I Follow: Tommy Smyth

ESPN Soccernet Press Pass host Tommy Smyth

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: @TommySmythESPN
Followers: 20,529
Following: 1
(As of 06/04/12)

Tommy Smyth (with a “y”) joined ESPN in February 1993 as a soccer analyst. He is a pundit on ESPN Soccernet Press Pass, ESPN International’s popular global football roundtable discussion show, and a game analyst for Italian Serie ‘A’, La Liga, the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. In 2010, Smyth earned critical acclaim as ESPN Radio’s lead match analyst for FIFA World Cup South Africa. In June 2008, Smyth was a match and studio analyst during ESPN’s coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship 2008 (Euro 08). In all, he has worked four FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010) and is one of the studio analysts for ESPN’s unprecedented presentation of the UEFA EURO 2012, which kicks off Friday.

Are you surprised by how quickly you have gained followers?
I am amazed over 20,000 in five months, basically that is a thousand each week. I was told I would probably get a lot of abuse. This has not happened. I would describe it as a love with more than 90 percent positive and I think it’s great.

Have you ever responded to a fan via Twitter who was completely shocked that you sent a reply or Retweeted them?
Yes, many times I get the response, “I can’t believe that you would take the time to get back to me. This has made my year.” Then you see the person RT to their friends and brag about getting it from me.

What are you looking forward to with Euro 2012? Which team do you think is the most complete for Euro and the World Cup?
The one thing to keep in mind is that the Euros are always good for a surprise or two. I like Germany and now it seems like everybody else is saying the same. A great storyline out of the Euro is can Ronaldo lead Portugal out of their group which has the Dutch and Germany in it. Looking ahead to the World Cup in two years, I think we have seen in the past week that Brazil at home in 2014 will be a very difficult team to beat. They are getting that Samba beat to their play.

Who is the most interesting person who follows you on Twitter and why?
It is great when I look at my followers and see editors of newspapers or fellow radio and TV people. I have a guy in England who sends me a tweet every morning about the weather and temp in England for the day. I find it amusing and informative. Also, I have a follower who is my voice on TV in Japan. PressPass is dubbed and he handles voiceover for me. Many times he sends me in Japanese the words I say in English.

If you could go back and play any position, which one would you pick and why?
I played as goalkeeper and fullback. I would have loved to have been a good striker. There is no feeling like scoring a goal and if it’s a winning one, all the better.

Favorite term you like to use to describe a goal?
A Bulge in the Auld Onion Bag.

Is there a classic match you wish you could have called?
Yes, I would have loved to be behind the mic in Stuttgart, Germany when Ireland beat England in the Euros (in 1988). It has since been written about in songs and movies and is part of Irish folklore.

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