Much like the countless social-media platforms to come before them, Vine and Instagram video each provide an unprecedented level of access to our favorite athletes and celebrities. Each new program that comes along seems to provide a more intimate look than the one prior.
Long gone are the days when athletes largely disappeared from the public consciousness when they weren’t competing. These days many of them are meticulously documenting every moment of their days and tweeting them out to an oddly fascinated audience.
Although, just because most athletes are sharing—and in a lot of cases oversharing—doesn’t mean they’re all worth following. The idea that simply being famous automatically makes everything someone says or does interesting—well that really isn’t true.
Some athletes seem to understand that more than others. So let’s take a look at a few of the athletes who have been killing it on Vine, and a few others who are just plain bad at it.
Player, Team: Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks
Twitter ID: @I_Am_Iman
The Knicks' Iman Shumpert doesn't post nearly enough Vines, considering he obviously has a knack for them. But when he does, they're pretty much as good as gold.
A few months ago he tweeted out this Vine with the caption, “Found me a mermaid…and brought her to #Aruba.” That was funny enough alone, but his face as the end of the video is priceless.
Player, Team: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Twitter ID: @JManziel2
Considering what an electrifying player (former) Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel is on the field, it’s especially disappointing he doesn’t offer up much of anything on Vine. Not that watching him throw a ball sucks or anything, but we already see a fair bit of that as it is.
Player, Team: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Instagram ID: dwyanewade
The Heat’s Dwyane Wade doesn’t post all that many videos to Instagram, and of the videos he does post, too many of them are of working out or commercial footage. That being said, there is the occasional gem that makes all the others worthwhile.
Anything that features his beautiful fiancee, actress Gabrielle Union, is likely to be a winner by virtue of her presence alone. But the weirdo mock concern about a potential bird attack in this video is what the internets is all about—hilarious nonsense.
Player, Team: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Instagram ID: kingjames
The Heat’s LeBron James may be a king on the basketball court, but the videos he posts to Instagram occasionally are a baron at best. This goofy display is as good as it gets. I’ll admit that I thought it was kind of funny at first, but then it started to really bother me.
Side note: Funny at first, but then it really started to bother me is the experience most people had with Dane Cook when he first became popular.
Player, Team: Anastasia Ashley, Surfer
Instagram ID: antastasiaashley
Sexy surfer Anastasia Ashley knows how to attract attention on social media. She’s not a Vine user, but she may be the best thing to happen to Instagram…ever. Ashley posts videos of herself in action regularly, and despite the usually terrible soundtrack, most are pretty good.
Player, Team: Gregory Smith, Houston Rockets
Instagram ID: g_smith4
Honestly, overall the Rockets’ Greg Smith is pretty entertaining on Instagram—not all posts are winners, obviously, but whose are? His videos are definitely less entertaining than his photos.
Most are video games, closeups of him sweating and talking and closeups of him talking or singing in the car. They're all pretty bad—except for the singing ones; this one actually made me laugh.
Player, Team: James Dockery, Carolina Panthers
Twitter ID: @JamesDockery31
Of the plethora of athletes I follow on Twitter, Panthers cornerback James Dockery actually posts some of my favorite Vines. They are kind of stupid—then again, most Vines are kinda stupid—but he’s almost always out doing something entertaining, and there’s just something about him.
Player, Team: Mike Davis, University of South Carolina
Twitter ID: @Mike28Davis
Running back Mike Davis is going to emerge as the next big star for the Gamecocks next season, but his Vine work needs a little more practice. People standing in line at the DMV, strangers at the gym and driving on a dark highway are not events worth commemorating.
Player, Team: Floyd Mayweather Jr., TMT
Instagram ID: floydmayweather
How you feel about boxer Floyd Mayweather’s videos on Instagram is likely to be tied to how you feel about Floyd Mayweather. If you like seeing the many ridiculous things he squanders his fortune on, then his videos are great. If you find him wasteful and ridiculous, then his videos are not great.
Personally, I think they’re great. Mayweather’s excessive spending and overly combative personality make for an overall entertaining presence on social media.
Player, Team: Lolo Jones, American Olympian
Twitter ID: @lolojones
If you really love Lolo Jones, perhaps you’ll also love her Vines because that’s exactly what you’re going to get—a whole lotta Lolo.
Lolo eating. Lolo typing on her computer. Lolo getting her hair down. Lolo riding on an airplane. Lolo working out. Lolo talking about working out before and/or after working out.
It’s just way too much Lolo.
Player, Team: Sydney Leroux, U.S. Women’s Soccer
Twitter ID: @sydneyleroux
American soccer star Sydney Leroux is like the wild child to teammate Alex Morgan’s girl next door/America’s sweetheart. Not that Leroux’s Vines are even close to salacious, but she’s definitely a bit more adventurous than Morgan, her BFF.
Player, Team: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Instagram ID: vernondavis85
Niners tight end Vernon Davis is a really entertaining follow, both on Twitter and Instagram. Unfortunately, his videos leave far more to be desired than his tweets and photos.
Cooking…laying in bed…driving around…sitting around doing nothing—these are the mundane events Davis has been meticulously documenting.
Player, Team: Earl Bennett, Chicago Bears
Instagram ID: earlbbennett
The Instagram videos of Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett aren’t funny or anything, but that’s not really what he’s going for. He uses them to capture fun little snippets of his life, which are far more entertaining than him talking to himself as he drives to work in the morning.
Player, Team: Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat
Instagram ID: mchalmers15
The Heat’s Mario Chalmers is like many athletes in that he seems to think the very best use of Vine and/or Instagram video is taking closeup videos of himself, with or without friends, in the dark, doing absolutely nothing. Unless you count rapping in the car or making mundane small talk as something, which I do not.
Player, Team: James Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons
Twitter ID: @J_Rodgers18
Former Oregon State wide receiver James Rodgers is currently on the Falcons practice squad, but based on the amazingness of this Vine alone, he should definitely be moved up to play with the big boys as soon as possible. It’s so simple…so stupid…so very funny.
Player, Team: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Twitter ID: @L_Bell26
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell really started to look like a legitimate starting running back down the stretch of his rookie season in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, most of his Vines would barely make the practice squad.
They’re all pretty much the exact same as this one, only he’s usually driving in his car or lying in his bed. Bell has some room to grow though. He’s already got the quantity aspect down, now it’s time to focus on quality.
Like this oddly hypnotic Vine he posted of his very scary cat.
Player, Team: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Twitter ID: @kobebryant
Lakers great Kobe Bryant is, quite simply, a very entertaining human being. On the court, off the court or on social media, when this guy talks, people listen. And when this guy posts a Vine of himself (at least I think it’s Kobe) jumping off a very high high dive, people watch.
Player, Team: Kenyan Drake, University of Alabama
Twitter ID: @KDx17
Kenyan Drake is one of countless talented running backs Alabama has on its roster on any given season, and if his workload continues to build as it has, you’ll be hearing a lot more of his name in 2014. That being said, on Vine he has more fumbles than touchdowns.
Player, Team: Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings
Twitter ID: @BlairWalsh3
Just like the kicking conditions outdoors in January, you never know what you’re going to get from Vikings kicker Blair Walsh on Vine, but it’s almost guaranteed to be fantastic. This compilation of the new punter who LOVES holding is just the beginning.
My only complaint about Walsh is that he doesn’t post new videos every day.