I Follow: Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee

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.

Twitter handle: @ESPNMcGee
Followers: 15,351
Following: 1,339
(As of 05/29/12)

Today, we focus on ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee, who covers motorsports, college football and college baseball. McGee also appears on ESPN2’s NASCAR Now.

When did you join Twitter and why?
At first? Pure curiosity. I started during the spring of 2009 at the urging of my publisher to promote my College World Series book, The Road To Omaha. I was a little addicted to cranking out status updates on Facebook, so it ended up being a natural progression.

Who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
I am apparently a sucker for Tweets from the deceased. I love @OldHossRadbourn, @GeneralRNeyland and @Red_Byron. I even follow George Washington (@FoundingFather). Among the living. I like to read Marty Smith’s Tweets (@MartySmithESPN) because he cracks me up. We throw down our #Dukes debates and the race fans get a kick out of it. Plus it makes me feel like I’m buddies with a famous person. But honestly, my favorite is more a group of people than a person. Following other sports writers on Twitter has become a great way to follow their stories.

Who is the most interesting person who follows you on Twitter?
Bruce Springsteen. For real. It’s like this huge secret that he’s even on Twitter and a big joke with his entourage that he has such a tiny number of followers. The only reason I even know that he’s on is that someone with the tour gave me a heads up. I saw him in Greensboro last spring and took a picture of the show and I posted it to his handle. I honestly wasn’t even sure if I believed my source. But the next morning he was following me back. I’m so terrified he’ll stop following me that there’s no way I’m revealing what his username is. The word will get out, but not by me.

If you could add any one person as a Twitter follower, who would it be?
Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33). Dude, alls I’m asking for is one RT.

What’s your favorite Tweet you’ve received or your favorite Twitter moment?
I had been on Twitter only a few months when I was sent to Jamaica to write an ESPN The Magazine feature on Usain Bolt. It was the summer ‘09 and I had maybe 100 followers, tops. I had Tweeted something about being at the Jamaican Track & Field Championships that day. When I got back to the hotel that night, I had a bunch of DM’s from Victor Conte (@VictorConte) offering up his assistance in case I was down there looking into the rumors of PED use by the team. I’d never met the man in my life and had literally been reading Game Of Shadows on the plane earlier that morning. That unsolicited contact from Conte was the moment when I thought, well now, this Twitter isn’t merely something silly to play around with, is it?

What’s been your strangest exchange on Twitter?
I’m bad about thinking aloud on Twitter about whatever movie I’m watching on TV at the time. One night I was watching Star Wars: Episode II and asked my Tweeps if they had heard the same rumors I had, that James Van Der Beek had nearly gotten the role of Anakin Skywalker. About 10 minutes later, totally out of the blue, he responded (@vanderjames) and said he’d always heard those rumors, too,but had never actually read for the part. My wife was totally impressed that I’d been contacted by Dawson himself.

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