Twitter allows for 140 characters. Boston’s rich local sports scene is home to innumerably more, which makes compiling the definitive list of the best regional follows on sports and media Twitter a fun yet daunting task.
We did it anyway.
Before getting started, let’s set some ground rules.
Status, name-recognition and employer do not matter. Follower-count? Not a factor. My Boston.com colleagues were excluded. The following is about people and personalities, not specific websites or blogs. Do not mistake this for a ranking or rating of the best writers, hosts or outside linebackers. This list is solely about Twitter skills.
First, Sports Illustrated has the Twitter 100 locked down. But mostly because 75 seemed like a generous number for a regional accounting, allowing room for established names as well as some of the up-and-comers worthy of attention. Still, paring down the group was a challenge, an indication that we had found the proper range.
The result, we hope, is a subjective, selectively crowd-sourced (colleagues’ opinions were solicited and sometimes even heeded), personality-centric collection of the best of Boston sports Twitter.
If we missed someone you believe belongs, let us know. And if we missed you, why, you were No. 76, honest.
THE TOP 25
This wide-ranging collection of must-follows are guaranteed to keep a Boston sports fan amused and informed — here’s the best of the best.
— Peter Abraham, The Boston Globe, Red Sox beat writer, @PeteAbe Informative, wry, and more than willing to engage.
— D.J. Bean, WEEI, Bruins reporter, @DJ_Bean Come for the Bruins analysis, stay for the Billy Joel references.
— Amalie Benjamin, The Boston Globe, Bruins reporter, @AmalieBenjaminHas a dry-ice sense of humor, and tells you who scored with trademarked conciseness.
— Bryan Brennan, NESN, videographer, @bryguyboxing Boston media’s runaway leader in amusing selfies.
— Tim Britton, Providence Journal, Red Sox beat writer, @TimBritton Blends even-handed analysis with dry humor.
— Miguel Benzan, Patriots salary cap expert, @patscap The handle changes based on how much $$$ is available under the cap.
— Tom Curran, CSNNE, Patriots insider, @tomecurran Doesn’t take himself seriously, but expertly owns trolls.
— Mike Giardi, CSNNE, host/reporter, @mikegiardi Curran’s on-air crony delivers plenty of detailed football insight of his own.
— Joe Giza, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, sports producer, @JoeGiza Amusing observations of Boston sports scene, from a different perspective.
— Sean Grande, Celtics radio voice, @SeanGrandePBP Tweets are as well-considered as his calls in big moments.
— Michael Hurley, CBS Boston, sports producer and writer, @MichaelFHurley Purveyor of smart, thorough, Goodell-crushing Deflategate analysis.
— Trenni Kusnierek, CSNNE, anchor and reporter, @trenni Opinionated and thoughtful on issues not limited to sports.
— Rich Levine, CSNNE, columnist, @rich_levine Atop Boston sports Twitter leaderboard in laugh-out-loud one-liners.
— Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated, legal analyst, @McCannSportsLaw UNH prof carved out important niche as trusted source in sports legal matters.
— Kirk Minihane, WEEI morning show, co-host, @kirkmin The bluntest force in Boston sports media.
— David Portnoy, Barstool Sports, founder, @stoolpresidente Bro-culture mogul who is in on — and often the willing butt of — the joke.
— Chris Price, WEEI, NFL writer, @cpriceNFL Traffics in a scarce commodity on Twitter — common sense.
— Red, SurvivingGrady.com, Red Sox blogger, @SurvivingGrady Passionate, occasionally ribald and relentlessly hilarious Red Sox commentator.
— Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston, NFL writer, @MikeReiss Long-trusted source of information, especially on game day.
— Fluto Shinzawa, The Boston Globe, NHL writer, @GlobeFluto Keen observer of the NHL, and an accomplished foodie, too.
— Alex Speier, The Boston Globe, MLB writer, @alexspeier Preeminent statistics-centric sports writer in the Boston market.
— Toucher and Rich, 98.5 The Sports Hub morning show @Toucherandrich Amusing, wide-ranging account is operated by co-host Rich Shertenlieb.
— Ryan Whitney, former pro hockey player, @ryanwhitney6 Former BU/NHL defenseman offers skate-sharp wit.
— You’re Right, Mike!, parody account, @YoureRightMike Hilarious, if all too real, mocker of The Sports Hub host Tony Massarotti’s sizzling takes.
EIGHT BOSTON PERSONALITES GONE NATIONAL
Their national platforms may have disqualified them from the best of Boston list above. Hey, our list, our rules. But had they remained in our market, every one of them would be ranked in the top 25.
— Greg Bedard, Sports Illustrated, NFL writer, @GregABedard
— Paul Flannery, SBNation.com, NBA columnist, @pflanns
— Peter Gammons, de facto baseball commissioner, @pgammo
— Zach Lowe, ESPN, NBA writer, @Zach Lowe_NBA
— Katie Nolan, Fox Sports 1, Garbage Time host, @KatieNolan
— Ian Rapoport, NFL Network, reporter, @RapSheet
— Bill Simmons, HBO host, podcaster and writer, @billsimmons
— Field Yates, ESPN, NFL and fantasy football analyst, @fieldyates
He came to Boston decades before Twitter was invented, but is entertaining on this newfangled medium.
