Dolphins on a No Tweets Diet

The Dolphins don't want players, coaches, the media or the fans to use Twitter -- ever

By Todd Wright
|  Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009  |  Updated 8:15 PM EDT
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Hand over your cell phone, Blackberry, laptop, iPhone and any other Tweet-capable device you have, please.

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Bill Parcells has solidified his position as Chief of the No Fun Police. It’s one thing to stop your players from using Twitter or blogging about their training camp experience, but the Dolphins are doing a little fan outreach, too.

You can’t “tweet” about what you see either. That goes for you, too, media guy.

The Dolphins are at the forefront of an NFL clampdown on Twitter and other social media, with new restrictions imposed on players, reporters and even spectators. But at least they haven't fined a player for trash tweet talking the food like the Chargers.

Coach Tony Sparano claims this is his call, but the Stone Age rule has Parcells' anti-fun fingers all over it. Imagine if Shaq couldn't tweet while he was with the Heat. There would be all out mutiny in the locker room.

True, this may be a way to keep information from leaking about the latest Wildcat plays or a new defense that will scare the pants off Tom Brady and the Pats. Or this could be Parcells playing General Patten again and ruling his organization with an iron, no-controversy-equals-no-fun fist.

Dolphins players are so afraid to step out of line at this point, they wouldn't tweet much more than "OMG! Mr. Parcells looks like he lost some weight" or "That polo on Mr. Parcells is very slimming. SMH"

The Dolphins require the media to shut off all electronic gear -- computers, cell phones, cameras -- about 25 minutes into practice, when team drills begin. The Dolphins are also policing fans, a daunting challenge for a team that drew more than 3,100 spectators to the opening workout last week.

Along with the Broncos and Dolphins, Parcells disciple Bill Belichick in New England, the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions don’t allow “tweeting” on the practice field.

We’re shocked Parcells doesn’t have metal detectors and armed guard standing at the gate at the Davie facility to enforce the policy. Pretty soon you will have to leave your handheld electronic devices with Dolphins personnel until you are ready to leave the practice facility.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league encourages players to tweet, and about 300 do so. As of Wednesday afternoon, the league had 772,473 followers on its Twitter site.

"We've been at the forefront as technology has changed," said McCarthy, who said he follows 600 Twitter accounts. "We have embraced Twitter. The commissioner tweeted from the draft. When done properly, it's a tremendous opportunity to talk with fans."

Can someone forward Parcells the memo?

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