin scores on a backhand for his first NHL goal to make it 2-0 #NYR #GoBlue
Best Blogger Account of a Future Big Ten Team Coming From the WCHA: Nate Wells (@gopherstate). But only if you don't mind the Minnesota Wild. They're not my team of choice, but I don't hate them. Really, who does? Winnipeg maybe? I don't know. They might be the single least hated team in the league.
Sample tweet: Key word is "tournament." RT @fetch9 college hockey, flawed as it is, has a million times better method of picking its tournament field.
Best Official Account of a College Hockey America Team: Niagara (@NiagaraWHockey). Admittedly, there's not much to choose from, as there are only two teams with dedicated accounts and the other (Robert Morris) hasn't tweeted since last season. Still, NU does a great job getting beyond the usual dry official-ness.
Sample tweet: @ Ohio State, game 7pm tomorrow. The Blackwell Hotel's complimentary Lindt truffles on each bed were a thumbs up from the team. #greathotel
Best Penn State Hockey Blogger Who Isn't Me: IcersGuy (@hey_pono). Other than his recaps on Black Shoe Diaries, which I love, he's a solid guy in general, including his opinions on other PSU sports and the Flyers. You should want to know what he's saying.
Sample tweet: If Rinaldo had any balance on his skates, he might actually, you know, be able to play hockey or do his job occasionally.