— Bob Ryan, The Boston Globe, columnist emeritus, @GlobeBobRyan
FOUR WHO DELIVER FROM BEHIND THE SCENES
You may not necessarily know their faces or bylines, but their witty observations ought to put them front and center on Twitter.
— Mike Cole, NESN, content producer, @MikeColeNESN
— Josh Deering, 98.5 The Sports Hub, producer, @j_deer
— Adam Hart, CSNNE, multimedia producer, @AdamHart
— Ben Watanabe, NESN, content editor, @benjeeballgame
TWO DATA MAVENS
They don’t just make informative charts and graphics. They make mesmerizing, essential and even game-changing ones.
— Dan Brooks, BrooksBaseball.net, founder @brooksbaseball
— Kirk Goldsberry, FiveThirtyEight.com and Harvard visiting scholar, shot-chart maven, @kirkgoldsberry
SIX INTERESTING FORMER ATHLETES
Some are in the media, some are executives, and some are chilling in retirement. All know how to engage and/or entertain on social media.
— Danny Ainge, previously Celtics guard and now team’s president of basketball ops, @danielrainge
— Matt Chatham, former Patriots linebacker, writer/broadcaster, @Chatham58
— Keith Foulke, 2004 Red Sox saver/savior, @KeithFoulke
— Lou Merloni, ex-Sox INF, WEEI host, @LouMerloni
— Taylor Twellman, ex-Revolution stalwart, ESPN announcer, @TaylorTwellman
— Scott Zolak, former Patriots quarterback, 98.5 The Sports Hub host, Patriots color analyst, @scottzolak
TWO INTERESTING CURRENT BOSTON ATHLETES
Thought there would be more here, didn’t you? Truth is, for all of their mesmerizing achievements on the field, Boston’s athletes need to step up their social media game.
— Devin McCourty, Patriots defensive back, @McCourtyTwins
— Koji Uehara, Red Sox closer, @TeamUehara
SIX WHO WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH
Because Twitter should never make you cry.
— John Feitelberg, Barstool Sports, writer, @FeitsBarstool
— Fitzy, Boston fan character/caricature, @FitzyGFY
— Fred Toucher, 98.5 The Sports Hub, morning show co-host, @FredToucher
— Obnoxious Boston Fan, fan-voiced opiner, @realOBF
— Rear Admiral, Barstool Sports, Bruins blogger, @RearAdBsBlog
— WWII Felger, Period-specific Michael Felger parody, @WWIIFelger
ONE MEDIA WATCHDOG
Because this city has more than one media critic
— Bruce Allen, BostonSportsMediaWatch.com, founder @bruceallen
FOUR RISING STARS
If Twitter hasn’t enhanced these folks’ profiles, well, it should. They’re good, and you’ll know them soon if you don’t already.
— Jared Carrabis, Barstool Sports, Red Sox writer/podcaster, @Jared_Carrabis
— Rich Hill, PatsPulpit.com, editor and writer, @PP_Rich_Hill.
— Joon Lee, OverTheMonster.com, writer, @iamjoonlee
— Rich Keefe, 98.5 The Sports Hub, host/sidekick, @Keefe21
FIVE PATRIOTS WRITERS TO FOLLOW
All tweet with distinction — no easy task on a beat in which information is at a premium.
— Kevin Duffy, MassLive.com, @KevinRDuffy
— Jeff Howe, Boston Herald, @jeffphowe
— Doug Kyed, NESN, @DougKyed
— Phil Perry, CSNNE, @PhilAPerry
— Ben Volin, The Boston Globe, @BenVolin
FIVE RED SOX WRITERS TO FOLLOW
The in-game tweets can get redundant and fill up a timeline in a hurry. These guys do their best to keep it fresh.
— Jon Couture, Boston Herald/New Bedford Standard Times, @JonCouture
— Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal, @brianmacp
— Sean McAdam. CSNNE, @Sean_McAdam
— Jen McCaffrey, MassLive.com/Springfield Republican, @jcmccaffrey
— Marc Normandin, OvertheMonster.com, @marc_normandin
FIVE CELTICS WRITERS TO FOLLOW
Of all the major Boston sports beats, this one features the widest range of worthwhile follows — including a superb crew of bloggers. Wish there were room for more.
— Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston, @ESPNForsberg
— Adam Himmelsbach, The Boston Globe, @AdamHimmelsbach
— John Karalis, RedsArmy.com. @RedsArmy_John
— Jay King, MassLive.com, @ByJayKing
— Brian Robb, CBS Boston, @CelticsHub
ONE NEWS ANCHOR WHO’S GREAT ON SPORTS
Because for all of Twitter’s flaws, always remember that it’s supposed to be fun over here in the toy department.
— David Wade, WBZ, anchor, @davidwade
Photos: 36 images that will remind you how tough the ‘Big Bad Bruins’ were