Friday, August 1, 2014

It's Lollapalooza Time Again, Who You Following?

Updated 8/4/14

Once again, I am publishing a list of some of the best musicians and artists to follow on Instagram during Lollapalooza 2014.  Each year, the number of artists using Instagram grows so you can now follow many of the top bands, as well as the up and coming artists.

So without further adieu, here are some of my favorites.

EDM Artists
Skrillex - As one of the 3 most notable EDM artists, Skrillex has moved to the main Bud Light stage this year instead of Perry's, expect a huge crowd for the Skrillex set on Sunday night!!
@Skrillex
660 photos
1.4 million followers

Zedd - He has quickly become one of the top selling EDM artists with his collaborations with Hailey Williams and Little Foxes.  He writes very catchy melodies that you can't get out of your head.  He is headlining Perry's tonight.
@Zedd
336 photos
560,000 followers

Calvin Harris - Calvin Harris has become completely mainstream with hits such as "Summer" and "I need your Love", so while you might consider him Pop, he started as an EDM artist and will be headlining the Bud Light stage Saturday night and will probably have the biggest headlining crowd on Saturday.
@CalvinHarris
1200 photos
1.3 million followers  

Krewella - From Chicago, you would expect Krewella to pull out all the stops at Lolla 2014 as the Perry's headliner on Saturday night.  This three member group brings a lot of energy and will have the ground shaking on Saturday night.
@Krewella
380 photos
216,000 followers

Sebastian Ingrosso - Another member of the Swedish House Mafia, Ingrosso will try to follow up Steve Angello's amazing set at Lolla 2013.  He is playing in Perry's on Sunday night.  He is new to Instagram, but is quickly building followers.
@Ingrossoofficial
16 photos

The Glitch Mob - This 3 member EDM artist hails from Los Angeles where they have built up the largest LA following among electronic artists.  However, they are just starting to gain attention across the US and Lolla should really lift their exposure.
@TheGlitchMob
1150 photos
28,000 followers


Rappers
Eminem - Eminem is back at Lolla but this time he is not just a rapper, instead he is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet.  He is touring with Rhianna and many expect to see her as a guest on a few songs.  Eminem is headlining the Samsung stage tonight.
@Eminem
60 photos
2.3 million followers

Iggy Azalea - Hardcore fans have known of Iggy for a couple of years but most of us just learned about her as she burst onto the scene this summer with not one, but 2 number #1 hits, her "Fancy" and her collaboration with Ariana Grande "Problem".  Keep in mind that Arianna is not currently touring so there is a possibility of a surprise appearance today during Iggy's afternoon set.
@Thenewclassic
1500 photos
3.7 million followers

Chance the Rapper - Another artist that hails from Chicago, Chance absolutely tore it up at Lolla last year.  His set on the BMI stage was packed and led to his headlining Perry's this year.  Perry's will be rocking on Sunday night and likely packed with hardcore rap fans.
@ChancetheRapper
700 photos
460,000 followers


Childish Gambino - Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is an actor, writer and rapper from NYC.  He has been a comedic writer on 30 Rock and other series, but created the Childish Gambino moniker as a stage name for his rap.  He is performing on Sunday night on the Bud Light stage before Skrillex so he should get a big crowd.
@ChildishGambino
87 photos


Alternative
Cage the Elephant - These guys put on an amazing show everytime they get on stage.  This is their third time to Lolla and it seems to rain everytime they show up.  However, that doesn't get them down, they relish in it and Matt Schultz ended up covered in mud by the end of this year's performance
@Cagetheelephantofficial
300 photos
45,000 followers


Grouplove - These guys had one of the best sets at Lolla this year.  They worked a huge crowd into an absolute frenzy.  If you get a chance to see them live, take it!  I have also included Hannah Hooper's instagram, one of the two lead singers with Christian Zucconi.
@Grouplove
700 photos
56,000 followers
@LadyGrouplove
650 photos
27,000 followers

Young the Giant - Hailing from Irvine, California, Young the Giant is a blend of Alternative and Indie Rock.  Their hit song, "My Body" has recently hit the top 5 on the US Alternative charts and they ended up in the early evening slot on Sunday at Lolla.
@YoungtheGiant
720 photos
177,000 followers

Fitz and the Tantrums - Unfortunately, Fitz played opposite Grouplove so I missed them but friends said they put on a great show.  They have two singles that have hit #1 on the Alternative charts.
@FitzandtheTantrumsofficial
140 photos
12,000 followers

Bleachers - An up and coming have exploded this summer with their hit song "I Wanna Get Better".  It was an impressive site to see 10,000 fans singing I wanna get better.
@Bleachersmusic
45 photos
9,000 followers


Pop/Rock
Kings of Leon - Hailing from Nashville, Kings of Leon passed on country to follow their roots in traditional rock.  They were one of the Headliners on Sunday night.
@KingsofLeon
70 photos
105,000 followers

Outkast - Outkast is a hip hop and pop duo from Atlanta.  They have had two #1 Billboard 100 hits including "Hey Ya" and "The Way You Move".  They headlined the Saturday night show at Lolla.
@Outkast
50 photos
54,000 followers

Lorde - Quickly becoming one of the best-selling female artists this year, Lorde is killing around the World.  She was not yet a headliner, mostly because of when they set the lineup her fans packed the North fields to see her show in the early evening Friday.
@Lordemusic
380 photos
1.4 million followers

Foster the People - Foster the People has a unique pop sound that blends electronic, alternative and indie sounds.  Their hit "Pumped up Kicks" made it to #3 on the Billboard 100 in 2011.
@FosterthePeople
200 photos
67,000 followers

Chvrches - An electronic pop band from Glasgow, Scotland, Chvrches are gaining huge popularity in the US this year with their interesting covers of popular artists such as Lorde and the Arctic Monkeys.
@Chvrches
730 photos
49,000 followers



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

15 FIFA World Cup Stars to Follow on Instagram

Much like the Olympics, the rarity of FIFA World Cup events (every 4 years) makes these International happenings a great place for Instagram sharing.  At both of the last two Olympics in Sochi and London, we saw a wide range of amazing photos on Instagram from some of the best athletes from around the world.

