Twitter has been both a blessing and a curse for sports fans. On the one hand, it gives us unprecedented access to the thoughts of our athletic heroes, as we can hear directly from them about contract disputes, workouts, and their deepest thoughts.
On the other hand, it gives us unprecedented access to the stupidity of our athletic heroes, as we can hear directly from them about their small minds, prejudices and (sometimes) just plain asininity. That’s why this is a thing.
Intelligent, thoughtful and provocative tweets from athletes are a wonderful window into what makes teams and players tick.
Ridiculous, insensitive and moronic tweets seem a lot more common.
Of course, the first kind of tweet isn’t nearly as fun to talk about, so everybody get ready to point and laugh at some first-class buffoonery!
There is too much material to work with to winnow out the best few tweets, so we are going to separate this out by player, Price is Right style.
It goes without saying, I think, that if a guy makes this list he is a must follow. For enlightenment, of course.
Victor Cruz, Come on down! You're the first contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
In the wake of the George Zimmerman trial, lots of folks were pretty upset. Of course, most folks don't have the opportunity for millions of dollars in Madison Avenue endorsements, and Cruz has made no secret of his desire to take advantage of that opportunity.
It was pretty surprising, then, that Cruz pressed send on this immediately-retracted-and-apologized-for (IRAAF) tweet.
"Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up to him"
Cruz is still on his team, though, and doesn't seem to have suffered too much in image, so this one is relatively low on the scale of stupidity.
Stupid scale: 5/10
Roddy White, Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
White, like fellow Pro Bowl wideout Cruz, also popped off after the Zimmerman verdict. White was, shall we say, a shade less diplomatic.
"F***ing Zimmerman got away with murder today wow what kind of world do we live in"
"All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid"
Ouch, Rod. Clearly the correct solution to the injustice of a young man being shot and killed is for six uninvolved people to also be killed. You stay classy.
This one gets better, though. Exactly one week later, White had this gem for us: "I will do anything to protect my reputation just make sure you tell them that."
Here's a hint: step one to protect your reputation is to shut off twitter, you dope. Here's hoping you don't take my advice, though, because then who would I make fun of?
Stupid scale: 7/10
Stevie Johnson, Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
We are exiting the Zimmerman portion of our show, but we are not finished with stupid wide receivers.
In 2011, Stevie Johnson started to break out with the Bills. He made some big plays, caught some TDs and had a monster game in a win over the Bengals (3 TDs).
The week after the Bengals win, Johnson had 3 drops against the Steelers. The last one was in the endzone, in overtime, on a perfect pass.
Many athletes in that circumstance would be shellshocked, humbled, maybe humiliated. Not our boy Johnson! How could he take the blame himself when we all know God takes a hand in sporting events?
"I PRAISE YOU 24/7AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO..."
Wow, sort of the opposite of how to approach that, huh? WWTD? Rhetorical question, Tebow would Tebow.
Johnson is a gift that keeps on giving though.
"War is nothing to be played with. I apologize North Korea .... but if ya’ll do bomb 1st... Bomb Foxboro, Mass. Sincerely, #BillsMafia"
Let's see, a plea to a crazed dictator to drop a nuke on us, and a reference to belonging to organized crime, AND a diss of a hated rival all in 140 characters? If only we could all be as efficient as Stevie Johnson!
Stupid Scale: 5/10
Chad Ochocinco/Johnson/Whateveryournameis, Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
Yep, more wide receiver shenanigans. It's like they all got together and decided to make an All-Pro team of public stupid!
To be fair, the artist formerly known as Johnson has never needed twitter to be a dope, but it has helped.
Exactly one week after the NFL made a rule against tweeting during a game, guess who got a $25,000 fine for doing just that?
"Man Im sick of getting hit like that, its the dam preseason s**t! 1day I’m gone jump up and start throwing hay makers, #Tylenolplease."
Wow, complaining about getting hit in a football game, during a football game, on social media, within days of that being outlawed. I don't think $25,000 was enough for this knucklehead.
Stupid Scale: 8/10
Jabar Gaffney, Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
Ok, no more wide receivers after Gaffney, I promise. This one had to make the list though.
See, Gaffney once played for the Redskins. The 'Skins biggest rival is the Cowboys. The Cowboys have dominated said rivalry for most of the last 15 years, and in November 2011 had ripped D.C.'s heart out once again.
Gaffney took to twitter, and had the following exchange with a fan:
"Fan - lmao 3-9
Gaffney - we 3-7 u dumb f---
Gaffney - 3-7 ain't a record to be proud of I'm just proud I ain't you get a life or kill urself"
Oof. Roddy White told the world that he thought six women should commit suicide, this guy told the fan directly to commit suicide. White at least joined the IRAAF club. Gaffney continued the next day.
"They say I can't tell people to kill themselves didn't know freedom of speech had limitations so I'll just say #uknowwhattodo #HTTR better?"
