Twitter reaction to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s 80-yard overtime touchdown pass Sunday night reached 9,420 tweets per second, placing the event in the number two spot on Twitter’s most-tweets-per-second list.
The game-winning moment surpassed onstage confirmation of Beyonce’s pregnancy during MTV’s Video Music Awards in August (8,868 TPS) but fell well short of besting the online buzz sparked by Japanese anime movie Castle in the Sky in December (25,088 TPS).
Twitter announced the new sports record Monday with this tweet:
Last night @TimTebow lead the @Denver_Broncos to an overtime playoff win and a new sports Tweets per second record: 9420
— Twitter (@twitter) January 9, 2012
During Sunday’s AFC wild-card playoff game, Tebow threw a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in overtime to upset the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23. The social web immediately reacted — and still is — as six Broncos-related topics are currently trending on Google. The top topic: Bible verse “John 3:16,” which Tebow emblazoned on black eye paint during the 2009 BCS Championship game. On Sunday, Tebow broke the yards-per-completion record with 31.6 and threw for 316 passing yards. The number comparisons lit up Twitter as did congratulatory tweets, dismay from Steelers fans and commentary about the NFL’s new overtime playoff rules.
SEE ALSO: Now Recognized as a Word, ‘Tebowing’ Meme Spreads Worldwide
The sports moment that previously held the highest spot (now ranked fifth) on the list was the end of the FIFA Women’s World Cup final match between the U.S. and Japan in July.
Top 15 Tweets-Per-Second Moments
- 1) Castle in the Sky airs (25,088 tweets per second on Dec. 9, 2011): Anime movie Castle in the Sky was televised in Japan.
- 2) Tim Tebow’s overtime touchdown pass (9,420 tweets per second on Jan. 8, 2012): See above.
- 3) MTV Video Music Awards (8,868 tweets per second on Aug. 28, 2011): “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside me,” Beyonce said during her performance, confirming she and husband, Jay-Z, will have a baby. At the end of the song, she dropped her mic, unbuttoned her top and rubbed her baby bump.
- 4) Troy Davis executed (7,671 TPS on Sept. 20, 2011): Twitter caught fire in a last-minute effort to save convicted murderer Troy Davis from execution. Davis, who was sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer in Georgia, was put to death the next day.
- 5 and 6) FIFA Women’s World Cup (7,196 and 7,166 TPS on July 17, 2011): On this day, the World Cup set two new records for number of tweets sent per second: the end of the final match between the U.S. and Japan as well as the Paraguay vs. Brazil game. The records were later broken by the events listed above.
- 7) Steve Jobs resigns (7,064 TPS on Aug. 25, 2011): “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,” Steve Jobs wrote in a resignation letter. Apple tapped Tim Cook as the new CEO the same day.
- New Year’s Day in Japan (6,939 TPS on Jan. 1, 2011): As the clock passed midnight on the first day of 2011, Twitter users in Japan turned to Twitter to wish the world a Happy New Year. Twitter use increased immensely across the globe as each time zone entered 2011. This map visualization that shows activity.
- 9) BET Awards (6,436 TPS on June 27, 2011): This year’s BET Awards featured heavy social media integration before and during the broadcast. But what set viewers off was the awkward series of events surrounding the Viewer’s Choice Award reveal. Because of technical difficulties, contest winner Tiffany Greene declared Chris Brown the winner but then said the award actually belonged to Rihanna.
- 10) UEFA Champions League (6,303 TPS on May 28, 2011): Barcelona defeated Manchester United, 3-1, in the final match.
- 11) Steve Jobs passes away (6,049 TPS on Oct. 6, 2011): Steve Jobs died Oct. 5 and many fans discussed his passing through tweets. The hashtag #RIPSteveJobs immediately became a trending topic. Since his passing, the world — including U.S. President Barack Obama, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — has mourned his death and celebrated his achievements.
- 12) NBA Finals (5,531 TPS on June 13, 2011): Press conference comments along with a tweet from LeBron James after his team lost in the NBA Finals sparked a firestorm of responses via Twitter. His tweet said, “The Greater Man upstairs know when it’s my time. Right now isn’t the time.” Most replies were negative.
- 13) Japanese earthquake and tsunami (5,530 TPS on March 11, 2011): Twitter turned into an emergency go-to service for many following an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Japan’s coast. Tweet-o-Meter reported that 1,200 per minute were coming from Tokyo when the phone system’s went down.
- 14) East Coast earthquake (5,449 TPS on Aug. 23, 2011): More than 40,000 earthquake-related tweets were sent minutes after it struck, hitting a rate of about 5,500 tweets per second.
- 15) Raid on Osama bin Laden (5,106 TPS on May 2, 2011): Before Obama’s press conference about Osama bin Laden’s death, Twitter was very active with speculation and subsequent confirmation from officials and news outlets (see gallery below).
The White House tweeted this at 11:35 p.m. ET. shortly after President Barack Obama spoke the words during a live statement.
Click here to view this gallery.
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