CHARLESTON, W.Va. — From favorite pizza in West Virginia to best high school basketball coach, Charleston native Chris Wade has let his couple thousand Twitter followers express their opinions in a unique way.
Known as ‘C Wade 3’ and ‘@cgatorwade’ on the social media website, his heated Twitter polls have been under the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic and he has developed a growing following.
Wade, a 1998 graduate of DuPont High school in Kanawha County, said no matter the category these days, the polls garner attention and hundreds of votes.
“During the pandemic, a lot of people said they needed content. So during the pandemic, I tried to continue to build and come up with different polls and tournaments. I thought people would enjoy it and it took off on me a little bit,” Wade said.
Wade said to begin his next tournament, he heads to the internet to scout out expert lists on certain categories. Whether if it’s the best character in The Office, best rock band, favorite foods, best athletes at WVU and Marshall, or high school coach overall, he then asks his over 2,000 followers for their input. If it’s food, Wade typically travels around the state to try the options himself.
He said he often hears from the people for who to put in the sometimes 64-item head-to-head tournaments, especially dealing with sports in West Virginia. Wade has plenty of knowledge of West Virginia sports himself, working as a stringer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail since 2003 and working for the WVSSAC tournaments.
Last chance to get someone added to the best high school football coach tournament that kicks off tomorrow night. pic.twitter.com/Q7gfMytJXS
— C Wade 3 (@cgatorwade) February 22, 2021
However, what has been the most popular voter turnout?
“I did a pizza tournament. That took off and probably the biggest one I’ve ever done. It had a lot of votes and RTs,” Wade said.
Pizza Place in the Parkersburg area was crowned the #WVPizzaWars2020 champion by C Wade 3’s crowd against Husson’s Pizza 65% to 35%. The poll conducted on April 7, 2020 received 670 votes.
As the tournaments have grown into a statewide feel, Wade has been certain adjustments to make sure the results stay fair. He has set his account to private so you must be a follower to vote. He said before that move, polls often turned into being dominated by certain areas based on retweets and resulted in questionable results.
Wade said he has gained dozens of followers throughout the pandemic.
“I have had people make comments that didn’t have sports, especially when there were no sports at all. You couldn’t even watch a game on TV or anything. A lot of people have indicated that they really enjoy the polls and it gives them sports content,” he said.
Wade has produced several dozen poll tournaments hitting all kinds of categories. He said not to fear, his followers have plenty more voting to do in the future past the pandemic.
“Even though the tournaments have been year-round, I have not run out of topics yet. I’ve got five or six different tournaments in my mind to come,” he said.