I expect the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil to be the same kind of photo bonanza on Instagram. The World Cup is one of those rare times when the very best football players from around the world will be playing for their home country with other top players that they are usually playing against as rivals.

This article will highlight some of the best World Cup players to follow on Instagram.  I have highlighted 3 players from each of the Top 4 favorites; Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain.  Then I also provided a player from several other notable teams.  You can also follow the National Team for any of your favorite countries on Instagram.


BRAZIL
Follow national team @cbf_futebol
Host Country (Odds to win it all 3:1)
As usual, the Brazilian team is stacked with talent.  Brazil is the winningest team in World Cup football with 5 Championships but they struggled in each of the last two World Cup's and did not finish in the top 4 spots either year.  They last won in 2002 and many feel a win at home in 2014 would be a fitting end to the event.

Thiago Silva, Defender, Captain
Silva is the glue for this talented team of football stars.  It will be critical for him to make sure that teamwork is the foremost thought on everyone's mind to create the poetry needed to win the World Cup.
@thiagosilva_33
700 photos  978,000 followers
Shirtless Brazilians from @neymarjr

 
Neymar, Forward
Probably the greatest overall talent on the Brazilian team, Neymar is looking to leave a big mark on the 2014 World Cup.  In past Championships, one player produced a spectacular offensive performance to catapult the Brazilians to the top (think Pele and Ronaldo).  This could be Neymar's year.  Neymar is a prolific IG user having shared over 2,100 photos so you definitely want to follow him.
@neymarjr
2,100 photos  5.3 million followers

Oscar, Midfielder
Oscar is a talented midfielder who plays for Chelsea FC in the Barclay's Premier League.  Like Neymar, Oscar is one of the other young, 22, but highly talented players on this Brazilian team.
@oscar_emboaba
330 photos  800,000 followers 


ARGENTINA
Follow national team @teamoargentina
(Odds to win it all 4:1)
This other South American team is the runner-up in Odds to win the World Cup.  Argentina has the best player in the World in Lionel (Leo) Messi and a host of other very talented players that round out the team.  Any team with Messi, has to be considered a serious contender to win the Cup, but couple that with the games being played in their neighbor country, Brazil, and Argentina looks good to at least get to the Semi-Finals.  Argentina has won the Cup twice but the last time was in 1986.

Leo Messi, Forward, Captain
At 26, Messi is already one of the most prolific international football stars of all time.  While some might debate whether he is be best overall player in the World, few would debate that he is the absolute best ballhandler.  Few have the body control that Messi possesses and his ability to see a wide range on the field creates amazing pinpoint passing and goal scoring.  He has won a Gold Medal for Argentina in 2008, but he has yet to get a World Cup trophy in two attempts.  He has not been a very active IG user but hopefully that will change on the international stage.
@leomessi
49 photos  3.4 million followers 

Team Argentina on plane to Brazil from @marcosrojo

Sergio Aguero, Forward
At only 21, Sergio Aguero is a young left wing forward.  Aguero was on the 2008 Gold Medal winning Olympic team and also earned a Barclay's Premier League Championship with his Manchester City team last year.  He knows how to win and will be one of the key players if Argentina is able to get to the title game.  Aguero is also the son-in-law to one of the greatest Argentina football players, Diego Maradona.
@aguerosergiokun16
147 photos  430,000 followers

 




Marcos, Rojo, Defender
This will be Marcos Rojo's first World Cup experience.  He has become a solid piece of the Argentine defensive unit during 2014.  Rojo plays for Sporting Lisbon when he is not playing for the Argentina National Team.
@marcosrojo
400 photos  23,000 followers


GERMANY
Follow national team @dfb_team

(Odds to win World Cup 6:1)
Germany has been a very strong and consistent competitor on the international stage over the last twenty years.  Last year, two German teams made it to the Championship of the European EUFA Champions League.  Germany has won 3 World Cup titles but the last one was in 1990.  In each of the last two World Cup's in 2006 and 2010, Germany took 3rd.  They hope to improve on that finish to get to the Championship game with all of they talent they have on the 2014 team.


Thomas Muller, Midfielder/Forward
Thomas Muller is a very dangerous scoring Midfielder.  He was the overall top scorer in the 2010 World Cup with 5 goals helping Germany to its 3rd place finish.  He also was on the Bayern Munich team that won the EUFA Champions League in 2013.  He does not share many photos on Instagram, but we are hoping that the World Cup is the type of event that will change that.
@officialmuller
33 photos  40,000 followers
Team Germany enjoying some boating from @official_m11

Mesut Ozil, Midfielder/Forward
This will be Mesut Ozil's second World Cup after helping Germany to a 3rd place finish in 2010.  His play in the 2010 World Cup got him picked up by Real Madrid where he played for 3 season before moving to Arsenal FC this past year.  Ozil was born in Germany but is of Turkish descent.  He is an exciting, fast player who can light up the defense at any moment.  Ozil is also a huge Instagram user having shared over 1,000 photos.  He is a great follow for football fans.
@official_m11
1,000 photos  38,000 followers

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Midfielder
Another talented Midfielder that plays both for Germany and FC Bayern Munich, Schweinsteiger knows what it takes to win.  He has been part of both of the last two 3rd place finishing German teams and will be a key piece of the puzzle if Germany is able to advance on to the Championship game.
@bastian_schweinsteiger
83 photos  30,000 followers


SPAIN
Follow national team @sefutbol

(Odds to Win World Cup 13:2)
Spain has only won one World Cup title but it came in 2010 making them the defending champions.  Spain is still loaded with talent including many of the players from that 2010 team.  They should be in the mix to battle for one of the 4 semi-final spots.  They are an experienced team but with several key players over 30 years old, one has to wonder if they will be able to keep up with the World Cup pace.

