Editor’s Note: “I Follow” is all about ESPN employees on Twitter: what they Tweet, whom they follow and how you can interact socially with anyone and everyone.
SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi is a diehard Phillies fan.
But did you know of his other Philly favorites, such as Tastykakes and Wawas?
Negandhi tells Front Row about his Philadelphia traditions, his love of sports journalism, Twitter’s place in his life and — of course — where to get the best Philly cheesesteak.
Twitter Handle: @KNegandhiESPN
Followers: * 12,835
Following: * 356
* (As of 09/06/11)
FR: What convinced you to join Twitter?
KN: I think it’s a great tool to get information. When I’m on it I follow beat writers who cover college football and hoops, NBA, NFL and baseball. I think it gets me plugged into what’s going on. In the morning it’s become my newspaper; I just look at my timeline and read what I missed the night before. Before I come into work I already have an idea what people are talking about and what’s the story. It kind of jump starts my day.
FR: Who are some of your favorite people to follow?
KN: Some of my favorites include our football guys like Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter), Mort (@MortReport) and John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) from ESPN. Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) from CNBC has great tidbits about the sports business along with his food consumption. I also follow Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) and Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) from Sports Illustrated, Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN), Jayson Stark (@jaysonst), college football bloggers, Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard), and Temple hoops and football (@Owlsports_com and @OwlScoop_com). Other bloggers out there include the Big Lead (@thebiglead). Some of our writers like Jemele Hill (@JemeleHill) and a bunch of our anchors. It’s a variety. I also have my favorite Philly beat guys in every sport that keep me in the loop of what’s going on where I grew up.
FR: What the strangest tweet you’ve ever received?
KN: I get strange ones every now and then — one or two — that will just be really random. Or the retweet requests I think we all get. I’m a big believer in interacting with the followers and having fun with the social media but sometimes you have to just punt and move on.
FR: You give out a lot of advice through Twitter on people wanting to break into sports journalism industry. What is the best advice you have received?
KN: The best advice I ever received was, “You’re never as good as you think, and you’re never as bad as you think.” That was passed on to me during an internship from one of my mentors. It’s carried over for me ten-fold on how to handle stuff, how to move forward and also how to hold things in perspective.
FR: What makes a great sports journalist?
KN: I think something that is really important and is often overlooked is listening. A good journalist listens and follows up, instead of being rigid and sticking to a certain line of questioning. Of course, the questions you have that are relevant remain but when interacting with a subject, if you don’t listen to an answer, you may lose something that was just revealed because the mindset is already looking ahead to the next question. All the research you do beforehand may go to waste in a good interview if you don’t properly listen to the conversation you’re having.
FR: What is your favorite part of being a SportsCenter anchor?
KN: The energy. There’s a certain energy in the studio. You’re having fun out there while delivering highlights, conducting interviews, going back and forth with your co-anchor. And it’s live. We work with so many passionate sports fans, and the give and take you can have with the crew in the newsroom, you just can’t get that anywhere else. Everyone you work with is well-versed in a variety of sports and that makes for some great debates on a daily basis. I talk sports for a living. It’s a dream come true for me.
FR: You mention the Eagles a lot in your tweets, but if you couldn’t root for a Philly team, what team(s) would you root for and why?
KN: Growing up I loved the Eagles, I still do. But another team that I have always kept my eye on is the Raiders. Bo Jackson was my favorite player of all time. I had over a dozen posters of Bo during his Raiders/Royals days growing up in my bedroom. I also follow the teams in Florida, like the Florida Gators, Florida State, and Miami because I was down there for six years and my wife is a Gator fan. Of course, I keep an eye out on the competitors of the Eagles, like the Cowboys, Redskins and Giants.
FR: What is your favorite sport?
KN: Football. As you can tell, with me mentioning the Eagles so often. But throw in college football, too. When I was in Florida, I fell in love with everything about the college game. And it has stuck with me. It’s completely different than any other sporting experience. Saturdays in a college football town, there’s nothing better in the fall.
FR: In your Twitter bio you mention a Wawa. What is it?
KN: Wawa is a deli-market convenience store. I said this before, and it’s the only way I can describe it to outsiders. A Wawa is like Nordstrom’s and a 7-11 is like a Wal-Mart, the level of service and quality is just different. You have to experience their hoagies, iced tea, hot chocolate and Tastykakes. Ask anyone from the Philly region, I promise they’ll understand.
FR: Speaking of Tastykakes, what is your favorite type?
KN: I love their Butterscotch Krimpets and Kandy Kakes. Always get them when I go down to Philly.
FR: Still on the topic of food, you frequent the ESPN cafeteria, What is your favorite dish to eat there?
KN: I think everyone can probably agree that it’s the chicken parmesan wrap. It never fails.
FR: Where is the best place to get an authentic Philly cheesesteak?
KN: Jim’s, Tony Luke’s, Fat Larry’s and Dalessandro’s.