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Sports journalism meets social media: How Facebook "Fanagement" sees things

With people like Matt Masem, Social Media is the new play book for the NFL.
With people like Matt Masem, Social Media is the new play book for the NFL.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Forget ESPN. Forget NFL network. Forget the hype, the charts, the statistics - With social media, everything that happened in the last 24 hours, even the past hour, has been scrutinized. Just as Matt Masem did moments ago concerning the draft.

It's all Social Media now, baby. Combined with Fantasy Football the average Joe in this digital age can dissect and examine every aspect of the team; and would probably fair well with any recruiter or General Manager, honestly.

Last year, what started as a "Fire Schiano" Facebook "Fan Page" quickly grew over night. Daily, dozens of people liked and liked the page. Comments filled the questions being asked by the owner, Matt Masem, who graciously asked the nearly 1,000 followers what should the page be re-named?

Say hello to "Buccaneers Fanagement: Fire the Cannons"

No, these aren't your regular arm-chair-quarterbacks - these are die hard Bucs fans who know the ins and outs better than most sports journalism writers.

So forgetting the flash for cash concerning the NFL, or ESPN - with logos and beer commercials - aside a flow of fun yet no game impacting statistics (ie: "First time since 2004 that a Tight End for the Bears has consecutively ran for more than ten yards.") - Fanagement is just that.

Fan Management.

"I started it as the first Fire Schiano page", Matt Masem writes, "way back at the beginning of the season and got totally blasted by people until about week 5 when others started seeing what I’d been seeing in preseason, Shiano was not a NFL-caliber coach."

I think the biggest question mark for this team now is what’s going on in the secondary.

"We didn't really address that adequately in free agency. Sure, we replaced Revis with Verner, but nothing else out there seems like an upgrade to our cornerback situation. Banks will have another year under his belt and might be able to hold his own as the second corner, but we need a third cornerback to play nickel (a position that Head Coach Lovie Smith says is its own position in his style of defense). No one on the roster has seemed very capable of handling those duties in the past couple years, and with the NFC South (heck the whole league) being as pass-happy as they are, we definitely need someone capable back there. "

Two other positions of need right now are O-line and D-line.

"I think we have a very capable group of starters, but if one person goes down on either side of the line, we’re going to be in trouble. We don’t have much/any good depth there. The O-line at least was addressed in the draft with decent draft picks for depth, but I’m fearful that a key injury on the defensive side will knock out whatever plan Smith and Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier have going."

I honestly don’t think the kind of players we need are going to come available on the defensive side of the ball.

"I think the coaches will take a good look at who’s available and for what price, but after not addressing the defense at all in the draft, I think we might pass on it again this summer."

I think we have two very capable backup quarterbacks.

"I don’t see Glennon as the long-term answer to the position, nor obviously is McCown. Can we win now and get to the playoffs with McCown? Yes. Where will we be in 2-3 years? Probably struggling along with the position just the same way we pretty much have been for most of our franchise’s history. Glennon did OK last year, but that’s it. He’s a Trent Dilfer type, just good enough never to really lose a game for you, but not quite good enough to win the game for you.

Now, Trent won a Super Bowl in Baltimore, and I truly believe he might have with the Bucs in 1999 had he not gone down with an injury, but I think our QB of the future is still out there. Glennon was dying when he had to throw a lot in his first few starts. When we scaled back the passing game (not something the NFL is moving towards), Glennon did better. I know we have 5 or 6 running backs on the team now, but are we really going to be able to run against everyone and pass only when it’s convenient or needed and be successful? I doubt it. I have no problem going into this season with our current QB duo, but I’m disappointed we didn't make a play for Derek Carr."

I do trust Coach Smith completely.

"I think he’s got a tough job taking a team that started out so poorly last year and turning them into instant winners. We’re not set up to be a perennial playoff contender this year, but another draft, another year, and I think we’ll be good! - Matt."

Social Media has changed politics, now it is changing sports.

With People like Matt running Fan Pages, throwing fan parties, and turning fans into Fan Management - it is safe to say Matt is a very talented person concerning the ins and outs of Football. With the ability to garner thousands of followers and 'preach' this to them - well, you can obviously see how the Coach's might take a peek at such in-depth view.

You never know when that next play might be because the Offensive Coordinator listened to Social Media, and not the play sheet.

Leave your comments below if you believe the Coach's or Management listen to the voices on Social Media concerning decisions on the field.

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