Xavi Hernandez, Midfielder
Considered one of the best passers in the World, Xavi was a big part of the team that won in 2010.  What's more as a member of FC Barcelona he has won three EUFA Championships.  Clearly, he knows what it takes to win.  He will be competing in his 4th FIFA World Cup.
@xavihernandezoficial
30 photos  194,000 followers

Some of Team Spain in Brazil from @andresiniesta8

Andres Iniesta, Forward
Another FC Barcelona player who was also a member of the 2010 World Cup Championship team, Iniesta actually scored the winning goal to cap that Championship run.  At 30, he is another of the experienced but a bit older players on this Spanish team.  He is also a winnner, having scored many of the same trophies as Xavi with FC Barcelona.
@andresiniesta8
55 posts  787,000 followers

 






Cesc Fabregas, Forward
One of the youngers starters on the Spanish team at 27, Fabregas was also a key member of the 2010 Championship team.  Cesc made the pass that setup Iniesta's game winning goal in the Championship game.  In club play, Fabregas has played for both Arsenal FC and more recently FC Barcelona.  This will be his 3rd World Cup event.  He is also one of the more prolific IG users on the team sharing over 400 photos.
@cescf4bregas
400 photos  1.45 million followers


OTHER NOTABLE WORLD CUP PLAYERS
Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) - Portugal 25:1 odds to win
Mario Batelli (@mb459) - Italy 25:1
Vincent Kompany (@vincentkompany) - Belgium 25:1
Robin Van Persie (@robinvanpersie) - Netherlands 25:1
Karim Benzema (@karimbenzema) - France 25:1
Wayne Rooney (@waynerooney) - England 25:1

Team Portugal is in the house from @cristiano

Saturday, February 8, 2014

50 Winter Olympic Athletes to Follow on Instagram

Snowboarding women from @aimee_fuller
Just as in London in 2012, you can follow a lot of the Sochi athletes on Instagram and other social media to dramatically improve the fan experience for the Winter Olympics.  From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, you can follow Olympians to get a behind the scenes glimpse into the Winter Games.

On Twitter, you can follow hashtags that are of particular interest such as #sochi #winterolympics #teamusa or #teamcanada.  The stream when you search for these or other common Olympic hashtags will be full of interesting tweets, photos and videos from fans and athletes making the trek to Sochi.

For me, the most fun is following the athletes on Instagram.  Since they always have their smartphones with them, you get amazing photos from athletes right in the heart of the action.  There will be photos from athletes just before and just after they compete.  Some will take photos at the awards ceremony, maybe even right on the Medals Podium.  You really can't get any closer to the athletes than their own cellphones, which makes Instagram such an amazing tool for following the Olympic Games.

Here now is a list of some of the most interesting athletes, coaches and media sources for following the Sochi Olympics on Instagram.  I generally tried to include the most active IG sharers on the list, although with certain sports (c'mon hockey players), I had to post anyone I could find because none of them share many photos.  Sorry so many TeamUSA competitors but they are the largest team in Sochi, they are the most active users of IG as a group and, I admit it, I am a bit biased.  I will continually update and add to this list during the games.

Alpine Skiing
Speed, speed and more speed -- that is what makes Alpine Skiing so exciting.  Flying down the mountain at over 90 miles per hour at times, these speed demons are pure adrenaline.

Bobby Brown (USA)
Chillin' it at the top of the Mtn from @bobby_brown1
Brown is a 22 year old freestyle skier from Colorado who has taken Gold several times in Winter X Game competitions.  He is one of the favorites to medal in the freestyle Slopestyle event in Sochi
@bobby_brown1
400 photos  56,600 followers

DuFour-LaPointe Sisters (Canada)
An amazing story, three DuFour-LaPointe sisters are competing in Freestyle Moguls events at the Sochi Winter Olympics.  Justine and Chloe finished 1st and 2nd in the first event to capture Gold and Silver.  19 year old, Justine, is the most active on IG but you can follow all three below.
@justinedufourlapointe
200 photos  6,000 followers
@chloedufourlapointe
2 photos  980 followers
@maximeduflap
42 photos  1,200 followers

Cool olympic shot from @keriherman
Travis Ganong (USA)
Competing in his first Olympics, Ganong surprised everyone with a 5th place finish in the Downhill competition in Sochi.  He is looking to surprise again in the Super G later in the competition.
@travisganong
332 photos  3,700 followers

Keri Herman (USA)
Keri is a freestyle skier competing in the new Slopestyle event.  She has won several medals in multiple Winter X Games and now hopes to bring that success to the Olympics.   She is a very active Instagram user and is sharing lots of great shots from Sochi.
@keriherman
 435 photos  18,700 followers



Mayer with his Gold medal from @mothl
Matthias Mayer (Austria)
Matthias is a 23 year old speed demon from Austria.  His father, Herman Mayer, won a Gold for Austria in the Slalom back in the 80s.  Competing in his first Olympics, Mayer surprised the World to capture Gold in the Downhill and will be competing in the Slalom and Super G later in the Winter Olympics.
@mothl
 97 photos  6,500 followers

Bode Miller (USA)
Already a highly decorated Olympic skier with 5 medals including one Gold, Bode is competing in his 5th Winter Olympics.  At 36 years old, it is an amazing feat and will be fun to watch.
@millerbode
46 photos  26,600 followers

Dominik Paris (Italy)
An Italian skier, Paris will be competing in his first Olympics in Sochi.  He is an exciting skier that will be competing in both the Downhill and Super G events.
@dominikparis
82 photos  3,500 followers

Shot of the downhill course from @asvindal
Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
Mikaela is an 18 year old ski racer for Team USA.  She will be competing in the Slalom and the Giant Slalom.
@mikaelashiffrin
255 photos  37,000 followers

Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)
At 31, Svindal is at the high end of the range for downhill racing but he is still winning at an amazing rate and remains a favorite for Gold in Super G in Sochi.  He won the Gold in that event in Vancouver 2010.  He is a prolific IG user so a great follow for skiing fans.
@asvindal
425 photos  113,600 followers

David Wise (USA)
Fresh off a Gold medal win in the Winter X Games in the freestyle halfpipe event, this 23 year old is hoping to duplicate that success with Gold in Sochi.  He is an active IG user.
@mrdavidwise
210 photos  6,500 followers


Figure Skating
Combining grace and beauty, figure skating is one of the most watched events at the Winter Olympics.  There is always high drama either from the pressure on the favorites to the young upstarts that often steal the show.  Here are some active Instagram users to follow from Figure Skating.

