This week, what with the new MLS season gearing up for kick-off (it’s called “First Kick”, for the uninitiated), I decided to start following a team.
This was in part due to the fact that a friend of mine lives in Charlotte, USA and works on the YouTube Channel Kick, and also because I’m a sucker for a bit of sporting bia…support. No team will ever match The Arsenal obviously, but it makes things interesting, and affiliation is a wonderful thing – when I was at university I attended more Aberystwyth Town matches than I submitted assignments.
In any case, picking a new team is a task riddled with questions, but I normally follow my standard formula:
- Am I draw to a team by something obvious other than glory?
- Any friends/family already supporting?
- Do I have any geographical or cultural affiliation, no matter how tenuous?
- Do I get a clear sense of a club ethos I can relate to?
- Do I like the kit?
After asking these questions I opted for a team in the Eastern Conference, but was torn between NY Red Bulls (they of Emirates Cup and Thierry Henry fame), and New England Revolution.
Long story short, and largely influenced by my very loose loyalty toward the NE Patriots NFL team – and the Red Bulls overt relationship with a terrible drink – I opted for the NE Revolution.
Now, what’s the first thing you do when you decide upon a new team? Or even before you decide? You visit the site, familiarise yourselves with the stars, the stats, the history and culture. So I did. But look at what I found upon visiting the New England Revolution player page:
That is a list of players with official twitter accounts noted right there on the page, right there on the official club website.
Now, you don’t even have to know the first think about the MLS, but we all know how annoying it is to follow @TheRealOfficialTOMASROSICKYlol account to then find out that it’s a fake.
We invest our time in twitter, we invest our opinions in contact – however little – with the professional sportspeople we follow and support. So, wouldn’t it be a good idea if, say, Premier League or indeed all professional clubs had a list of official player accounts like above?
Not for the club to keep tabs on the output, or to censor it in anyway. But just so we know we’re not being misled. All it takes is for @AnOfficialClubAccount to tweet that Player X has joined twitter and add the link to the squad list.
We current supporters will all be in a more informed position, and newcomers won’t have to scrabble around and waste time on an already overcrowded medium, where following fake accounts is at least incredibly frustrating.
What I’m saying is this: I’m now following the Revolution, and I suggest clubs start to follow their example.