The Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette today broke the news on Twitter that almost broke Twitter (at least in Pittsburgh):
Drum roll please: Mike Tomlin will join the Twitter world and start Tweeting this afternoon from #Steelers camp— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) July 26, 2013
Coach Tomlin's first tweet came a short time later:
Hello Twitter. Expect no BS from me. Just straight fire!— Mike Tomlin (@CoachTomlin) July 26, 2013
As of 2:30 p.m., Tomlin had more than 25,000 followers. He has some catching up to do if he wants to surpass the Twitter accounts of some of the more popular current and former Steelers: Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) has over 500,000 Twitter followers, and James Harrison (@jharrison9292) has almost 300,000 followers.
Even Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) is ahead of Tomlin at this point, as the Post-Gazette's most-followed account, with almost 37,000 followers.
Plenty of other Pittsburgh athletes are on Twitter; Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett (@wudeydo34) has nearly 38,000 followers, and the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (@malkin71_), who tweets in both English and Russian, has over 320,000 followers.
Professional athletes are of course known for the occasional goof on social media. After a photo surfaced of the Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey (@MaurkicePouncey) wearing a "Free Hernandez" hat (in support of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, who stands accused of murder), Pouncey used his Twitter account to apologize for his actions.
It's probably unlikely the straight-talking Tomlin will get himself into any Twitter trouble. But now that he's following some of his players on Twitter, it might be interesting to see if they choose their 140 characters a little more carefully.
Do you follow any professional athletes on Twitter? Which ones do you like best... and which non-tweeters do you wish would get on board?