Patrick Chan (Canada)
Chan is an 24 year old, 3 time World Champion for Team Canada.  He is considered one of the best Men's skaters in the World and a favorite to compete for Gold in Sochi.
@pchan31
100 photos  7,500 followers
Meryl and Charlie from @meryledavis
Carolina Kostner (Italy)
An Italian figure skater from Italy.  She competed in each of the last two Olympics for Italy but has never finished higher than 9th.  She hopes to improve on that and grab a medal in Sochi.
@carokostner
81 photos  2,100 followers

Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA)
Meryl Davis is one half of the US Ice Dancing pair with Charlie White.  The pair won the Silver Medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics and hope to improve on that by winning the Gold in Sochi.
@meryledavis
280 photos  9,900 followers
@charlieawhite 
47 photos  7,800 followers


Gracie Gold (USA)
Gold is an 18 year old US skater who will be competing in her first Olympics.  She placed first in the US Olympic Championships and is a favorite to compete for a medal in the Women's competition in Sochi. 
Figure skaters at the Team event from @ashwagner2010
@graciegold95
300 photos  34,000 followers

Evengi Plushenko (Russia)
Competing in his 4th Olympic Games, Plushenko has a Gold and 2 Silver medals already and will now look to grab one more in Sochi.
@plushenkoofficial
21 photos  27,300 followers

Ashley Wagner (USA)
Wagner is a 22 year old skater who will be competing in her first Olympics.  She has been on Instagram for several years and has built a strong following by sharing lots of photos.
@ashwagner2010
300 photos  17,900 followers



Hockey
Like basketball in the summer games, hockey is the galvanizing team sport for the winter games.  Every country hangs on every minute of each game of the team's games in the Winter Olympics.  In general, the hockey players do not share as many photos as the other sports so I had to list some players that share very few photos.  Here are some of the top competitors from many of the competing countries.

Photo day for TeamUSA from @meganebozek

Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden)
Backstrom plays for the Washington Capitals in the NHL but he will be representing TeamSweden in Sochi.
@nicklas_backstrom19
40 photos  4,600 followers

Megan Bozek (USA)
The favorites to win Gold in Sochi, the US Women's will face stiff competition from Canada.  This 22 year old anchors TeamUSA's staunch defense and she is one of the few hockey players that shares a lot of photos.
@meganebozek
175 photos  750 followers
 



Sidney Crosby (Canada)
Sidney Crosby is the Captain of TeamCanada and a big reason why they won the Gold in Vancouver.  He will be trying to bring home another Gold with one of the most talented group of hockey players ever assembled for Canada.
@sc_87
10 photos  26,000 followers

Cool fan art from @88p_kane
Pavel Datsyuk (Russia)
Datsyuk is considered one of the best passers in the world and plays with both the Detroit Red Wings and TeamRussia.  He will need to be a key component if TeamRussia hopes to grab a medal on home ice.
@datsyuk13hockey
83 photos  35,600 followers

Patrick Kane (USA)
Patrick Kane is one of the anchors of TeamUSA and one of the points leaders in the NHL for the Blackhawks.  His expert skating and passing will create a lot of scoring opportunities for the young USA team.
@88p_kane
54 photos  10,600 followers

Amanda Kessel (USA)
Amanda is one of the most dynamic forwards on TeamUSA.  She is the sister of Phil Kessel, who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the USA Men's team.  Amanda's skating really sets her apart giving her the ability to create space when she drives to the net.
@amandakessel8
75 photos  1,100 followers

From Kopecky's feed @kopec_82


Hilary Knight (USA)
Hilary is going into her second Olympics after helping TeamUSA win the Silver medal in Vancouver.  TeamUSA is favored to win the Gold but the competition is stiff and the women will have to perform at their very best to win it.
@hilary_knight
170 photos  3,200 followers

Tomas Kopecky (Slovakia)
Kopecky is a forward for the Florida Panthers and TeamSlovakia.  He has been a member of two Stanley Cup winning teams for the Blackhawks and the Red Wings.
@kopec_82
28 photos  1,900 followers



Lamoureux Twins (USA)
TeamUSA strategy session from @moniquelam7
Two adept skating forwards for TeamUSA, Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureax, play on the same line for the Americans and know each other so well they are great passing partners.  They will put a lot of pressure on opposing teams defense.  Monique is the more active IG user having shared over 300 photos.
@moniquelam7
314 photos  2,000 followers
@jocelyneusa17
105 photos  1,700 followers

Evgeni Malkin (Russia)
Malkin is the third of the 3 NHL All Stars on TeamRussia.  Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins has a Stanley Cup Championship and won the Conn Smythe trophy that year.  He is active on Instagram and should post lots of interesting photos from Sochi.
@evgeni_malkin
75 photos  25,000 followers


Ovechkin and Malkin from @ovi_caps8
 Alex Ovechkin (Russia)
Ovechkin is one of the stars of Team Russia and one of the all stars from the NHL that will be competing in Sochi.  Ovechkin and the Russian team have a lot of pressure to try to bring home the Gold competing in Russia.  While not impossible, it will be an uphill battle for the Russian team.
@ovi_caps8
12 photos  11,500 followers

Patrick Sharp (Canada)
Patrick Sharp is a leading scorer for the NHL Champion, Blackhawks,
and a member of TeamCanada.  This will be Sharp's first Olympics so he should share some great photos during the journey.
@10psharp
37 photos  7,600 followers


Hayley Wickenheiser (Canada)
Hayley is the leading goal scorer in Olympic hockey history and she is back to add to that tally in Sochi.  She is new to Instagram but has begun posting pictures from Sochi so check her out.
@hayleywickenheiser22
4 photos  100 followers


Snowboarders
One could really put together a list of 50 Snowboarders because these guys and gals seem to have more fun at the Olympics than any other group.  Always interesting, this alternative X Games group of athletes post a lot of photos from the top and the bottom of the mountain.

