As both a Sun Devil fan and ASU student, I consume coverage of my school’s athletics in many ways. Being that this is 2014, and my phone is basically an extension of my body, most of my consumption happens online.
At this point the newspaper, the actual printed word, is much more of a waiting-for-the-shuttle type of deal.
That said, I read my news in a new-age way, through the greatest distributor of media the world has ever seen- social media. It’s what I read, write and use to acquire bits of knowledge that I use to sparse up boring conversations, engage the beautiful women of Tempe (usually unsuccessfully), and find out how my friends feel about their new internships or hair color.
Social media isn’t just a place to share my ideas of new names for the Los Angeles Clippers. More importantly, social media allows me an unfiltered flow of everything Sun Devils, and with a couple swipes of a finger I can immerse myself in ASU Football and Athletics.
Twitter is the most useful social media application, and makes me a more informed and adjusted fan. Twitter gives me new statistics, in-game tidbits, and direct quotes from players and coaches.
Football is, by far, the biggest sport at ASU, and Twitter reflects that. @TheSunDevils, the official Twitter account of Sun Devil Athletics, has over 36,000 followers. The official account for ASU Football, @FootballASU, has over 23,000 followers.
Let’s stop there for a second. One sport has over 60% of the follower count of the entire athletic program.
Baseball (@ASU_Baseball), the most successful sport in the history of ASU, has about half of the followers of ASU Football.
Basketball (@ASUHoops), despite an appearance in the NCAA tournament this past season, has less than 6,000 followers. But get this: Jahii Carson, the Sun Devil star who will likely be picked in the 2014 NBA Draft, has over twice as many followers as the program he played for.
As a testament to the power of the gridiron on social media, Will Sutton, the two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, has almost as many followers as the entire Sun Devil basketball program with 5,633.
Twitter gives fans unprecedented access to their favorite players, which means I can find out all sorts of new things about my Devils such as:
Will Sutton’s favorite Vine’s:
Jahii Carson’s pre-draft struggles:
Taylor Kelly’s graduation disbelief:
Shaq McKissic’s sense of humor:
and DJ Foster’s appreciation for fast-food chicken:
Instagram is an even more personal world, allowing Sun Devil athletes to share their lives with all the diehards through pictures and videos. My favorite Sun Devil Instagrammer is shooting guard Bo Barnes.
With selfies, pictures with cute infant relatives, stuntin-on-’em vacation pictures, humor, food and basketball, it’s clear Bo knows Instagram.
As far as Facebook goes, I see it as more of a market place for ideas and sometimes debate. Football articles, opinions on Todd Graham’s late-game timeouts, and general discourse finds its’ home on Facebook. It’s a place to discuss the game, rather than dive into the play-by-play.
How do you get your Sun Devils social media fix? What Sun Devils do you follow on Twitter and Instagram? Tell us all about it in the Diehard Forums!