Yes, Jabar, that is much better. Thank you for coming to your senses and having a truly enlightened exchange of ideas with a person holding an opposing viewpoint. Your amazing inroads to a more civil society will not soon be forgotten.
Stupid Scale: 9/10
Darnell Dockett, Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
Whew, finally got away from the wideouts. We can't escape the stupid, though.
Dockett didn't exactly tell anyone to kill themselves, but he did give us a long play-by-play of a traffic stop.
Please bear in mind, the spelling ahead is worth ticketing but is how he sent it out to the world.
"I asked the cop why he pulled me over he said I was speeding I said BULLS**T! But give me the ticket that's when he asked to search my car!"
A little vehement for a simple speeding stop, that's not typically the way to get along with the police. Chris Rock gave this secret out years ago.
"I think they (POLICE) going to get a search warrant cuz they sitting here looking like fools waiting on something!"
Hmm, you self professed that you were angry and aggressive with them, they certainly see you on your phone tweeting like mad, there's no way that could possibly be construed as suspicious behavior.
"OK so now I think they letting me Go cop just brought my DL's and registration! Yeah I'm bout to be out this MOFO!"
Oh, so Dockett isn't being arrested for crimes he didn't commit? Shocking.
"No ticket and I didn’t get punk by PO-PO today now I’m off to my 2nd work out! Police ain’t searchig my sh*t with no warrant “holla at me”!"
I actually have to give him a little bit of props here. He certainly was provoking the police with his earlier behavior, but stood on his rights. In the end that worked. That reduces his grade a bit, but he definitely could have made his experience easier with a nicer attitude and less twitter.
Stupid Scale: 6/10
Rashard Mendenhall, Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
Mendenhall gets the press here, because we're talking about tweets. Another running back was complicit in his idiocy though.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, all-universe running back Adrian Peterson commented "It's modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too."
Right, getting paid millions of dollars to play a game is exactly like slavery. Good thinking, Adrian, way to get the public on your side.
On twitter, Mendenhall told us all just how right Peterson really is.
"Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel each other."
Wow, way to call us out for not knowing our history Rashard! I had no idea you guys were all kidnapped by neighboring tribes, sold to Europeans and shipped across the Atlantic in cramped, disease-ridden ships before being sold again! Now it all makes sense!
Of course, like most of the other folks on this fine list, Mendenhall had more room for foot in his mouth. A scant two months later, he let us know how wrong our perspective is on 9/11.
"What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they never even heard speak. We've only heard one side..."
That was Mendenhall's reaction to Osama bin Laden's death. You know, the guy who orchestrated the attack on American soil that killed three thousand civilians. The guy who sent us tapes of his side of the story, telling us he wanted us all dead.
"We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."
What? We'll never know what really happened?
We know exactly what happened, that's why we were chasing bin Laden in the first place! Apparently somebody forgot to tell Mendenhall that Loose Change has more holes in it than the Bunny Ranch.
Stupid Scale: 10/10
Larry Johnson, Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Tweet Is Dumb!
I know you remember Johnson. He's the guy that averaged eight yards per carry for Penn State during a 2,000 yard season. He set records for Kansas City during his pro career.
And his coach once said he wore diapers.
I think we know now what Vermeil was getting at, because Johnson clearly wasn't grown up enough to control himself.
Johnson began his personal train wreck by attacking his coach. Nothing new in this stuff.
"my father got more creditentials than most of these pro coaches. … google my father!!!!!!!"
"My father played for the coach from “rememeber the titans”. Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefley. Our coach. Nuthn"
Johnson is clearly confusing the ability to play with the ability to coach, something Mike Singletary might be able to teach him about. He was just getting started, though.
A fan started getting on Johnson's case about his disturbing the peace charge (Johnson spit in a woman's face) and LJ responded with the most intelligent possible put-down: he questioned the other guy's sexuality.
"think bout a clever diss then that wit ur f****t pic. Christopher street boy. Is what us east coast cats call u."
Let me save you the trip to Google. Christopher Street is a street in New York City which has become famous as a symbol of the city's gay pride movement.
Johnson wasn't done. Of course he wasn't!
"Make me regret it. Lmao. U don’t stop my checks. Lmao. So “tweet” away."
Hmm, twitter users might not stop his checks, but the Chiefs might.
The following day, reporters crowded around Johnson to ask him about the tweets. He didn't answer their questions directly, but he gave them all they needed - "Get your f****t ass out of here," he told them.
The NFL's immediate investigation of these incidents led to a one game suspension and a $213,000 fine, making this by far the most costly entry on this list.
Putting it out of reach permanently was his subsequent cut from the Chiefs roster. Johnson never played another snap for the Chiefs, and never got meaningful carries again.
Stupid Scale: Broken. It can't handle this much stupid.