Amazing shot during training from @jamieandersonsnow

Jamie Anderson (USA)
Jamie Anderson is a 23 year old Slopestyle snowboarder from Utah.  Landing two 720s during the finals, she grabbed the Gold medal in Slopestyle on Day 2 of the Sochi Olympics.  She also loves to share on IG and you will not be disappointed in following her.
@jamieandersonsnow
590 photos  40,000 followers

Greg Bretz (USA)
Competing in his second Olympics, Bretz hopes to improve on his 12th place finish in the Halfpipe in 2010.  He is an epic IG user having shared over 400 photos.
@gregbretzz
419 photos  17,700 followers


Kelly Clark (USA)
At 30, Kelly is one of the senior members of the Snowboarding community.  Competing in her 3rd Olympics, she already has a Gold and a Bronze medal in the Halfpipe and will try to add to that tally in Sochi.
TravelinDan going off trail from @travelindan
@kellyclarkfdn
486 photos  21,000 followers

Danny Davis (USA)
Travelin Dan always delivers with his Instagram photos.  You can see his sense of humor through some of his shots and unbelievable terrain in others.  With over 680 photos shared, his extensive feed is fun to browse through.
@travelindan
682 photos  42,100 followers
   
Aimee Fuller (Great Britain)
Aimee Fuller is a 22 year old snowboarder from the UK.  She is a huge IG user having shared over 650 photos so a great follow for the Olympics.
@aimee_fuller
650 photos  18,000 followers


Amazing Sochi shot from @nateholland
Nate Holland (USA)
Holland competes in the epicly cool event of Snowboard Cross -- Racing on Snowboards.  He also is an amazing amateur photographer and takes some unbelievable shots going "off trail".  He has shared over 300 photos on IG so you will want to follow Nate.
@nateholland
300 photos  2,800 followers
   
Jenny Jones (Great Britain)
At 33 years old, Jenny Jones is the oldest Snowboard competitor but age did not seem to slow her down as she threw down excellent runs in Slopestyle and grabbed the Bronze medal on Day 2 of the Sochi Winter Games.
@jennyjonessnow
265 photos  9,800 followers


Sage and Aimee Fuller from @sagekotsenburg
Sage Kotsenburg (USA)
Kotsenburg grabbed the first US Gold medal in Sochi competing in the Slopestyle Snowboard event.  Big air and amazing tricks are the mainstay for Sage and he might also be one of the most active Instagram users in the game.  Definitely follow this interesting athlets on IG.
@sagekotsenburg
650 photos  43,000 followers

Mark McMorris (Canada)
McMorris was the favorite to win Gold in the Slopestyle Snowboarding event until he broke a rib in a practice run.  Despite that injury he is still competing and coming off a Gold medal performance in the Winter X Games.  He is a prolific IG user and a must follow for snowboarding fans.
@markmcmorris
595 photos  204,700 followers
Snowboarders at practice from @siljenorendal

Silje Norendal (Norway)
Coming off a Gold medal performance in the 2014 Winter X Games, there is a lot of hope for Norway to grab a few medals in the Snowboarding events.  She will be competing in both the Slopestyle and Halfpipe events in Sochi.
@siljenorendal
274 photos  72,000 followers

Max Parrot (Canada)
Parrot is a 19 year old Slopestyle snowboarder from Canada and the reigning X Games Champion.  He is one of the favorites to medal in Sochi.
@maxparrot
227 photos  16,700 followers



Shaun White (USA)
Shaun White has done more for the growth of snowboarding than any other athlete.  Having won multiple Golds in two Olympic Games, he is back in Sochi for his 3rd games to continue to set all the records for snowboarding.
@shaunwhite
175 photos  190,000 followers


Other Events
There are so many other events in the Olympics and I will try to capture other interesting athletes to follow from these other events such as Speed Skating, Bobsled, Nordic sports and more.

Jorrit Bergsma (Netherlands)
Another of the strong Dutch skaters, Bergsma won the Bronze medal in the first speed skating event the 5,000 meters in Sochi 2014.
@jorritj
35 photos  350 followers
Celski on the Short Track from @celskeet

Marit Bjorgen (Norway)
Marit is a Skiathlon competitor and one of the best ever.  She retained her Gold medal status in Sochi after also winning the Gold in the marathon event in Vancouver.
@mabjoerg
24 photos  32,500 followers

Havard Bokko (Norway)
Bokka is a Norwegian Speed Skater competing in the shorter Speed events.  This is his second Olympics and he hopes to improve on his Bronze medal performance in Vancouver. 
@havardbokko
125 photos  7,200 followers

J.R. Celski (USA)
JR is a 23 year old from Salt Lake City.  Competing in his second Olympics, he has taken the mantle from Apollo Ohno as the best hope for medals on the Speed Skating Short Track.
@celskeet
177 photos  8,300 followers

TeamUSA competitors from @k8ertotz
Kate Hanson (USA)
Hanson is a 21 year old Luge competitor from California.  She is also now better known from viral videos of her pre-race dancing to Beyonce.  She is taking full advantage of Instagram to document her journey in Sochi for all her fans and friends.
@k8ertotz
108 photos  3,500 followers

Lolo Jones (USA)
One of those rare Olympic athletes that competes both in Summer and Winter Olympics.  Lolo will be in Sochi competing in the Bobsled events this time after competing in the Hurdles in the 2012 London Games. 
@lolojones
118 photos  132,000 followers
 




Sven Kramer (Netherlands)
Tutt and Tanaka from @speedsk8ter92
Kramer is a Dutch long distance speed skater and already a Gold Medal winner in the 5,000 meters in Vancouver 2010.  However, after racing what would have been a Gold Medal time in the 10,000 meters, he was disqualified for his foot going over the top of a cone during a lane change.  He is back to avenge Vancouver and hopes to win Gold in both events this time.
@svenkramer
56 photos  18,000 follower

Atsuko Tanaka (Canada)
In the first ever Women's Ski Jumping event, Tanaka will be flying through the air for TeamCanada.  She is also a great photo sharer on Instagram and you will find lots of behind the scenes pics.
@japanada01
296 photos  500 followers

Sunday, October 13, 2013

15 Top Defensive NFL Players on Instagram

Dontari Poe sack from @poemans_dream
Okay, so we have had our fun with the best offensive players using IG, but now its time to turn our attention to defense.   If you relish the big hits, forced fumbles and interceptions of great defensive squads in the NFL, then I am about to rock your world.  You can follow many of your favorite NFL defensive players on Instagram to get a glimpse into their lives.

I have put together a list of some of the best known defensive player that are also active using IG.  I am not going to include any players that have just a couple of photos, these are also top players that have shared lots of pictures with fans.  They share shots of the team, press and media events as well as personal shots with their family and friends.   As with offense, the list is skewed toward younger players as they are much more likely to be active on IG than older players.

