It’s 2011. You know this, but I’m repeating it because that’s what people do when they try to establish how wild and crazy these times are, what with gadgets and technology and the hippin’ and the hoppin’ and the bippin’ and the boppin’ and all.
It’s 2011, and in 2011 we rarely go a day without a professional athlete making a fool of himself via social media.
But even by 2011 standards, today has been a particularly big day for NFL player mishaps on Twitter. And it’s still only 2:00 p.m. on the west coast.
Three football players made waves online this morning. Two are big-time running backs. Two are already members of the Social Media Hall of Fame located inside my imagination.
It all started at around 8:00 ET this morning when Arian Foster, the league’s reigning rushing champion, revealed an MRI of his injured hamstring to his 57,000-plus followers.
Now, I don’t follow a lot of players on Twitter because, frankly, most of them are self-important douchebags who say nothing to enhance my online experience. But Foster is an exception. He’s insightful and funny and clever and he usually says and does the right things. Last week, he sparked a merited debate regarding how fans view injured players in a fantasy-dominated sports world.
I don’t think tweeting a picture of his MRI was necessarily a bad decision, but Foster had to realize that the know-it-alls in the sports media sphere would jump all over the image with amateur or third-party diagnoses. They did, and now Foster is trying to clear things up:
At around 10:00 a.m. ET, Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals — who you may remember from such Twitter mishaps as “Here I am coming out of the shower!” and “PETA says you can’t have that alligator” — added a new digital blunder to his impressive résumé by revealing to his 84,000-plus followers that he almost accidentally brought a gun to work.
Now, Dockett didn’t break any laws and, thankfully, found the gun in his bag before leaving for the team facility. But here’s the problem: Dockett has a young child. If he’s careless enough with his nickel-plated Glock .40 that it “accidentally” finds its way into his book bag, who’s to say he isn’t careless enough to let it get into the wrong hands? The guy should know where his firearms are at all times, and he probably should avoid tweeting about them. At all times.
But the highlight of a day of Twitter calamity came this afternoon at around 1:30 ET when Chris Johnson, who is locked in a wicked holdout, decided to tell his “fake fans” to “STFU” on his timeline. “I don’t have a regular job so don’t compare me to you,” he wrote, “and I can care less if you think I’m greedy.” (In case you aren’t aware, here’s what STFU means.)
When Johnson says “fake fans” I can only assume he means fans who prioritize the Titans first and Johnson second, which in my opinion constitutes a real fan. It’s clear, and yet not at all surprising, that his ego has caused him to separate his fans from fans of the team. What he doesn’t realize is that the majority of his supporters only support him because they support the Titans. If he leaves as a free agent or gets traded or makes a conscious decision not to play, he’s liable to lose that support.
Tweets like these won’t help him with any of his fans.
Just another day in 2011.