Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Classifying the many different types of Reds fans on Twitter

The Reds and their fans like to tweet.
There is no doubt that the Cincinnati Reds have quite a passionate fan base. They show up in droves at Great American Ball Park. In fact, the fans set a GABP attendance record in 2013, breaking the previous record set in 2003, the inaugural year for the stadium. Even despite that, there's no place where Reds fans show up more than in social media, specifically Twitter.

Over the past few years, the Reds have won many Twitter contests including #HatsOffCIN, making #JoeyVotto the #FaceOfMLB, and monthly #whiff ones. #JoeyVotto will have a chance to defend his title this year. Keep an eye on Twitter for that.

Anyways, there's a way to group all Reds fans on Twitter in some way or another. In fact, you could do it with any fans of any team or topic. I'm going to take a shot at classifying some of the major demographics across Reds fandom and then explain what they are and why they exist. Shoutout to Jimmi for his assistance with some of these. (And Lisa Braun)

These classifications are not mutually exclusive. Read over them, then look deep within your heart and soul and determine which one(s) you fit into? I know I can identify with a few, whether I want to or not.

Red-blooded Die Hard - Wait, aren't we all red-blooded? Nevermind. Everyone on Twitter probably thinks they are this person. You eat, sleep, and breathe Reds baseball. It is a matter of life and death. You follow every person ever associated with the Reds in hopes to be fully-consumed by the Red mist. For the most part you are positive, but you do worry and pace a lot. When the Reds win it's a huge relief and we expect a tweet full of capital letters and exclamation points. When the Reds lose it's solid disappointment and we expect a tweet full of capital letters, cuss words, and exclamation points. After that loss, it's best to leave you alone to sulk in the defeat in a dark corner. We'll let you sleep on it because there is almost certainly a game tomorrow and hopefully the Reds are starting a losing streak.

Rosie-Red Optimist - This is exactly what it says. You support the Reds no matter what. Even when things appear to be bleak, you always have a positive outlook no matter what. When Votto went down with injury in 2012, you were able to sit back without worry knowing that everything would be okay and that the Reds would still go on to win 97 games and the Central. This is easily the group with the smallest population, possibly in the single digits. The "Optimist" will refute any negative claims you make or just ignore or unfollow you to make it easier.

Relentless Pessimist - We like to leave you alone. We don't get caught up in a Twitter conversation with you because there is no winning, both in virtual world and on the field. You have no faith at all no matter what. Homer Bailey threw two no-hitters? He sucks. Votto is the best left-handed hitter in the world? He doesn't knock runs in and he sucks. The Reds have been to the playoffs three of the last four years after not going for 15 years? Losers. Cincinnati's offseason? Pathetic. Well maybe we're all with you on that last one?

Casual Reds Bandwagoner - Nobody gets more excited about Reds baseball when they are winning than you. You proudly wear anything Reds-related you own and are willing to jump into any conversation that merely mentions the word baseball. However, you cannot be found during losing spells, as they vanish into obscurity like a loose penny rolling into a storm drain. The same can be said about you with Bengals football. Where were you from 1996-2012? Welcome back I guess.

#FarrDusty #FarrPrice Gang - You might think this is the same guy as Relentless Pessimist, but not exactly. You are the person who blames the team's failures on the manager no matter what, and are optimistic that a managerial change will solve all problems...until the next manager starts to suck. There have been many of you over the last six years who could not allow yourselves to be happy until Dusty Baker was fired. Well you got their wish. Good luck to Bryan Price. Give him a chance at least.

Sabermetrics Hero - This one is not just a Reds thing or a team specific thing, necessarily, but a baseball-wide thing. Your favorite player is better than anyone else's because he has a more desirable figure next to WAR, BABIP, DIPS, FIP, xFIP, EQA, FBV, LIPS, PERA, TPR, TPI, UZR, VORP, and/or wOBA. Leave the acronyms to the experts. As a fan, maybe it's best not to make baseball more complicated than it needs to be. No matter how much independent research you have done, in all likelihood, no team will ever care what you have discovered and neither will most of your 26 Twitter followers. They don't even know what most of those letters mean. Who knows though? You could be the next big thing, Jonah Hill.

Lineup master - This fan really likes to retweet the lineup and then usually proceeds to destroy it and suggest what it should look like. Once again, most people probably don't care. You don't care that they don't care though. You were so disappointed last year when Shin-Soo Choo handled leadoff duties so masterfully that you couldn't complain about it.

Parody Twitter Account - You either keep us in check or feed our insanity by sweeping us away to a world of fantasy and imagination. There are many of you, but only a few of you really know how to do it right. You might be an animal, or surly version of a mascot, or a less surly version of a beat writer, but with a mustache. Are you just trolling us all or is this really your way of expressing your Reds fandom? We may never know, but maybe we don't care.

Keyboard GM - You use your underlying skills learned from being in the #Farreveryone gang as a "sabermetrics hero" and "lineup master" to do the job that you feel Walt Jocketty is not doing right. You hate Zack Cozart and wonder why we can't trade him to another team for their shortstop. Even though you think Cozart is no good, you think the other team will view him as a high-value trade chip. I don't know why, but you do. You know Jocketty is lying about the team having no money, so you tweet about all the moves the Reds should have made, after another team signs your most desired player. Most of the moves you suggest make no sense, so you eventually consider just giving up on sharing your genius insights with us common tweeters, but at that moment you get a retweet or favorite from someone equally as crazy as you and your sense of purpose is renewed. Why the Reds haven't fired Jocketty with extreme prejudice before hiring you is unfathomable in your mind. You would hire you in a heartbeat.

Level-Headed Realist - Last, but not least, you're the Reds fan that keeps the universe in check by calling the situation like it is. You don't get too high during good times and refuses to get too low when things are going south. When looking for a sugar-coated conversation, we don't turn to you, nor do we rely on you to support our negative views on the team, assuming we are "Relentless Pessimists." Does this really exist?

So there you have it. That's what I've come up with so far. How many of these describe you? Don't lie. Are you pissed? What categories am I missing?

1 comment:

Isabelle Eaton said...

How about a REtweet Red? I follow more former players and player wives (@DallasLatos -- always loving you!) because I love being a Reds fan. Win or lose, there's always next year!