So without further ado, here are some of the best defensive players to follow on Instagram organized into defensive categories (in alpha order within each category).

Defensive Linemen

Cameron Jordan, Defensive End (New Orleans Saints)
A 3rd year player in the NFL, Jordan is a big part of the resurgent Saints defense in 2013.  Jordan has been a solid force in both the run game and pass rush for the Saints.  Through just 5 games, he has already logged half the sacks (4) that he had in all of 2012.
@camjordan94
180 photos  9,700 followers

Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle (Kansas City Chiefs)
Kansas City has put together one of the stingiest defenses in the NFL in 2013 and 2nd year player, Poe, is one of the keys to that defense.  He has logged 4.5 sacks through 5 games of the seasons and over 19 combined tackles.  This exciting young player out of University of Memphis is definitely worth following.
@poemans_dream
265 photos  4,300 followers

Robert Quinn, Defensive End (St. Louis Rams)
In just his 3rd season in the League, Quinn has established himself as one of the sacks leaders in the NFL.  He logged 10.5 sacks in 2012 and has already achieved half that number through 5 games in 2013.  He is also an active IG user.
@rquinn94
266 photos  4,800 followers
 

Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle (Detroit Lions)
Playing in just his 4th season in the NFL, Suh has been a lightning rod for media attention.  His aggressive personality has helped him log 137 combined tackles during his first 3 years but also left him fined several times for questionable behavior.  If he can control his aggression within the rules, he may just end up a hall of fame DT.
67 photos  33,000 followers

Demarcus Ware, Defensive End (Dallas Cowboys)
Playing in his 9th season in the NFL, Ware has 115 sacks during that span, and over 550 combined tackles.  Ware continues to be a dominant pass rusher and is off to another good start in 2013. 
230 photos  85,000 followers
 
Watt at Wisconsin game from @justinjames99
J.J. Watt, Defensive End (Houston Texans)
In just his third season in the League, JJ Watts has established himself as one of the most dominating Defensive Linemen in the game.  He lead the NFL in sacks in 2012 with 20.5, won NFL Defensive Player of the Year and became the first player in NFL history to have at least 16 sacks and 15 blocked passes in a single season.
92 photos  100,000 followers


Linebackers

Lance Briggs, Middle Linebacker (Chicago Bears)
With the retirement of Brian Urlacher in 2012, the Bears staunch defense became Briggs squad and he has relished the challenge and was leading the league in tackles through 5 games.  In his 11th season in the League, he is no longer the fastest linebacker but he makes up for that with brains and a nose for the football.
@lancebriggs
104 photos  10,000 followers

Clay Matthews, Middle Linebacker (Green Bay Packers)
With the retirement of Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, Matthews becomes the most well known Linebacker in the NFL.  As the anchor of the Green Bay defense, Matthews is fun to follow.  He has not yet started to share many photos but hopefully he will soon.
@clay_matthews52
Victory plane ride home from @rmathis_the1st
15 photos  12,500 followers

Robert Mathis, Outside Linebacker (Indianapolis Colts)
Mathis is playing in his 11th season in the NFL and yet he is still has one of the quickest pass rushes in the League.  He has logged over 100 sacks in the NFL during his career and is off to a blistering pace in 2013 with 9.5 sacks through 5 games.
@rmathis_the1st
180 photos  7,100 followers

Shaun Phillips, Outside Linebacker (Denver Broncos)
The Broncos are on a roll this year and currently #1 in the power rankings.  While the offense is amazing, their defense has been incredibly good this year too.  Phillips is one of the reasons why the defense is so improved.  Coming over from San Diego this year, Phillips has brought an aggressive pass rush and has already logged 5.5 sacks through 5 games.  He is very active on IG having shared over 600 photos.
@shaunphillips90
620 photos  8,200 followers

Aldon Smith, Outside Linebacker (San Francisco 49ers)
Smith has quickly become one of the best pass rushers in the game.  In just his 3rd year in the league, he has already registered over 38 sacks.  He was second in 2012, with 19.5 sacks.  He has a bright NFL career ahead and a good player to follow on Instagram.
@aldonsmith
133 photos  165,000 followers

Defensive Backs

Thomas DeCoud, Safety (Atlanta Falcons)
DeCoud is in his 6th year in the NFL and has anchored the Falcons defensive backfield during that time.  He is a hit master logging over 330 tackles during his career.  He is also one of the most active NFL Instagram users sharing over 1,800 photos.
@twentyate28
1837 photos  16,500 followers

Patrick Peterson, Cornerback (Arizona Cardinals)
In his 3rd year in the NFL out of LSU, Peterson is widely considered one of the best cover corners in the NFL.  He has 12 interceptions over 2.3 years in the league and is an exciting player to watch.  He has not started sharing many photos yet but hopefully he will increase it in the near future.
@patrickpeterson21
21 photos  9,200 followers

Troy Polamalu, Safety (Pittsburgh Steelers)
In his 11th season in the NFL, Polamalu is probably best known for his long hair that he wears loose during games.  He has been the anchor of the Steelers defensive backfield for all 11 years and has over 30 career interceptions and over 660 combined tackles.
@tpolamalu
16 photos  62,000 followers

Verner on game day from @atv20
Alterraun Verner, Cornerback (Tennessee Titans)
One of the key reasons for the Titans resurgence in 2013 has been defense and Verner is a key part of that defense.  In his 4th years in the NFL, Verner has developed into top notch DB and already has 4 interceptions over the first 5 games of the year.
@atv20
313 photos  3,500 followers

Major Wright, Safety (Chicago Bears)
In his 4th season out of University of Florida, Major Wright is a key factor in the Bears takeaway-oriented defense.  During his 3.5 years, he has logged over 198 combined tackles, 9 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.
@lilmade21
191 photos  9,800 followers

Sunday, September 8, 2013

25 Top Offensive NFL Players on Instagram

Torrey Smith, Super Bowl celebration from @torreysmithwr
Finally, football season is here and our Sundays are scheduled up for the next several months!  If you are a huge NFL Football fan, like me, then I have just the thing to enhance your fan experience -- Instagram.  Huh, you mean that social media site that Facebook acquired?  I don't have time for social media, I have 3 fantasy football teams to manage.

