What a twit-fit

2009-08-08 00:00

WHAT is a journalist to do when breaking stories are splashed out in Twitter here, Facebook there. What is the sporting world coming to?

Just when we thought there was more technology than we could bear to handle in sport, two twits put their hands up last week to show that the world revolves around all things digital these days.

What is a journalist to do when breaking stories are splashed out in broken grammar by some twit the night before?

By the way, is that what they are called, these practitioners of Twitter?

Twits, twittists, or perhaps twit-sters? I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.

And it seems everyone is at it.

Last week, the Australian opener, Phil Hughes, chose to enlighten the entire world of his axing from the side for the third Ashes Test.

No harm done, right?

Wrong!

Silly Hughes decided to do the dirt well before the team was announced officially, thus allowing England the opportunity to devise cunning plans for the incoming Shane Watson.

Apparently.

Of course it did not require a scientist or a sangoma to realise that the noose was tightening around Hughes’s little neck.

He had shown as much enthusiasm to facing the short stuff as Mike Gatting did to scoffing salads in his prime.

I digress.

To make it worse, if that is possible, Hughes could not be bothered to “tweet” the top-secret information himself.

Oh no, he had an agent for that.

Whatever next? An assistant to tie his laces and perhaps evade the odd bouncer?!

The offending accomplice just happened to be on the other side of the world at the time, hence the message coming out a little ahead of time.

Well that explains that, then.

The official line from the Aussie camp was that it was naive and had been dealt with, but you can be sure that the senior pros came down hard on little Hughes.

I mean, can you imagine Brian McMillan or even Merv Hughes excusing himself from the team meeting so that he could tweet his latest adventures to his fans?

Even more bizarre than Hughes’s indiscretion (or should that be more hilarious) was England part-time striker and full-time mini blogger Darren Bent.

The former Tottenham Hotspur forward was not content with the speed of his transfer to Sunderland.

So what did he do?

Tell the world, of course.

“Seriously getting p***** off now,” he ranted.

“Why can’t anything be simple. It’s so frustrating hanging round doing jack s***.”

He then wrapped up his digital dialogue with a classic swipe at Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy.

“Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go stoke NO do I wanna go sunderland YES so stop f****** around levy [sic].”

Never mind the terrible grammar and the colourful prose which is a touch too liberal for a respectable Saturday morning paper.

For this provides us with a unique insight into what goes on in a professional sportsman’s mind.

Twitter is a platform for them to vent their frustrations/fury/fear/fantasies (delete as appropriate).

And they are all at it.

Andy Roddick announced his return to action after Wimbledon to his fellow twits first.

Lance Armstrong provided a running commentary of his return to the Alps on his twit-page.

Do they not see what they are doing?

They are putting careers at risk here.

Not theirs, of course. I am certain that there will soon be endorsement deals purely for twit-hits, and these stars won’t even need to perform, so long as their twitting is on top form.

But they are unravelling carefully constructed ‘careers’ right now.

How on earth is any self-respecting sports writer supposed to haul in an exclusive when all the juicy tit-bits have been twitted about?

It is all rather frightening, really.

It is a good thing that our local stars have been slow off the mark.

Only AB de Villiers and his regular blog stick out, so we are yet to hear of Makhaya Ntini’s off-season antics in Mndingi, for example.

And can you imagine if our beloved national rugby coach got wind of the wonders of twitting about?

Well, we would have tutus and tactics all in one twit!

What a show that would be.

So for the sake of fellow scribes of leisure, I sincerely hope that this latest fad is banned outright by our eagle-eyed sports ministers.

Personally, I cannot begin to see the point of informing millions about my eating habits and what I chalk off as a hard day’s work.

It would simply open up a whole new can of worms!

So the Hughes and Bents of this world can carry on, but I will not be joining in.

End of twit!

What is a journalist to do when breaking stories are splashed out in broken grammar by some twit the night before?

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