UPDATE 3/9/13: A related article about this topic around the NFL recently posted on Bleacher Report.
We’ve all wondered at some point what it would be like to be famous. Many of those dreams are to be a famous, or even legendary, athlete. As we all have observed, once that status is achieved the spotlight is on whether you like it or not. While we dream away about being a world champion, setting unbreakable records or achieving some other wishful off-the field glory as a side-effect to the achievements, does your dream ever include how you would run your Twitter?
- Are you going to use it to thank your family, friends and teammates for support?
- Are you going to use it to go “extreme public” on your meltdown at practice?
- Are you going to converse with your fans about your favorite Super Bowl commercial?
Below are just some “big tweeters” from around the NFL that have well-documented their paths of trials, tribulations, victories and validations of their football careers via the platform.
Ray Lewis (@raylewis) is the star for the Baltimore Ravens who will be in next week’s Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers. Not withstanding the usual animosity between Colts and Ravens fans (Indianapolis “stole” the Colts from Baltimore in 1984 in several getaway tractor-trailors), Lewis has won general favor with his insightful and classy tweets the gridiron over.
Rashard Mendenhall (@R_Mendenhall) ignited a firestorm and lost an endorsement deal with Champion apparel due to comments made about Osama bin Laden and 9/11.
Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) has experienced many social media ups and downs in his young career. Tweets about his strong religious faith have both divided and excited fans. His meteoric rise as an emerging star with the Denver Broncos, followed by a loss of the starting quarterback spot and subsequent trade to become a cast-away back-up with the New York Jets has allowed him to show humility and grace, mixed in with a never-ending fiery competitiveness of a gritty athlete wanting to climb back on top.
Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson (@ochocinco). Oh, just read the tweets. One of the most postively colorful and downright mean and controversial characters (now retired) to have ever donned an NFL uniform. My personal favorite tweet was when he he enticed and then bought 64 lucky followers dinner at St. Elmo’s when the Bengals visited Lucas Oil Stadium for a game. He likely would have invited more but that was the capacity of the room that was available.
Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) is a Super Bowl champion coach, proud father and husband, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and in a long list of awards recently became recipient of the Teddy Roosevelt Award, given each year by the NCAA to one former student-athlete that has changed the world for the better. Prepare to be inspired on a daily basis when you follow this guy.
If those aren’t enough there are plenty of compiled lists of the “best of” the NFL on twitter.
If the NFL isn’t your thing, scoot on over to Lance Armstrong’s verified account @lancearmstrong to see how he’s coping with his “recent” public fallout.