Think again football fans -- Instagram is an excellent way to supplement your football fandom.  Many NFL players are using IG to share behind the scenes looks at life as a pro player.  Hundreds of players are on IG including some of the top names in the game.  And flipping through Instagram is easy on your smartphone.  It is the perfect activity during annoying commercials.

You can also follow all of the NFL teams on Instagram but I have not included them here because it is very easy to do a search on IG and find the official account for your favorite team.

Gear Up For NFL Sundays!I am starting this week with some of the top Offensive Players to follow on Instagram.  I will publish a second article next week with the top Defensive Players to follow.  I have put a lot of research into finding these players IG accounts because there are not verified accounts like on Twitter.  I hope you enjoy the article and follow many of these offensive players to enhance your NFL experience.

NOTE: Players are in alpha order by category. Please don't be offended if you could not find your favorite player, it probably means they do not have or are not active on IG.


Quarterbacks
There are not a lot of NFL Quarterbacks on Instagram, but luckily some of the most exciting young QBs are there:

Kaepernick with Desean Jackson from @kaepernick7
Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers)
Few NFL stories last season were as compelling as Colin's.  Taking over the team in Week 10  after an injury to Alex Smith, Kaepernick and the 49ers got on a roll that ended with them losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.  This will be Colin's first full year as a starter and the future is looking very bright in SF.
@kaepernick7
160 photos  625,000 followers

Matt Hasselback (Indianapolis Colts)
A long-time NFL starter for the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans, Matt is now the backup in Indy and helping to mentor Andrew Luck in his QB role.  Going into his 15th season in the NFL, Hasselback is the epitome of QB longevity.
@hassellback
230 photos  6,300 followers

Christian Ponder (Minnesota Vikings)
Christian Ponder is going into his 3rd season in the NFL after his playing his college ball at Florida State.  Ponder became the starter midway through his rookie season and was firmly entrenched last year throwing for over 2,900 yards in his sophomore year.  More importantly, he does not make a lot of mistakes (only 12 interceptions) so that the team can keep handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson.
@cpseven
45 photos  16,000 followers

Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)
Wilson came into camp his rookie year as a sure backup, but he impressed the coaches so much that he ended up starting the his entire rookie season.  He threw for over 3,100 yards his rookie year with a 100 QB rating.  He did not make a lot of mistakes and the Seahawks are a serious contender again.  Look for a great sophomore campaign this year.
@dangerusswilson
250 photos  138,000 followers


Running Backs
Running backs have been more active on IG and here are some of the top running backs to follow on Instagram.
Reggie and Calvin Johnson from @reggiebush

Reggie Bush (Detroit Lions)
One of the most exciting runners in the game, Reggie Bush has been in the media spotlight since his playing days at USC.  Now with his third NFL team, the Lions, he is teamed up with an explosive offensive that includes Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson.  He is as good of a pass catcher as runner so perfectly suited for the Lions offense.
@reggiebush
200 photos  276,000 followers

Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs)
Unless you play fantasy football, you might not have ever heard of Jamaal Charles because he plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.  However, he is one of the most dynamic young running backs in the game.  In his first 5 seasons in the NFL, he has rushed for over 1,000 yards in 3 of them and was out with a knee injury for one of those seasons.  In 2012, he gained for over 200 yards in two games demonstrating his explosive running abilities.
@djcharles25
440 photos  19,000 followers

Matt Forte at Camp for underprivileged kids @mforte22
Matt Forte (Chicago Bears)
Matt Forte is one of the most flexible RBs in the NFL.  In his first 5 seasons in the league he has combined for more than 1,400 total yards in 4 of them, including 2011 when he only played in 12 games.  He is a great pass catcher and a quick fast runner that can elude tackles both at the line or downfield.
@mforte22
80 photos  12,000 followers

Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans)
Going into his 6th season in the NFL, Chris Johnson is one of the most powerful runners in the game.  He has gained over 1,000 yards in each of his first 5 seasons in the league and ran for over 2,000 yards in second season, 2009-2010.  He probably would have gained even more yards playing with a more consistent offense.
@chrisjohnsontwo8
325 photos  19,000 followers

Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks)
Lynch is a large bruising back who is going into his 8th season in the NFL.  He has split time between Seattle and Buffalo and rushed for over 1,000 yards in 4 of his 7 seasons.  He is coming off his best year in 2012 when he gained over 1,500 yards.
Doug Martin signing autographs from @dougmartin22
@moneylynch24
45 photos  23,000 followers 

Doug Martin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Doug Martin was one of the most exciting rookies in the NFL in 2012.  He rushed for over 1,400 yards and had another 470 receiving yards during his rookie season, including a 251 yard effort against the lowly Oakland Raiders.  Bucs fans are excited about the future with this exciting Boise St player on the roster.
@dougmartin22
200 photos  12,000 followers

Alfred Morris (Washington Redskins)
Most of the rookie accolades last year went to the phenomenal RG3, however, another quiet rookie on the Redskins had a spectacular season, Alfred Morris.  A little known player out of Florida Atlantic University, Morris shocked the world to amass over 1,600 yards during his rookie campaign.  Redskins fans are quite happy with their two Sophomore superstars.
@thoroughbred_fred
69 photos  36,000 followers

Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
When healthy, Peterson is the currently the best in the game.  After rehabbing reconstructive knee surgery during most of 2011, Adrian came back last year to gain over 2,000 yards rushing and joining an elite group of running backs in history.  In only 6 seasons in the NFL, Peterson has racked up over 8,800 total yards.  He is not yet very active on IG, but only just got started.
@adp2k
24 photos  18,500 followers

CJ Spiller (Buffalo Bills)
Like the Denver Broncos, the Bills have a real knack for finding great running backs.  Their latest find is CJ Spiller out of Clemson.  Last year was a breakout year for Spiller, who gained over 1,700 combined rushing and receiving yards last year.  Fantasy fans expect more big things from Spiller in 2013-2014.
@cjspiller28
87 photos  25,000 followers


Receivers and Tight Ends
More than any other football group, the wide receivers and tight ends have embraced Instagram to share lots of photos and posts.  You will find three of the most prolific NFL sharers in this group including Desean Jackson, Vernon Davis and Torrey Smith.

