Twitter's logo is an innocent, delicate blue bird. Eight NFL players have been baited into controversial tweets, and the aforementioned bird evolved into a predatory vulture.
"Don't press send," a phrase repeatedly echoed by former NFL coach Herman Edwards.
A decade ago, "The past is the past" applied to the online community. Not anymore. The word "delete" doesn't exist in the celebrity lexicon—Twitter serves as proof of that.
To varying degrees, bird-brained decisions have impacted the following eight NFL players.
Two birds, one phone.
While conventional wisdom suggests to not count your chickens before they hatch, one would be wise to do a head count afterwards; at least if Houston Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson is in the neighborhood.
During an offseason vacation to the Dominican Republican, the former first-round pick vaguely detailed his trip with spontaneous updates.
Like any tourist, Jackson took in the usual sights: picturesque beaches that plaster desktop backgrounds, festive Caribbean nightlife and crazed roosters fighting for their livelihood in a blood sport.
Yes, Kareem Jackson tweeted multiple photos of a cockfighting tournament that he was legally attending.
Two live descriptions read:
My first time ever seeing chicken [sic] fight till the death [and] it was crazy...
Look at all these people that be at these chicken fights, you would think it's a college football game.
Two major distinctions, good sir: College football stadiums don't resemble modern teepees hosting caged gamblers; in college football, (South Carolina) Gamecocks' points involve goal lines, not flatlines.
When Arian Foster's name is mentioned, all preconceived jock stereotypes should be tossed in the dumpster.
Dating back to his college days at the University of Tennessee, Foster's story depicts an athlete that defies all odds.
Eyes widened after a breakout junior year, and his stock skyrocketed quicker than bottle rockets in July. However, head coach Phillip Fulmer convinced Foster to return for his senior season. To his chagrin, the future star was relegated to a running-back-by-committee role and split minutes in a newly implemented system.
Foster eventually jumped to the pros accompanying a disesteemed title of "undrafted free agent."
In a twist of unpredictability, the well-read ball carrier not only made the Houston Texans roster, but led the NFL in rushing as a first-year starter in 2010.
The uniqueness of Arian Foster's athletic journey is only rivaled by the quirkiness of his personality.
He wears bow ties in 2012. He only consumes meat in the name of football.
His latest book purchase? Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Key to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe.
The white stuff surrounding the muscle is known in the medical world as anti-awesomeness.
The "anti-awesomeness" would be more counterproductive than Foster's self-diagnosis initially hinted. The All-Pro missed four games last year and averaged the lowest YPC in his three-year career.
A highly touted running back who's intrigued by alternative lifestyles, boasts a peculiar disposition, professes his love for yoga and whose work ethic has been encircled by questions.
Remind you of anyone?
Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams is no stranger to controversy. The eighth-year veteran will miss the first six games of this season after testing positive for PEDs.
Recently, on June 8, Williams tweeted that his coaches wanted him to learn a new position.
Evidently, he is a firm subscriber to the theory that "seeing is believing." No. 55 attached a now-deleted picture displaying six Broncos formations.
Perplexed by his newfound criticism, Williams replied to one of his local cynics (@DJWilliam55):
@TheRealTmoney3 ok so you tell me what's the advantage?— Teflon Dyme (@DjWilliam55) June 8, 2012
Before tweeting the image, Williams should have asked himself the same question.
Let's state the obvious: Antonio Cromartie probably won't own a membership to Mensa any time in the near future.
10-8-6: No, that's not Rajon Rondo's stat line on an off night. Cromartie has fathered 10 kids by eight women in six states. By 2014, odds are favoring that the New York Jets cornerback hits the triple-double mark. During his infamous Hard Knocks interview, Cromartie even struggles naming his small army of children; if you look as if you're trying to mentally do your taxes while remembering your kids, you might consider Googling "vasectomy."
But that's just the foreword of this dramatic novel.
While still a member of the San Diego Chargers, the lengthy defensive back tweeted:
Man we have 2 have the most nasty food of any team. Damn can we upgrade 4 str8 years the same ish maybe that's y we can't we the SB we need.
