2012 was a year to remember in the sports world. From the New York Giants once again breaking the hearts of all New England fans, to Usain Bolt repeating as 100-meter Olympic Champion, and Lebron James finally winning his first championship, Twitter and its 500 million subscribers were there to capture the raw emotion and reaction of it all. Here is a Twitter sports year in review.
Most Tweets per Minute
Soccer is unquestionably the most beloved and popular sport worldwide, and it’s only fitting that soccer that’s the top spot for most tweets per minute when related to a sporting event. It all happened this past summer when Spain powered past Italy for the Euro Cup Title. Juan Matta’s goal in the final minutes of Spain’s 4-0 victory over Italy, set the Twitter-sphere ablaze to the tune of 267,000 retweets per minute.
Although the Super Bowl may be the most watched sporting event on earth, unfortunately it was no match to the Euro Cup when it came to Tweets per minute. The match was set for revenge. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots versus the New York Giants, the very team that ruined the Patriots dreams of going 18-0 and setting NFL history.
Unfortunately for New England fans everywhere, the 2012 Super Bowl was too reminiscent of 2007 when Tom Brady’s last second Hail-Mary fell just short. The incomplete pass set Twitter on fire with just over 200,000 tweets per minute.
The Olympics were held in London this past summer and most were waiting to see if Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt would be the first to make history and repeat as champion in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Although Bolt didn’t break his previous world records, he did put on a show for the fans and repeated.
During his two wins, fans were busy trying to keep up with the Olympic Champion, sending out around 75,000 tweets per minute during those races.
Athletes with the most followers
Not surprisingly, athletes with the most followers also reside on “the pitch.” Coming in on top is Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo with just under 15 million followers. Ronaldo is followed closely by his Brazilian counterpart Kaka, who is nearing the 14 million mark.
Whether you like or loathe LeBron James, there’s no doubt he’s the most scrutinized athlete in America. James, who finally broke through and won his first NBA title in 2012, also happens to lead all American athletes with 6.7 million followers.
Athletes with the most Retweets
After finally winning his first championship, James tweeted “OMFG I think it just hit me, I'm a CHAMPION!! I AM a CHAMPION!!,” which received a total of 91,000 retweets, second most at the time.
For the first few weeks of the 2012 season the NFL was forced to use replacement referees when the original referees decided to go on strike. It was no secret everyone, including players disliked the replacement refs and it all came to a head on Sept. 24, when the Green Bay Packers lost on a Hail-Mary that may or may not have been a terrible call by the referees.
Green Bay offensive lineman wasted no time voicing his displeasure tweeting “F--- it NFL. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.” With that tweet, Lang surpassed James with 99,000 retweets ironically a far greater number than actual that he had at the time.
Top 10 Sports Trends in 2012
But records were made to be broken and game-changers are always succeeded by another. Next year is bound to set the sports world ablaze, and that means Twitter and Facebook should be up to the task of reporting it all.
Edited by Braden Becker