It was 9:00 p.m. on the evening of November 30, 2021, when Travis Davidson logged on to host his very first Twitter space. His idea was simple. Lincoln Riley had just left Oklahoma for USC two days earlier. Travis wanted to host a Twitter space for OU fans to express themselves and hear the latest rumors on coaching news. Thus, OU Rumors and News was born.
Davidson had a basic understanding of how Twitter Spaces worked, but like everyone else at the time, it was still a relatively unknown outlet.
“They were almost like a book club, where people would sit in the afternoons and talk,” Davidson said of the Twitter spaces he listened to.
So he had an idea of how he was going to run OU Rumors and News. He was going to run it like a radio show. He would serve as host, bring along a few co-hosts, and the thousands of people listening would have to ask to speak. Almost like taking a live phone call. It was organized and it worked right away.
“It was a really big time for social media because people were looking for information about finding coaches and bashing Lincoln Riley,” Davidson said. “The first night we went from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Over 2,000 people joined. We were the biggest Twitter space on the app for four consecutive nights.
“The second night, I received several messages asking if I was going to start again. So we did. It was 1 am and I was so tired, but there were 1,500 people and the conversation was was going well. I really needed to go to bed. So I was silent. If the host shuts it down, it shuts down the whole space. I didn’t want to be so selfish and shut it down because I was tired. So I went to sleep and just let the space run. I woke up at 8am and there were still over 300 in the space and we were all asleep.
George Foreman has joined the Twitter space, along with former OU players and even journalists from around the world. There’s even a story where a rookie’s dad joined OU Rumors and News to see how the fanbase was talking about his players and coaches. He was blown away by the attitude of the fans, compared to other spaces he had been to. His son eventually signed with the Sooners.
“I think at this point a lot of people were so new to Twitter Spaces, I think they were trying to learn how they could use them,” Davidson said. “It was great for journalists because they could get the inside scoop just by listening to others.”
Needless to say, Davidson’s dive into Twitter Spaces was a huge success. For two consecutive weeks, thousands of people have joined in to hear the latest rumors and updates on the OU’s football schedule. The Wall Street Journal and ESPN.com even wrote about Davidson and the incredible online success he was having. But someone else noticed it too. It happened to be the radio station I worked at, The REF in the Oklahoma City market.
What started as a radio hit to talk about the success of his Twitter spaces, as well as Lincoln Riley’s move to Los Angeles without giving Davidson back his two smokers, led to a weekly spot on our station, which led to an opportunity to co-host the OU Spring Game post-game show, which has now led to an opportunity to co-host with me every Friday from 3-6 p.m. during the offseason, starting of May 13. This all happened in the space of about five months.
He is a shining example of the new era of sports media. If you’re willing to think outside the box to find new talent, you can find amazing people. For people who have made a name for themselves on Twitter or digital platforms, there’s never been a better time to get discovered by a traditional platform like radio.
Bunkie Perkins is a Twitter account synonymous with the humorous side of college football. He also tweets about golf, pro wrestling and Ole Miss. With over 43,000 followers, he’s an incredible following on social media. In 2016, Tony Kornheiser even brought up the account on an episode of PTI.
Before the Twitter account launched, the man behind Bunkie Perkins’ Twitter account had a sports blog. He had a decent following, which would soon follow on social media.
“So I had, I don’t know if you want to call it an in-follow, but some people who followed me,” Perkins said. “It’s just an organic crop. Honestly, I don’t really care about this point. It’s great for what it is, and it’s not great for what it is either. I’m just trying to find a middle ground somewhere in there.
He has a job outside of sports medicine that is unrelated. Truth be told, he uses the Twitter account only for fun and entertainment. There is no hard pressure for this to turn into another professional opportunity.
“I get asked to go on radio shows and do podcasts, but at this point I’m really only going to do it if it’s a friend of mine,” Perkins said. “I think the most successful thing that has come out of my account is the legit friends I’ve made. A good example is I’m currently in Eugene, OR, going golfing with the guys at No. Laying Up. We started an online friendship that led to us hanging out several times a year and playing golf. That’s more important to me.”
Both Davidson and Perkins have built an incredible following, but have different preferences about what they want out of it. While Davidson is ready to pursue his newfound passion for sports radio, Perkins is more interested in forming potential friendships and not taking the app too seriously.
Davidson will excel in sports radio. I’ve done enough weekly spots with him to know he’s a perfect fit for our station, but I was blown away when we hosted the two-hour postgame show together after the spring game. ‘WHERE. In an honest attempt not to inflate his ego or inflate my resort’s recent hire, we hit it off immediately and he asked some good questions of the many guests we had on hand. He’s informed, but he also has a great on-air presence.
How can a guy with no radio experience get on the air and be awesome? Has hosting the Twitter space had a huge impact on this?
“I think the Twitter spaces absolutely helped,” Davidson said. “It was my training to get into radio, because of the way I ran it. I ran it specifically as a talk show. I was the host and had a few co-hosts and ran the show. It got to the point where people in administration were contacting me and asking me to steer the conversion away from Lincoln Riley and more towards Bob Stoops and positivity around the program. They knew I had the ear of the fans. It was definitely part of my training.
“Second, I feel like I consume a lot of media. One of my favorite interviewers is Sean Evans with The hottest. I think he might be the best interviewer there is. I tend to be interested in people who are really good interviewers or entertainers on air. I think it faded, simply because it’s what I like to consume.
But why radio? Davidson could have easily started a YouTube show on his own or brought his talents to a larger digital forum. What is his attraction for sports radio?
“I like talking with knowledgeable people,” Davidson said. “Most of my sports discussions take place on Twitter. Not a ton of people on Twitter are aware of the argument, since many of them are more in your category of listener. They are on Twitter to be informed. It’s a lot of mud swimming, this guy really knows what he’s talking about, let’s have some theories with this guy, I can learn from this guy, all that kind of stuff.
“Second, Twitter is like a microwave oven. Your points have to be quick and catch on. That’s why hot takes live on Twitter. There’s a character limit. With radio, it’s more an oven. It’s all a cooked meal. The microwave is good for popcorn, but if you want the Sunday roast, you want to let it cook. The radio gives you time to have a really good argument and to have very good points.
Regardless of what happens to them, Davidson won’t stop his Twitter OR Rumors and News spaces and Perkins won’t stop cracking hilarious jokes on Twitter. Well, unless a particular thing happens.
“I have a running gag on Houston Nutt and I’ve always said the day he gets a coaching job is the day I quit Twitter,” Perkins said. “I can take it or leave it a bit at this point, I like it, especially during sporting events and it’s fun to follow while you’re watching games, or if something crazy happens. At some point given, you tire of Twitter. I like to be funny. I think I’m relatively funny and I follow a lot of people who are relatively funny. If I find a joke and tweet it and some people like it, that’s is all I need on Twitter.