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.
Since joining Twitter in 2009, NFL business analyst Andrew Brandt has used his feed to take followers behind the veiled curtains for a 140-character glimpse at what happens in negotiations between agents and team execs.
In addition to his ESPN role, the former Green Bay Packers vice president serves as director of sports law for the Moorad Center at Villanova Law School and he’s a lecturer at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. On Friday, March 15, Brandt will moderate the 2013 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium on the “Concussion Conundrum.”
Front Row caught up with Brandt, who shares his thoughts about Twitter.
Twitter handle: @adbrandt
(as of 03/13/2013)
How much does Twitter affect your dual roles as a business analyst and college professor?
It gives me an outlet to share nuggets of information gleaned over 25 years as an agent, team executive, columnist, broadcaster and educator. It has been nice to be able to give back that knowledge in various ways, including in bite-size bits on Twitter. My Twitter entries blend in with everything else I am doing.
As a former NFL team executive, do you think Twitter would have been an asset or obstacle in your job?
Twitter is a common tool among team executives to see what the media, agents and players are saying. I hear from many front office people who follow me and many others; they use Twitter handles that are anonymous so people do not know it is them.
With the 2013 NFL free agency now underway, what should your followers expect from your Twitter feed?
I will have my analysis of moves and their impact with a perspective that hopefully informs, educates and perhaps, even entertains. I will try to take followers inside the negotiations between teams and agents and peel back the curtain into what really happens in the NFL during this important time.
Who are your three favorite people to follow on Twitter and why?
I’ve known [ESPN NFL Insider] Adam [Schefter] for many years and always found him very clued in on the NFL. Twitter also allows me to follow some of my other interests including fitness, music and humor. I usually learn something from Sanjay Gupta [CNN Chief Medical Correspondent] and usually laugh from Eric Stangel [Late Show with David Letterman head writer].
What has been your most memorable Twitter exchange with a fan, athlete, former or current colleague?
It is nice to exchange with colleagues at ESPN as well as other sports media, and I’m flattered when [Sports Illustrated‘s] Peter King features my tweets in his (SI.com) Monday Morning Quarterback column. Perhaps, the most memorable exchange occurred this summer when I was traveling overseas.
I checked in on the news and noticed some Saints and other players were grumbling about the powers of Commissioner Roger Goodell. I tweeted that the time for outrage was during the CBA negotiations in 2011 when Goodell’s power was being negotiated, not now.
As I continued my travels, I found out that Roddy White had retweeted my comment and added a stream of criticisms of the NFLPA for agreeing to Goodell’s power. It prompted a public exchange and debate about the merits of the players agreeing to Goodell as “judge and jury,” with Steelers players tweeting that they didn’t vote for the CBA for that reason, etc. I had no idea what I started from 5,000 miles away.
Editor’s Note: The Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium on concussions will feature a panel on Friday entitled “What‘s Next?: Parents, Media, Administrators, and Scholars Look Ahead.” Brandt will moderate the discussion and will be joined by four fellow ESPN experts: legal analyst Roger Cossack, NFL columnist Ashley Fox, ESPN The Magazine senior writer Peter Keating, and lead soccer analyst Taylor Twellman.