If there's one NFL personality that undoubtedly knows his food, it's Rex Ryan.
Is it a coincidence that he joined the Jets the following season? Unlikely.
Fast-forward to last offseason. Players and owners engaged in a stagnant game of tug-of-war headlined by the collective bargaining agreement. As weeks continued to pass, even the optimists appeared dejected; Snooki was going to solve a Rubik's Cube before any documents were introduced to ink.
Then Antonio Cromartie conveyed his frustration stemming from the ongoing process. After criticizing everyone—from the owners to his fellow players—he drew the ire of his gridiron counterparts. Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck authored a tweet that implied Cromartie was clueless to what "CBA" stood for. Although it was deleted, the outspoken Jets cornerback eventually learned of the tweet.
"hey Matt if u have something to then say it be a man about it. Don't erase it. I will smash ur face in."
To quote Charles Barkley: "I am not a role model."
At certain points throughout his NCAA career, Reggie Bush's highlights previewed of a future where superhumans coexisted with incomparable, run-of-the-mill mortals.
The NFL served as the alarm clock to his fantasy; Bush has attempted to overcompensate for mediocre intangibles with extraordinary tangibles, but shortcuts only lead to dead ends on Sundays.
The New Orleans Saints disposed of Bush's talents in exchange for Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram.
When the Saints announced Ingram's name at the draft, Bush immediately tweeted, "It's been fun New Orleans."
Then, when the NFL lockout was at a standstill, he downplayed the significance of it:
Everybody complaining about the lockout! Shoot I'm making the most of it! Vacation, rest, relaxing, appearances here and there! I'm good! Right about now we would be slaving in 100 degree heat, practicing twice a day, while putting our bodies at risk for nothing.
After being simultaneously chastised by the media and fans, the dynamic playmaker still neglected the high road.
Instead, he set his sights on his longtime detractor: Skip Bayless.
reggie_bush: Skippy Skipper Skip Bayless said my performance on the field doesn't give me a right to speak my mind! But his performance does! MY BAD!
reggie_bush: This is an Official Challenge to 1 on 1 full gear and full contact with Skip Bayless! Plus a full conditioning drill and weight lifting!
reggie_bush: If I win he wears a 25 jersey and a dress plus makeup on his show, he wins he gets a full game check! I bet he won't accept my challenge!!!
RealSkipBayless: @reggie_bush: ANY TIME you want to meet in Central Park, NYC, and run the 8-mile loop, I'll be there. Then we can hit Gold's & lift weights
reggie_bush: @RealSkipBayless don't beat around the bush! I never once said I could do your job even though I can! You want some of this or what?
Keep in mind, Bayless was 60 years old and Bush was 26 when this, "You. Me. Flagpole. Now!" bedlam occurred. I don't know who that reflects poorer on.
In the end, Reggie Bush's tweets reek with the stench of self-entitlement and complacency.
Rashard Mendenhall's Twitter controversy sparked the most genuine outrage, bar none. Stating that the Pittsburgh Steelers running back suffered from a lack of judgment would be a gross understatement.
When news of SEAL Team Six's successful covert assassination of Osama Bin Laden broke, American streets were overcrowded by insuppressible joy. Differences instantaneously vanished for 24 hours, and 9/11's alleged mastermind encountered retribution face-to-face.
However, Mendenhall's response to the public elation would eternally condemn him in the eyes of some.
What kind of person celebrates death?
It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...
After the tailback gave credence to 9/11 conspiracy theories, a shallow grave evolved into an insurmountable abyss.
Considering the circumstances, and the fact that Flight 93 crashed roughly 80 miles outside of Pittsburgh, Rashard Mendenhall consciously chose to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
In the wake of loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last season—culminating in a dismal 0-4 start—Bernard Berrian proved that adversity is a test of accountability.
The Minnesota Vikings receiver claimed that he was constantly open (surprise!) and never targeted.
This is where Rep. John Kriesel—a double-amputee Iraq veteran that also serves as a significant booster—is introduced into the script.
