Sports Figures Who Need Twitter Lessons

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2014

Sports Figures Who Need Twitter Lessons

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    The truth is, we can't all be good at Twitter.

    Life isn't fairit doesn't work that way. Not all of us are able to use the social media giant to our advantage and walk around with multiple retweets hanging over our shoulder like a championship belt.

    Sports figures don't get a free pass. Just because they are involved in our culture doesn't mean they can't be criticized for their lack of social media artistry.

    Masters of their craft like Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett and New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith are diamonds in the rough. For all of the legends out there on Twitter, there are whole crops of athletes, coaches and media personalities who are abysmal at it.

    Let's now venture into the slideshow and check out who desperately needs lessons when it comes to the almighty Twitter.

Donovan McNabb

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    There was once a time not too long ago that the ex-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was actually a guy you rooted for.

    Football McNabb was entertaining on the field. Twitter McNabb is just a whole bunch of boring, seasoned in boring sauce, with a cold, frothy mug of dull to wash it down. He rarely posts anything worth talking about on his feed. It's usually generic questions or obvious pieces of commentary tied together. Take this gem for example:

    1 man can't do it alone, it take a solid discipline team to win championship. Strong minded, discipline &grit. Better known as bench play

    — Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) June 16, 2014

    Thanks, Donovan. We all learned about the "one-man-can't-do-it theory" when LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers were mutilated by the San Antonio Spurs during the 2006-07 NBA Finals.

    McNabb needs a social media tutor so he can learn how to properly interact with 51,000 followers.


    Twitter handle: @donovanjmcnabb

Dick Vitale

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    This is extremely painful to put into words because Dick Vitale is a legend. But of all the Twitter feeds out there making the rounds, Vitale is the only one you can read and picture each tweet being screamed at you in his shrill voice.

    There's only so much a sane human being can take before the Vitale voice reduces your brain to piles of mush— it also doesn't help that most of his posts come directly from Instagram.

    Vitale is best served on television. You can watch him talk, turn off the TV and go to sleep. On Twitter, he's a Freddy Kruger-like monster who can haunt your dreams at any given time.

    "He's a diaper dandy, baby!"


    Twitter handle: @DickieV

Pau Gasol

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    Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol deserves a lot of credit for trying.

    He tweets out messages both in English and Spanish, which gives his 2.8 million followers a choice of how they want to read it. The effort is there, and Pau can never be called lazy when it comes to his Twitter game.

    The reason he could use a few lessons is because his tweets are usually as bland as a box of Bran Flakes. You can tell Gasol is a nice guy on Twitter by the shards of verbiage he strings together. He says all the right things all the time.

    Doesn't he know that we hate that kind of stuff? Bran Flakes Gasol needs to spice it up a bit. Give the people what they want, Pau. Tell us some crazy stories about Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, or just start a Twitter war and bash Dwight Howard.

    Turn heel like Seth Rollinscome on, you know you want to.


    Twitter handle: @paugasol

Bernie Kosar

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    It's difficult to watch former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar put in work on Twitter.

    If you follow him, you understand where this slide is going. Kosar's biggest problem comes down to his use of media.

    You wake up, wipe the cold out of your eye, flip on your feed and have the pleasure of being bombarded by a bunch of sideways pictures he took with his phone. A couple times Kosar will sneak in a vertical shot, but everything looks like a variation of this for the most part.

    Bernie needs helpwill anyone out there help him? I'm looking directly at you, Dawg Pound. Please, help Bernie do better.


    Twitter handle: @BernieKosarQB

Jim Bowden

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    A bizarre incident involving baseball and Twitter happened when former Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden—now working for ESPN—tweeted a transaction that never actually went down during the MLB trade deadline.

    Bowden reported that Marlon Byrd was heading from the Philadelphia Phillies to the New York Yankees. The problem with Bowden's tweet went beyond the fake trade.

    It was reported that he actually stole the information from a fake Twitter account representing New York Post writer Joel Sherman.

    There's no proof that he actually jacked the information, but what happened next was insane.

    Grant Brisbee of SB Nation built a timeline of the chaos, which included Bowden deleting his Twitter avatar, closing his account, creating a new one, closing that one and renaming himself "Ralph."

    Bowden recently came back on Twitter and blamed the entire situation on hackers; you know, baseball hackers, not to be confused with the Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie-type of hackers from the '90s.

    Here's a piece of advice: If you're going to tweet out fake trades, just own up to your mistake and move on. Don't send the Internet on a wild manhunt that results in your credibility being destroyed in the process.


    Twitter handle: @JimBowden_ESPN

Will Muschamp

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    Don't get confused about the picture sitting above these words. Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp is far from being the No. 1 college football coach on Twitter.

    In fact, Muschamp is in heavy contention right now to be the worst in the business.

    The Gators coach has butchered a series of recent tweets, which forced him to turn to the Internet for help. In classic Muschamp fashion, he tweeted that he would give away tickets for "lessons," but still managed to wedge a random pound sign into the offer.

    Tickets for free tweet lessons?#???????

    — Will Muschamp (@CoachWMuschamp) July 30, 2014

    Muschamp is terrible when it comes to using Twitter; there's no getting around that. Following him brings you no joy whatsoever—seriously, not even a comedic sense.


    Twitter handle: @CoachWMuschamp

Woody Paige

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    You can replace Woody Paige's name with a lot of former Around the Horn contributors—Jay Mariotti, for instance—and the result would be the same: Following them on Twitter is like watching paint dry in a barn.

    Paige has established himself as a vibrant, offbeat personality over the years thanks to his commentary and writing. But when it comes to social media, the guy needs a little assistance.

    Basically, if you follow Paige, you are following his random chalkboard messages. There's rarely any insight, breaking news or opinion. It's just chalkboard messages.

    It's cool when you see them posted up in the background during sessions of Around the Horn. On Twitter, though, they aren't nearly as clever.


    Twitter handle: @woodypaige

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Twitter isn't all original thoughts and replies to fans. Nowadays, it's used as a marketing tool by athletes to force sales messages down the throats of millions of followers.

    There may not be a worse offender of this than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo plugs products constantly without remorse. The man is a powerful global brand right now, even if he signed a deal with Lil Wayne seven years after his last important album (Tha Carter III).

    Cristiano has 28.8 million followers. You would think he would use that to dominate the social media realm instead of letting a robot run his account.


    Twitter handle: @Cristiano

Rick Reilly

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    There are sports personalties out there on Twitter who butcher their accounts with product placement and boring tweets. Then there's ESPN's Rick Reilly.

    One of the most pungent personalities in the mothership's stable, Reilly mainly uses the social media platform to spew insults and wretched jokes. His account is loaded with cringe-worthy material.

    If Reilly wants to get back to doing what he does best—writing columns—maybe he'll realize he needs to stop sounding like a dad trying to impress his teenage son on Twitter.


    Twitter handle: @ReillyRick

Washington Redskins

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    The debate surrounding the Washington Redskins' name has become a major sticking point in sports.

    A few months back, the team tried to defend its name in the court of public opinion by launching a full-blown social media campaign. They created "#RedskinsPride" and spread it out on Twitter.

    Tweet @SenatorReid to show your #RedskinsPride and tell him what the team means to you.

    — Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 29, 2014

    As you can imagine, the campaign backfired horribly. Ben Axelson of put together some of the replies that came in to show you just how bad things got.

    Maybe Daniel Snyder should send his social media staff on an all-expenses-paid trip to sunny Los Angeles for a week so they can learn how it's done.


    Twitter handle: @Redskins