Jets’ Revis is Latest to Break His Own Story
After 36 days of endless speculation, Jets Cornerback Darrele Revis ended his much publicized holdout for a new contract late Sunday night on his own terms. . . In under 140 characters. “To my family, neil, john, I love u guys I’m comin home baby!!! Revis Island LET’S GO.” In those 54 characters on his personal Twitter page, @Revis24, the Jets cornerback officially broke a a story that led every platform of sports media Monday. He did so by bypassing many traditional forms of sports media (newspapers, television, radio) and instead directly informing fans of his long awaited decision without a middleman. Moments later, when the story broke on ESPN and Sports Illustrated, each organization credited Revis’ Twitter page as the primary source of the news and only credited their reporters for “confirming” the story. 140 characters at a time, the landscape of sports media is changing.
With Revis’ Tweet serving as only the latest example, more and more athletes are shunning ESPN and other forms of traditional sports media and instead interacting with fans without a buffer. In this the Twitter age, Cincinnati Bengals reciever Chad Ochocinco (@OGOchocinco) is able to directly and instantly send messages to his more than 1.2 million followers at any time he wants without ever contacting the media.
In fact, shortly after his first tweet that announced he was signing with New York, Revis tweeted again. “OCNN reports that @Revis24 will be in Jersey early this afternoon.” OCNN is Chad Ochocinco’s own Twitter News Network whose mission statement on Facebook reads “OCNN’s ongoing mission will be to redefine social networking like never before, breaking news before the media and bringing fans along for the wild ride.” Not only are athletes reporting their own news, they are now in the business of reporting the news of others. Twitter and other forms of social networking have ushered in an uncharted sports territory where the inmates run the asylum.
If a picture does indeed say a thousand words, in the 21st century of sports media, how many does a tweet?