I wrote a piece with a similar concept early last season, but I’m adding a ranking and hoping to make this an annual tradition. This week’s story is a little bit shorter than usual, as massive explanations for why to follow each account seem unnecessary. The concept is simple: if you’re a JMU football fan, you should follow these accounts.
Let’s get to it.
No. 8: TJ Eck – With David DeGuzman leaving WHSV (sad face), Eck steps into the role of sports director. Expect Eck to move up this list next season. I’m slotting him into the No. 8 spot since he’s yet to cover a JMU football season, but I expect great coverage from the Harrisonburg newcomer.
No. 7: Not Mike Houston – He’s funny, he retweets tons of JMU football-related content, and he’ll improve your overall JMU football experience. I wanted to rank him higher, but I’d like to see “Coach” get over 1,000 followers before putting him in the top six.
No. 6: Michael Evangelista – Rarely is a die-hard fan a must-follow, but Michael gets the nod. He’s good for his fair share of trash talk, but he’s knowledgeable when roasting Virginia Tech fans. That’s admirable. Engaging with fans and always down for a conversation about the Dukes, Michael is definitely worth following if you love JMU football.
Also, his pinned tweet is adorable.
No. 5: The Breeze Sports – Full disclosure, I like The Breeze. Regardless of my bias, Blake Pace and Catie Harper are tremendous sports editors, and Kevin Haswell is overseeing all social media this year. Oh, and Matt Weyrich oversees everything. What does this mean for fans? It means you’re going to get a ton of great information all season long.
Articles, videos and tweets. The Breeze’s football coverage improves annually, and I expect more fantastic content next season.
No. 4: Dave Thomas – Leaving Dave Thomas off last year’s list is a travesty. I’d argue that he conducts the best interviews of any JMU football media member. He’s engaging, conversational and possesses a special voice. He knows how to get the most out of interviews with players, and he’s incredibly experienced in the sports field.
No. 3: Curt Dudley – Curt Dudley once got a paper cut in the MadiZONE booth and started bleeding. I saw purple blood and started to question him. He quickly replied, “That’s weird, it’s normally gold.”
This didn’t actually happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had.
As I said in last year’s article he “eats, sleeps and breathes JMU.” After thinking about this statement and realizing the amount of time he spends working for MadiZONE and tweets about JMU sports, I’m not quite sure he sleeps. Follow Curt if you’re a JMU football fan, or if you appreciate someone dedicated to perfecting his craft and helping others.
No. 2: JMU Sports Blog – Run by two JMU alumni, this account is my personal favorite. Rob Abbott and Todd Davis are funny, intelligent and reasonable fans. Their podcast has featured incredible guests. They’ve had Curt Dudley, Christy Morgan, Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe and me on the podcast. Can you think of four more influential JMU sports figures??
In all seriousness, Rob and Todd are good at what they do. They understand that they’re fans, but they get the bigger picture. They feel the emotions of big wins and tough losses and then put those experiences into words. Speaking of emotions, I get emotional thinking about their account because it genuinely helped shape my JMU experience. They helped foster my relationship with JMU athletics, and I’m incredibly appreciative of what they do. They’re a good guys and a great Twitter follow.
No. 1: Greg Madia – Speaking of good people …
Greg is a special talent. Working for The Breeze was an amazing experience, but you receive a certain level of disrespect from media members and some within the athletic department. It’s understandable. We’re students and we make a lot of mistakes. We also create a lot of phenomenal content. Quick to offer advice and listen attentively, Greg always helps members of The Breeze out. He genuinely cares about helping others and being a nice guy.
His personality is excellent, and his writing might be even better. He covers every aspect of the program. From recruiting to longer features to detailed game recaps, Greg covers the program in its entirety.
If you weren’t on the list, please send me angry tweets.