A twit born every minute

A twit born every minute

As a newspaper hack I never thought I'd be writing this, but thank heavens for Twitter.

The doomsayers may think that social media hangs over newsprint like the skeletal finger of the Grim Reaper, but the twitchy Tweeting fingers of athletes are putting more vibrancy in the news pages these days than their fast-twitch muscle fibres.

Put athletes behind a microphone and the vast majority are about as dull and robotic as our prime minister answering questions about when she wrote her coup speech to oust Kevin Rudd.

But put those same athletes in front of a keyboard, give them an iPad and 140 characters, and suddenly they're as unpredictable as Bob Katter.

There were a couple of good examples this week.


He might be far away in France, but in a sign that former Brumbies star Matt Giteau is still seething about his World Cup snubbing he tweeted this on Valentines Day about the Australian Wallabies coach.

''I'm starting to lose the faith but after waiting all day I don't think I'm going to get a valentines card from Robbie Deans ha.''

Olympic swimmer Eamon Sullivan tweeted Tuesday he was on his way to Canberra for testing at the AIS. The Canberra Times picked it up and made inquiries, only for Swimming Australia to fall over itself quicker than Thorpie falling off the blocks at the 2004 Olympic trials. Swimming Australia said the session was secret and media was banned. The last time they chucked such a hissy fit to an AIS visit was in 2003, when superfish Michael Phelps and others were in Canberra testing the now outlawed LZR racing suits.

Turns out Sullivan and Geoff Huegill were just doing some wet-plate testing, a technology designed to measure reaction times off the blocks and smooth out any kinks in our relay changeovers before the Olympics. How do we know? Sullivan tweeted it.

French rugby union cult hero Sebastien Chabal sent the cyber and rugby world into meltdown mid-week when he tweeted ''koalas or kangaroos?'' referencing his impending contract in Australia.

News agencies clambered to find out where the Caveman would be playing. Seems he'll be turning out for Sydney club Balmain.

Then there was the Gold Coast United A-League drama. Billionaire owner Clive Palmer stood down his coach Miron Bleiberg because he'd criticised Palmer's decision to install 17-year-old debutant Mitch Cooper as a captain this weekend, calling it ''ceremonial''. It was a publicity stunt, pure and simple.

United's former - the key word here - strength and condition coach Adrian Cois later tweeted: ''Who is the worst coach in the A-league? Clive Palmer.''

It's cyber-sport soap opera.

I was so intrigued, I thought I'd step into the Twitterverse and find some tweets that snuck under the radar this week.

From @johninverarity to @bradhaddin: Sorry, haven't got back bout selections. Meant to say in original tweet you were being rested PERMANENTLY, but ran out of characters. #mixedmessages

From @andrewsymonds to @bradhaddin: Given Indian IPL the flick, baby on the way and Barra on the bite. Want to wet a line? #gonefishin

From @kevinsheedy to @israelfolau: Know how I told the media you'd kick 40 goals this year, don't worry cause now I told em not to put any pressure on you #aflsalesman

From @rickyponting to @michaelclarke: Pup, bit rusty. Just wondering who you want at fine leg? #captainreturns

From @davidwarner to @michaelclarke: Pup, just trying to help Punter out. Who do you want bowling first change? #kaboom

From @donfurner to @joshdugan: Duges, wish you could drive a car as well as you drive a bargain. Contracts ready to sign when you are #greenmachine

From @deshasler to @joshdugan: Never too late to change your mind, take me for example. Meet me at the Wagga RSL tonight after the trial #inthedoghouse

From @sonnybillwilliams to @dimitripelo: Hey bro, don't go tellin everyone rugby's borin. Next thing, everyone will think me punching up on a fat bloke in a man-bra is borin 2 #roostersbound

From @anthonymundine to @newsltd: Yeah, backpage. Sold my soul, but who's da Man! #selfpromoter

From @lukenolen to @aussiejockeys: Caviar running in Lightning Stakes today. Who's comin second? #19inarow

From @stevehooker to @stevehooker: Cmon mate, it's not that high.

From @nathantinkler to @waynebennett: Saw Clive Palmer's publicity stunt, thought we might make Akuila Uate skipper for the season-opener to get tongues wagging.

From @waynebennett to @nathantinkler: Grrrrrrrr

From @chriswilson to @aussieathletes: Lovin the tweets, keep the stories comin. #canberratimes

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