Gonzo: Shawn Andrews' tweets: Follow if you can

Shawn Andrews, the rehabbing Eagles lineman, likes "g-R-u-b." But not "women w/ Bird Claw feet . . . Chirp, Chirp, Chirp, Chirp . . . Fly awaaaayy, Fly awaaaay . . . Ahh, Ahh, Ahh,(hawk voice)."
Shawn Andrews, the rehabbing Eagles lineman, likes "g-R-u-b." But not "women w/ Bird Claw feet . . . Chirp, Chirp, Chirp, Chirp . . . Fly awaaaayy, Fly awaaaay . . . Ahh, Ahh, Ahh,(hawk voice)."
Posted: March 12, 2010

Newspapers are finished. It's true. Old-school scribes can't compete with the modern digital bard.

The first story I had professionally published ran 14 years ago. Everything I've penned since then has been garbage - at least relative to the stuff Shawn Andrews is tweeting. Compared with him, we're all Tucker Max, slopping words onto the page and lowering the level of the language.

Twitter and athletes is an old story. This isn't about that. This is about Andrews and how Twitter has become his addiction and best form of expression, which is great for the rest of us (though I suspect the Eagles organization might not agree). For that reason alone, the Birds should keep Andrews around. Forget football. He could replace Dave Spadaro and the entire Internet team down at the NovaCare Complex all by himself. He's that prolific.

In one 24-hour period this week, Andrews tweeted an astounding 134 times - or roughly one tweet every 10 minutes. I wonder if he has a shower-proof Twitter device or if he just skips cleaning himself altogether.

I was late to the game but have since become a Twitter twit. I'm on it so much I somehow ended up in an online curling club with my Twitter friends, much to the dismay and concern of the flesh-and-blood people I see every day. And even I think Andrews needs to step away from the keyboard for a second and interact with someone in person. (I tweeted Andrews and asked if he cared to comment for the story, but after a couple of exchanges he failed to commit in time.)

You know that scene in Anchorman when one of the female employees from the TV station reveals that Ron Burgundy will read "an-y-th-ing" off the teleprompter? Yeah, well, @shawnandrews73 will tweet an-y-th-ing. (Understand that everything quoted below from his Twitter feed is presented exactly as Andrews wrote it.)

Recently, Andrews divulged what he plans to do when he gets back to Philly. To wit: "hitting old city donuts," "eating Nutter Butters with Mayor Nutter," sneaking up to "ring the Liberty Bell to see if we can go 2 for 2 w/ a second crack," and visiting Onyx to "make it rain smiley face I.O.U.'S."

In the last month, he revealed that when he first went bald, his head wasn't shiny enough, so he "googled how to get a shiny bald head." He told the sad tale of his trouble with "eye boogies" as a child and how it "would be so bad that my eye(s) weres sealed shut." And he explained that when he's done with physical therapy, his "body should be right and sculpted. Doggonit if I don't make GQ mag." Keep that in mind. If you don't already subscribe, now seems like a good time.

Not long thereafter, Andrews went on an "I'm not attracted to" kick that included the following gems:

"#imnotattractedto women with a goatee fresher than mines . . . Heck my hasn't even connected all the way yet."

"#imnotattracted to women w/ Bird Claw feet . . . Chirp, Chirp, Chirp, Chirp . . . Fly awaaaayy, Fly awaaaay . . . Ahh, Ahh, Ahh,(hawk voice)."

The "hawk voice" is what really makes the last one great. You've got to love auditory cues in a visual medium. The man is helpful.

He's also frequently hungry. More than any other topic, Andrews tweets about food:

"I'm finna wear this Blu Cheese & Lettuce Wedge Salad/Chick Pesto FlatBread but out . . . I'm finna make this food cry," he tweeted around 3:30 in the afternoon one day. Minutes later, in case his followers missed it, he added, " 'you da best' salad."

Andrews often addresses his food directly or, if he's really feeling creative, sings about it: "My name is Shawn F double (OO) D, I used to move hotcakes by the doZen, I guess even back then u could call me conniseur of the g-R-u-b."

By now, you understand that getting his Michael Phelps on wasn't an aberration or an accident. Artistic personal expression comes as naturally to Andrews as blocking NFL defensive linemen once did. Just as his ode to the Olympic swimmer should have earned him a Grammy, his digital missives ought to earn him the Twitter equivalent of an Oscar for best original screenwriting. Behold his masterpiece:

"Wow was just awaken by my neighbors having sex. . . . Sound like they had a toolkits w/ drillbits. I aint hating thought I was dreaming."

Remember the artist on PBS with the mini-Afro, the one who used to paint "happy little trees" over here and "pretty little clouds" over there? There was always this underlying sense that what he was doing was simple and not all that good. Then you'd sit there for hours watching him, and drool would start dribbling out of the corner of your mouth and you'd lose track of time. Maybe he wasn't Cezanne, but he somehow used his talents to hold your attention for long periods despite your better judgment.

Andrews is just like that guy. Even better, we don't have to pay taxes to watch him on PBS.

Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813 or gonzalez@phillynews.com.

Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gonzophilly

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