UPDATED JANUARY 18, 2013: NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP HASHTAGS<
With the 49ers-Falcons NFC Championship Game Sunday at 3 p.m. EST and the Ravens-Patriots AFC Championship Game Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST, new hashtags and Twitter accounts are required reading and retweeting for NFL fans following the games online.
Over on the AFC Championship front, Ravens fans will enjoy the pre- and post-game commentary of linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo (@Brendon310) after his (now deleted) barrage of Twitter smack directed at the Patriots. During the game, the #PurplePride and #RavensNation hashtags should serve nicely in Ravens fans’ tweets. Patriots fans will want to follow their new out-of-nowhere superstar Shane Vereen (@ShaneVereen34), while the hashtag #PatriotsNation roots for your team and #Meninoisms roots for Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino inability to pronounce players’ names correctly. The #BALvsNE and #AFCChampionship hashtags will be used by both sides, but unfortunately #Gronk has been placed on injured reserve.
There are no legal live streams of NFL Playoff games until Super Bowl XLVII, but social media sites like Twitter provide real-time tools for following live games or getting up-to-date news and developments. If you use the proper football hashtags when tweeting, online fans following the game on a second screen might even start following your commentary, too. Whether you’re following top players before and after the game, tailgating online with Twitter fans, or you just want to listen to live audio of the NFL playoffs, a few sites have you covered – even when there aren’t any online video streams of the games available.
FOLLOW NFL PLAYOFF GAMES ON TWITTER
You can’t actually follow an NFL playoff game on Twitter, but certain Twitter accounts are indispensable for injury information, real-time analysis, or snarky comments. Here are a few to start following for even more football coverage:
@MikePereira – The former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira tweets like mad throughout every playoff game, explaining in real-time and in intricate detail the rulings on pass interference penalties, which plays are reviewable, and any remotely disputable topic in the NFL rulebook. As an ex-NFL employee, Pereira is allowed to criticize the refs all he wants – which he often does.
@NFL – If you can’t watch the game, the official NFL Twitter account has highlight videos posted as soon as they’re produced. This twitter feed is also an essential source of up-to-the-minute injury information and head coaching search developments.
@NFLMemes – The inventors of the #kaepernicking hashtag will be busy Photoshopping “I Can Haz Cheezburger”-style memes and images from the games, even while the games are still in progress. Be sure to click on their Twitpic links – they’re always funny, but never actually true.
TOP NFL PLAYOFF HASHTAGS
Adding a hashtag – you know, the old numeral mark (#) — to your NFL tweet will greatly increase your chances of having your tweet seen more widely and creating more engagement. Who knows you may even win tickets to a playoff game. Remember a tweet is only 140 characters so depending on the message you want to convey you may only want to add a couple football hashtags to each tweet. If you want to see conversations happening on Twitter, just do a search for one of the football hashtag phrases. The remaining NFL football teams and their fans’ best and funniest hashtag marks for this postseason can be found below.
#Ravens – #ravensnation, #raylewis, #52 (Using #52 is a good alternative to #raylewis if you run out of characters for your tweet.)
#49ers – #questforsix (If the San Francisco 49ers make it to the Superbowl, this will be their sixth time playing in the momentous game) #ninernation, #kaepernicking, #shredthecheese (Use this football hashtag for this weekend’s game against the Green Bay Packers and if you’re a 49er fan and want to see what is being said about your team do a search for #cheeseheads on Twitter.)
#Seahawks – #beastmode (If you love when Marshawn Lynch kicks it into high gear, be sure to add this footlball hashtag to the end of your tweet), #12thman (Use this football hashtag when you want to do a shout-out to fans of the Seahawks), #angrybirds, #gohawks
#Falcons – #riseup, #dirtybirds (Remember their famous Super Bowl dance?), #arriveby35 (This football hashtag is really about getting people to show up at the start of the game. After all, fans are a big part of the home field advantage.)
#Patriots – #patriotsnation, #pats, #tombrady, #gronk (Rob Gronkowski just takes up too many of those precious 140 characters)
NFL PLAYERS TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER DURING THE 2013 PLAYOFFS
Certain NFL players on Twitter are known to ratchet up their smack talk as game day approaches, or sometimes blow some ill-advised steam after a loss. We’ve curated a list of some of the most entertaining Twitter feeds of football players who are on teams that are still alive in the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round.
@ArianFoster – Houston Texans running back Arian Foster made waves this week when he switched his Twitter avatar to a pull-quote from an unflattering Boston Globe column referring to his underdog Texans as “tomato cans.” The Texans are not favorites in the game, but you might root for them anyway – Foster has been known to give out free playoff tickets to certain lucky Twitter followers whenever the Texans advance.
@TJLang70 – Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang’s profane Twitter rant last year after the infamous replacement referee Monday Night miscall became the most retweeted tweet of all time (until a Justin Bieber tweet surpassed him two days later, then President Obama passed both retweet records on Election Night). Lang’s Twitter should be awfully fun to watch if the Packers lose on an official’s call again.
@PeteCarroll – One of two NFL head coaches on Twitter (the Lions’ Jim Schwartz is the other), Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tweets nothing about the actual football game or strategy, and instead tweets about his favorite comedy shows, and #SOTD (song of the day) picks describing which Motley Crue or Kenny Chesney tune he’s got stuck in his head. Though he does mention events and giveaways pertaining to the Seahawks.
@Kaepernick7 – Colin Kaepernick has a “kiss my own biceps” touchdown celebration that’s been nicknamed “Kaepernicking.” The San Francisco 49ers quarterback will personally retweet pretty much any fan who posts a Twitter photo recreating this move and accompanied with the hashtag #kaepernicking. Yet, another reason to use football hashtags when tweeting.
@DangeRussWilson – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has by far the most ingenious Twitter handle of anyone in these NFL Playoffs.
LISTEN TO THE NFL PLAYOFFS ONLINE
If you have absolutely no way to access a TV set during playoff games, you can listen to the NFL Playoffs online by purchasing the NFL Audio Pass “Playoffs Only” package for $14.99. The NFL Audio package delivers live or on-demand audio of every game, with your choice of the local radio announcers from the home team, the away team, or the guys calling the game in Spanish. You also get access to the complete NFL regular season audio archives. Once you’ve purchased the pass, you can also listen to the NFL Playoff audio stream on a tablet or smartphone by downloading the free NFL ’12 app. Your access lasts from the day you buy NFL Audio Pass until February. As a bonus, NFL ’12 users outside of the U.S. get 24-hours/7 days a week access to the NFL Network live video feed — even if you don’t pay for cable!
Who are your Super Bowl picks? Got any other clever football hashtags for the NFL playoff teams? Who do you follow on Twitter during games? Hash out your opinions in the comments section below.