Kriesel, presumably exasperated by another receiver's prima donna mindset, obviously wanted to strike a nerve and provoke the ninth-year receiver.
The respected politician initiated the buzz-worthy quarrel (@B_Twice):
@johnkriesel: If you want to follow a hilarious twitter account, try @B_Twice (Bernard Berrian) who says that he's open a lot and should get the ball more
@B_Twice: @johnkriesel anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them
@B_Twice: @johnkriesel and if not sit down n shut up!!
To the wide-out's credit, he may have been completely oblivious to whom he was demeaning.
But the war of words derived from Berrian's original tweet. He was disciplined by head coach Leslie Frazier, lost his starting job the next game and was eventually waived by the team 20 days after the incident.
No contest. No-brainer (take that how you want). KO before the bell rang—Heath "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" Herring-style.
If you're unfamiliar with Arizona's outspoken defensive end, imagine if Waldo Faldo and Roseanne had a lovechild who grew up with Charlie Sheen posters plastered across his bedroom walls. More or less, that's Darnell Dockett.
There's no muzzle on No. 90. At times, he appears utterly oblivious to the media spotlight that his athletic stature warrants. After scrolling through Dockett's tweets, he'll leave a bitter taste in your mouth or add two scoops of sugar to your cup of tea. Regardless, there's one guarantee: He'll incite a reaction.
His Twitter account tells stories of alligators eating Waffle House pancakes, unpardonable bets and more guns than a YouTube tribute to Michael Bay. It sounds like a Saturday night in Vegas with Hunter S. Thompson.
I just got the Letter from @peta lmfao! I'm gonna next day this sh*t right back to em! With a pic of me and NINO eating at Waffle house!— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) July 12, 2011
Yes, Darnell Dockett purchased an alligator. You know what comes next.
PETA sends a precautionary letter to Dockett, warning that his ownership of the alligator, "Nino" (which was purchased in Florida), will be deemed illegal in Arizona without a permit.
Undeterred, the defensive lineman taunts the animal-rights activists like a rebellious 13-year-old.
RT @Oprah: That tree shot is from my backyard. my favorite tree.------ I know and mann we had some good times on that tree! ;-) owwwww!— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) April 4, 2011
Dockett likes Oprah.
Like a good neighbor state farm is there with Oprah in boy shorts *still waiting*— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) March 26, 2011
He likes her a lot. She personified perseverance and became a paradigm of the American Dream. Her biography paints a rags-to-riches life story, and she gradually evolved into a worldwide icon. As the 20th century unfolded, Oprah blossomed into a female role model while never abandoning her roots.
To millions of people spanning the globe, Oprah symbolizes class.
To one person in Glendale, she's an international sex symbol.
Damn I almost brung my "ROCKET" into work this morning like gilbert arenas. But mine was by accident it was in my book bag.— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) August 31, 2011
Darnell Dockett is facetious by nature. His tweets are often lined with tongue-in-cheek humor; on this occasion, he should've bitten his tongue.
In trying to make light of a Arenas' senseless decision, Dockett confirmed that he's not the brightest crayon in the box.
So Fresh and so Stream
I'm bout to take a shower and listen to candy rain by soul 4 real!!! This is the way I relax my body, mind, spirit & soul!, #TheDockettway— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) August 24, 2011
The above tweet illustrates Darnell Dockett's unbridled adoration of showering, but it's not the one that landed him in hot water. (Still, there's something disturbing about a defensive end belting high notes to a '90s-boy-band love song.)
Let's begin with this: If a story involves a nearly 300-pound man, a shower and a washcloth, it's common courtesy to include a warning/disclaimer that precedes any evidence. In other words, if somebody clicks an article headlined, "Darnell Dockett: Shower Video 'Wrong,' 'Not Appropriate,'" (NSFW or most retinas) the first thing they see shouldn't look like a scene from a D'Angelo video.
In a series of now-deleted tweets, the Cardinals' run-stuffer accepted a bet that claimed he wouldn't stream video of himself showering. Unfortunately, football players are competitive by nature and commonly obsessed with one thing: "Winning!"