Social Media: Sports Fans' Best Friends Get real, inside connections with athletes By Will McCahill, Newser Staff Posted Jan 17, 2010 3:03 PM CST 2 comments Comments Chad Ochocinco's Twitter feed. (Twitter) (Newser) – Being cooped up during the winter can be tough on some, but not hard-core sports fans. And social networking adds a new dimension, so if you’re still on the fence about Twitter et al., former NBA star Jalen Rose, writing for Mashable, tells you why you should get in the game: Give yourself a voice: Instead of yelling at the TV, hit up, say, Shaquille O’Neal (@THE_REAL_SHAQ), and you might even get a reply. Get the news: Follow @ESPN, say, or become a fan of your favorite teams on Facebook, and scores, stats and breaking news get delivered to you. Get a taste of athletes’ real lives: Many use Twitter, UStream and the like to give you an inside look. … and an uncensored look, at that: No need for the discretion imposed by TV. And you never know when someone might break his league's ban on in-game tweeting. Be a real fan: Social networks can be a platform for you to broadcast your allegiances loud and proud, and to connect with others just like you.