Anquan Boldin (San Francisco 49ers)
Anquan is going into his 11th season in the NFL.  He played with Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona for the first 7 years and then played three seasons with the Ravens including getting a Super Bowl ring last year.  He is now with the 49ers and looking to get another ring with this contending NFC team.
@anquanboldin
54 photos  37,000 followers
Vernon Davis after practice from @vernondavis85

Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers)
One of the early adopters of Instagram, Vernon Davis is probably the most followed NFL player with over 1.1 million followers.  Vernon is a testament to the fact that you will gain more followers if you actively post photos and he has posted hundreds of photos for fans.  As one of the key components to the 49ers Super Bowl run, Davis is a must follow for any NFL fan.
@vernondavis85
740 photos  1.1 million followers

Desean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles)
Maybe the most prolific sharer in the NFL, Desean has posted over 1,300 photos on IG.  In his 6th season in the NFL, Desean is a speedster out of California (Berkeley).  He has gained for over 1,000 yards in 2 of his first 5 seasons and it could have been more if Philadelphia could get a consistent QB starter.
@jaccpot10
1300 photos  207,000 followers

Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)
There are three receivers in the NFL that you would come to mind for both greatness and longevity, Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson (Houston) and Steve Smith (Carolina).  Fitzgerald is going into his 10th season and has gained over 10,000 receiving yards in his first 9 years.  He is a sure NFL Hall of Famer and a must follow for true NFL fans.
@larryfitzgerald
120 photos  48,000 followers

Garcon signing autographs from @pierregarcon
Pierre Garcon (Washington Redskins)
In his 6th NFL season, Garcon started his career playing with Peyton Manning at Indianapolis but he spent a few years as a backup before getting the starting job in 2011.  He amassed over 900 yards receiving that year.  Last year, he moved to Washington to pair with RG3. He was hobbled by injury in 2012 and only played in 10 games but still caught 67 balls for over 600 yards.  Redskins fans are excited to see what a healthy RG3 to Garcon connection will produce in coming years.
@pierregarcon
91 photos  21,000 followers

A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals)
Often the third year is the breakout year for a wide receiver.  However, it is hard to imagine AJ Green getting better than his first two seasons in which he had over 1,000 receiving yards in both.  Last year, he caught 97 balls for 1,350 yards and 11 TDs.  He is a dynamic receiver who stands 6'4" and is nearly impossible to cover.  His future is very bright.
@ajgreen_18
140 photos  51,000 followers

Andre Johnson (Houston Texans)
Andre Johnson is often overshadowed by the other prolific Johnson receiver in the NFL, because he plays down in Houston and is less flashy than Calvin.  However, fantasy fans have known Andre is a consistent fantasy superstar for years.  Going into his 11th season in the NFL (all with Houston), Andre has gained over 11,000 yards receiving in his first 10 years.  He has 6 years of receiving over 1,000 yards, including 3 where he caught for over 1,500 yards -- thus his moniker ajohnson1500!
@ajohnson1500
140 photos  75,000 followers

Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons)
Julio is off to an amazing start to his NFL career.  In his first two seasons, he caught 133 balls for over 2,100 yards and 18 TDs.  He is a TD maker, with dynamic moves that lead to lots of yards after the catch.  Playing in the explosive Falcons offense will give Julio lots of chances to show of those moves in the years to come.
@juliojones_11
 82 photos  63,000 followers

Brandon Marshall (Chicago Bears)
Brandon Marshall clearly has a special relationship with QB
Jay Cutler. His first two full years with Cutler at the Broncos, he averaged about 1,300 yards per year.  During his next 3 seasons with other QBs, he only averaged 1,100 yards per season.  Then reunited this past years, Marshall exploded for 1,508 yards.  It will be exciting to see what they can do together in the years ahead.
Torrey & Coach Harbaugh - White House @torreysmithwr
@thebmarshall
100 photos  11,000 followers

Torrey Smith (Baltimore Ravens)
Like Vernon Davis, Torrey Smith is an incredibly active Instagram user sharing nearly 1,000 photos.  Given his breakout year with the Super Bowl Champion Ravens, Smith is a great follow for football fans.  Smith is going into his 3rd year out of Maryland and he caught over 900 yards in each of his first two seasons.  I am guessing, 2013-2014 produces his first 1,000 yard season as the go-to guy in Baltimore.
@torreysmithwr
914 photos  133,000 followers



Offensive Linemans 
I have to admit that the offensive lineman were the toughest group to research.  First, there is not a clear ranking of o lineman like you find with the scoring positions -- because of fantasy football.  Second, these guys fly below the radar.  They are not followed by as many of the typical outlets I use to find players on Instagram.  Having said that, I was able to find some of the top offensive lineman on Instagram and have shared them here.


Bryant McKinnie (Baltimore Ravens)
The Ravens offensive line is considered one of the top 10 in the NFL and McKinnie is one of the keys in this top line.  In his 12th year in the NFL, McKinnie has moved to the starting LT position for the 2013-2014 season.  McKinnie is also one of the most active IG users among NFL players having posted almost 1,000 photos.
@bryantmckinnie
967 photos  25,000 followers

Michael Oher (Baltimore Ravens)
Michael Oher brings both a Hollywood and NFL connection.  If you have seen the tremendous movie, The Blind Side, it is the story of Oher's life.  A heart warming story, Oher is a great NFL follow because you get some NFL, some Hollywood stars and a brief glimpse into the family behind the story.
@michaeloher
270 photos  50,000 followers

Joe Staley looking dapper with fiance' from @jstaley74
Wade Smith (Houston Texans)
Wade Smith is a the starting LG for the Texans, a Top 15 offensive line.  He is going into his 11th season in the NFL, all with the Texans.  The Texans continue to threaten a deep run to the Super Bowl so Smitty is a good follow for NFL fans.
@smitty74allday
200 photos  6,900 followers

Joe Staley (San Francisco 49ers)
Staley is a 7th year player with one of the Top 3 offensive lines in the NFL.  Staley is the LT anchoring the solid left side of the 49ers line. 
@jstaley74
143 photos  25,000 followers