Chicago Bears placekicker Robbie Gould is one of the more interesting and articulate athletes out there. When his days draining field goals are over, he has a bright future in broadcasting. Wednesday night, when the Chicago Cubs hosted the Philadelphia Phillies, Gould was part of a three person social media panel.
He cracked jokes, dropped one-liners and made an announcement that if when he gets about 500 more Twitter followers, he’ll take his fans/followers out to dinner with him at Public House. He currently has 45, 508 (@RobbieGould09), when he hits 46,000 he’ll treat for food.
Gould also threw out the first ball and sang the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field during the Cubs 9-2 loss.
Gould is the most accurate kicker in Bears history and the only Bear placekicker to ever make the Pro Bowl. Everything he does on Twitter is all him, and unlike some athletes, he’s never been in trouble for his use on the site.
“I think it’s such a great tool to give you a bird’s eye view of our fans and the locker room,” Gould said.
He also talked about what happens when someone encounters their Twitter impostor.
“It’s kind of interesting, it’s fun to have fans create a persona, and a fan base for you. But you’re going to have some people who don’t like you. You’re going to have both the positive and the negative,” he explained.
But the best question and answer of the session was when Gould told everyone what he thinks about how Twitter has changed the relationship athletes have with the public. It used to be that the jock was only able to reach the masses through both the media relations professional and the journalist. Now, they can talk directly (without intermediaries) to the fans through Twitter. How does this affect the player’s relationship with both the PR rep and the reporter?
“In this town you have two papers, two (sports talk) radio stations. Everyone is trying to break the story first and get a leg up in their career, and instead of someone looking for the edge in a story, or someone hanging on just one word, it allows you to get your story out, the right info out there,” he said.
Gould mentioned how he believed Matt Forte was misconstrued in his recent Twitter comments about his contract situation and brought up how he felt treated very unfairly when giving an interview for a NFL lockout story. He disapproved of the angle taken by the writer.
“It’s great to get that direct line to your fans,” he said of Twitter, after telling us earlier that evening:
“I’m still waiting for Justin Timberlake to tweet me back.”
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.