With the popularity of Twitter soaring to new heights each and every day, it is to be expected that we would be likely to see more and more athletes becoming active on Twitter. While some athletes use Twitter in moderation, such restriction is not the case when it comes to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, Chad Ochocinco.
Ochocinco has become perhaps the NFL's most popular user of the site, and has gathered a massive following with over 168,000 followers (myself included).
While the NFL might not appear to be too fond of Chad's devotion to the site, I am.
For starters, I feel that it is everyone's right to express themselves in any way they see fit so long as they are not being irresponsible or offensive.
Chad Ochocinco is neither of the aforementioned.
With as serious a business as the NFL is, I feel as though many people have began to look down upon the ways in which players use their free time.
Someone might say "He should be spending more time on the film room and less time on Twitter," and my response to that would be plain and simple.
Don't judge something for which you have no means of evaluating.
Essentially, it has become easy for people to attack Chad's usage of the website simply because it is out there for all of us to see.
We don't see what most other players are doing during their free time, but we do see what Ochocinco is doing so he becomes an easier target.
When it comes to Chad, I'm not seeing any DUIs, any drug issues, or any violence issues. All I see is a player who never gets into any legal trouble who is having some fun in his spare time.
Do you think that other players might go out to the bar after a long day's work?
If Chad decides to go home, get on the laptop to tweet while he drinks his Cranberry Juice with Red Bull, I say that’s much better than going out to the club and living it up or getting yourself in trouble.
What Chad has managed to do is take fan interactivity to a whole new level.
Through Twitter, fans and enemies alike can have the opportunity to directly interact with Chad (as well as other players) in a way that they never could before.
You want to wish someone good luck before a game, there's Twitter.
You want to insult someone after a game, there's Twitter.
Although the latter has become something of an issue in my eyes.
I saw how many people decided to bombard Chad with a plethora of insults after last Sunday's game yet he decided to respond to a number of them, most of the time with a friendly sense of humor.
I sent him a tweet late last evening and he responded within a few minutes.
That just goes to show Chad’s dedication to his fans.
He doesn't have to write back, ever.
Yet we see him remain as interactive as anyone else I know on Twitter and I think that is something for which we owe Chad a great deal of credit for.
It's not just the direct interaction with the fans; it's about how passionate he is in keeping us connected.
Be it what he ate for breakfast (he'll twitpic it), be it where he went out for dinner, etc.
Chad has found a way to bring his fans into his world in a way that would have once been thought to have been impossible.
For those who have little to no interest in Chad's tweeting, or feel as though he is taking it a little too far, I got news for you...
Nobody is forcing you to read anything.
I for one have been very entertained since I've joined Twitter and I think that's the whole point.
Chad is a true showman and has continued to show all of us why he is one of the most entertaining players in the NFL.
For that I have to say…
Thank you, Ochocinco.
Thoughts regarding my work as well as any professional inquiries can be directed to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.