Wednesday, September 30, 2015


If you go to Wikipedia's entry for Wyomissing, Pa., you'll see that there are nine listings under "notable people."

One of them is Ross Tucker, Princeton Class of 2001. He recently tweeted a picture of himself with one of the other eight.

TigerBlog will get back to that.

Ross Tucker figured his NFL experience would be a quick one, if it happened at all. 

Back when Tucker was a senior offensive lineman at Princeton, TigerBlog wrote a story about him for the football game program. Tucker, who was about 6-4, 300-pounds, said he was hoping to get a shot at an NFL training camp, if for no other reason than to see if they'd let him keep the helmet when he got cut.

As it turned out, he ended up with a fairly long NFL career, playing for five teams during a seven-year run. Perhaps the most notable moment of that time came when he was on the field for the Dallas Cowboys on the run where Emmitt Smith set the NFL career rushing yardage record.

Tucker has gone on from being an obscure NFL offensive lineman to become a highly successful member of the football media. Hey, he even has 140,000 Twitter followers.

This does not surprise TigerBlog. He met Tucker when he was a freshman, and there was something about him - a lot of personality - that made him stand out from Day 1.

Tucker is basically everywhere these days. He does NFL games on Westwood One radio, and he has his shows on Sirius radio and NBC Sports. And a podcast. And Twitter.

Oh, and the other Wyomissing native in that picture he tweeted?

Yeah, remember how TigerBlog said Tucker has 140,000 followers? Well, that means that he and the other native of his hometown average slightly more than 32 million followers each.

The other Wyomissing native is Taylor Swift. And there was Tucker, tweeting a picture of the two of them, apparently backstage at one of Swift's concerts.

Taylor Swift, by the way, has 64.1 million Twitter followers. On the other hand, she follows just 240 people.

Swift's Twitter followers rank her fourth in the world, trailing only Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and President Obama, who is the only non-entertainer in the top 12. TigerBlog can't help but think that there is a statement about how the world works these days in there somewhere.

Your trivia question today is this: The person who is No. 13 on the list would be the professional athlete with the most Twitter followers in the world. Can you name that person?

All of this gets TigerBlog wondering what it would have been like to have had Twitter throughout history. TB follows 96 people on Twitter, only a handful of whom are entertainers, none of whom are in the top 100.

For that matter, Bruce Springsteen has fewer than 800,000 followers, while Pit Bull has more than 12,000,000. Again, there's a statement on contemporary society there too.

Anyway, TigerBlog probably would have followed Frank Sinatra. And Steve McQueen. And James Garner. And Dean Martin.

Oh, and the answer to the question of the sports figure in the world with the most Twitter followers? It's soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, with his 38 million followers. If you want an American athlete, you have to go to No. 29 on the list, and that would be LeBron James, who only has 24 million.

TigerBlog is pretty sure that Courtney Banghart has more followers than any other Princeton coach. Courtney, the women's basketball coach, has 2,727 followers.

John Sadak has more than 1,200 followers.

Perhaps you remember Sadak as a former Princeton men's basketball radio play-by-play man. Tom McCarthy, another former Tiger voice, has 12,500 followers as the TV voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.

TigerBlog hasn't checked yet (you'll have to take his word for this) on the number of Twitter followers that current Princeton men's basketball announcer Derek Jones has. TB is guessing 800.

And now he's checked, and the answer is 531. TigerBlog is one of those 531, and Derek is among TB's favorite tweeters.

Another TB favorite is Manish Mehta, who used to work here in the Office of Athletic Communications and now is the Jets' writer for the New York Daily News. He has 58,000 followers. 

Anyway, Sadak is also doing games on Westwood One these days. He will be teaming up with Ross Tucker this Sunday to do the Giants-Bills game in Buffalo.

That's two guys who've come a long way, right? Two guys who obviously have very, very strong Princeton connections.

TigerBlog doesn't tweet much other than the link to the blog each day and some men's lacrosse updates. If he tweeted more, he'd probably have more than the measly 124 followers he has.

Twitter has done a lot to change how the world communicates. It's easier to sum up your thoughts in 140 characters than in 3,000 words, and of course it plays to the lack of attention span that exists these days.

And it makes you feel connected to the people you follow, even if you're not. But hey, if it makes those 12,000,000 people feel like their buddies with Pit Bull, who is TigerBlog to doubt them.

But hey, don't judge people by their number of Twitter followers. TigerBlog would hate to feel inadequate.

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