Paul Valencia: Staying positive about Twitter

Paul Valencia: Commentary

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

We journalists love Twitter for a lot of reasons.

Instant scoring updates from all over the state.

Interaction with readers. (Well, at least the constructive, respectful kind.)

The occasional Twitter rant from an athlete that makes us go, “Whoa. Did he really just say that?” Or, “Did she really just go there?”

And one of my favorites is reading the interactions between athletes. The positive kind, anyway.

It is too easy to find the negative with Twitter. I’ve written some warnings in the past regarding athletes going overboard on social media. They all should be reminded that their Twitter words are public, free for college coaches to read, for example. Beware.

But today, I’m feeling more like Positive Paul than Pessimistic Paul.

So here are some great things I’ve noticed recently on Twitter.

• Athletes support athletes, regardless of the sport they play.

I see Emily Morgan of Columbia River on Twitter all the time. Many of us know her as one of the top track and field athletes in the region. But in the fall, she is the unofficial captain of spirit for Columbia River athletics, mostly football.

I heard from another athlete last week that Morgan probably knows more football than the football players do. Not a knock on the players. They know plenty. It’s just that Morgan loves this game. And she appreciates the effort it takes to play it.

She knows what it takes for her to excel in her sport, so she obviously knows what it takes for others to excel in their sports.

Emily Dobbin of Skyview tweeted her respect for the football team Friday night after the Storm lost a tough one to Union: “I don’t think you football boys understand how fun of a game that was to cheer for. You battled & kept us on our toes. Heads up.”

Dobbin, a Division I softball recruit and soccer player, has had a lot of success. However, all athletes must deal with defeat. Her teams have lost tough ones, as well.

Anyway, I just think it is cool when athletes show so much respect to their peers.

• Fun trash talk. This one is tricky. It is difficult to talk trash on Twitter without crossing a line. But every once in a while, I see one that makes me smile. With no guilt, because there is nothing personal.

I saw a pic on Twitter showing a thread of some text messages. One person asked another which school they “hated” less, pretty much asking whether to vote for a Camas athlete or Union athlete for player of the week. The reply: Vote for the Mountain View kid!

Now that’s funny.

Those of us in the sports world should not have a problem with rivalries, and with fun comments about rivalries. So a couple Skyview people did not want to vote for Camas or Union. Sounds reasonable to me. My guess is the feeling is mutual.

No one’s feelings should be hurt in this case. n fun.

• Questions from readers. When does Camas play? What about Union? Or Columbia River? Is Mountain View on Friday or Saturday?

We received a lot of inquiries from fans on Saturday, the day after football’s regular season ended. It was fun to track down the information and get it out there on Twitter, right away.

That’s the kind of interaction we love. It shows that readers want more information, and they’re coming to us to get it for them.

That’s our job. We’re not perfect, but the effort is there. Most of you appreciate this.

I see that appreciation on Twitter every week.

So thanks, and you’re welcome. Those of us who cover high school sports love this stuff.