Sports Stars Who Stay Relevant Because of Social Media

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2016

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05:  NFL player Johnny Manziel in attendance during the UFC 196 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Go ahead and admit it, guys—the first thing you do every single morning is roll over, grab your phone and see what people are saying and doing on social media. It's OK, because we all do it.

And while we love to scroll through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what's up in the world, there are a few times where we come across an athlete that lead to a serious eye roll, remembering a time when said player was known more for their playing skills than how many followers they have.

Sure, it's cool to keep up with that player's personal life, but when they rely on social media to stay relevant, that's when it can get annoying.

For those athletes who are the biggest culprits, here's to you.

Darnell Dockett

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

A former Pro Bowler, current free agent Darnell Dockett has always been one of the more entertaining athletes on social media, providing plenty of laughs with his wit and unfiltered posts. Hell, he even live-tweeted jury duty once.

Now that he's inactive after being cut by the San Francisco 49ers prior to last season, though, social media seems to be the only thing that's keeping Dockett in fans' minds.

Of course, that's not a terrible thing given his sense of humor, but I have a hunch that he'd rather be remembered for playing in the NFL than for being a social media superstar.

Tiger Woods

I'm sure I'll get a bunch of questions about how a 14-time major champ could end up on this list, but Tiger Woods isn't who he once was.

Not having won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods' game has declined faster than a G6 thanks to nagging injuries and Father Time, and he hasn't even played in a PGA Tour event since August of last year.

Once the most popular and most feared golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods is now just an athlete we're all guilty of talking about because of social media—which is even painful for me to type.

Phil Jackson

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

An 11-time championship-winning head coach in the NBA, current New York Knicks president Phil Jackson hasn't found the same success in the front office as he did while drawing up the X's and O's.

After taking the Knicks job in 2013 to help rebuild the roster and clean up past mistakes, the Zen Master has failed to restructure the franchise in two seasons.

That hasn't stopped Jackson from voicing his opinions on social media, though, often turning to Twitter to remind everyone how great some of the teams he coached were and trolling people.

Until he improves the Knicks, Phil Jackson will continue to be an afterthought and the bull's-eye for fans' hate.

John Daly

A two-time major champ all the way back in the early and mid-'90s, golfer John Daly has proved to be the real-life version of Happy Gilmore, killing the ball from the tee box and being the bad boy on the PGA Tour.

Seemingly playing by his own rules, Daly has become a character who wears funky outfits during rounds and parties hard off the links, making him a popular athlete to follow on social media.

Daly hasn't won a PGA Tour event since 2004, yet he remains just as popular at tournaments thanks to his wild personality.

Curt Schilling

Steven Senne/Associated Press

Poor Curt Schilling.

Just when you might have sort of felt bad for the guy after his video game company tanked and cost him millions of dollars years ago, he proves to be a real jerk by using social media to bash everything he dislikes.

As opinionated as they come, Schilling's openness about topics such as Nazis and Muslim people, women and, well, anything that pops into his head has been well-documented.

It's too bad his thoughts haven't been well-received, though, as ESPN canned him earlier this week after his latest post about transgender people was the final straw for the worldwide leader.

Schilling's social media is like that crazy uncle who, after a few beers, just begins spewing from the mouth at the worst time possible.

Gilbert Arenas

Danny Johnston/Associated Press

Never shy on the basketball court during his playing days, former All-Star Gilbert Arenas has been just as confident in his social media game, too.

The problem is Agent Zero's humor isn't funny, typically rubbing people the wrong way because it's so politically incorrect and demeaning that he gets bashed.

Unfortunately, for being so outspoken, Arenas gets a lot of attention, with people now knowing him more for being a troll than for being one of the top scorers in the league during his NBA days.

Briefly deleting his Instagram account, Arenas quickly realized that social media is the only way for him to survive in the sports world, so he reactivated it pretty quickly.

Chad Johnson

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 29:  Former NFL player Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson attends as athletes and YouTube stars team for DOOM Videogame Tournament at Siren Studios on March 29, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images fo
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

One of the most exuberant personalities in NFL history, after Chad Johnson's playing career ended, he found that social media was where he could maintain his wild personality for fans to love.

Whether that's a good or bad thing is still up in the air, but one thing's for sure: It keeps the former Ochocinco relevant, and that's all he cares about.

An open book who often tweets about his love for the video game FIFA, Johnson pretty much live-tweets his entire day, leaving out no details about what he's doing now that he's away from the gridiron.

He knows how to entertain—that's for sure.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

With nearly 12 million Instagram followers, I'm not sure there isn't a sports fan who doesn't have former boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. pop up in their feed.

Mayweather's lavish lifestyle is often his choice of content, showing off his fleet of luxury cars or counting his cold hard cash—which draws attention and plenty of jealousy.

Now that he's retired and finished with an undefeated career record, it looks like the only way for Money to trash-talk is through his Instagram and Twitter—which he has shown to be a champion at doing.

Jose Canseco

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - MAY 26:  Former Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco drinks a bottle of water prior to the match with Choi Hong-man at first Round of Super Hulk Tournament during Dream.9 at Yokohama Arena on May 26, 2009 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
Getty Images/Getty Images

Former MLB All-Star Jose Canseco is just about the king at using social media to stay in the news, as he's proved to be an expert at stirring up controversy with some of the crazy things he's said or just with his ridiculous Jose-isms.

Canseco is the only man who would get a bunch of attention for shooting off his finger, then get even more people to care that the digit fell off while playing poker—which was later discovered to be a hoax.

From dating and reality shows to publicity stunts, Canseco relies on Twitter to stay relevant like we all rely on air to survive.

Johnny Manziel

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 27:  Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns rushes up field against linebacker Dee Ford #55 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half on December 27, 2015 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Ph
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Congratulations, Johnny Manziel, because you've gone from a former first-round pick and polarizing athlete to the equivalent of Paris Hilton in a matter of two years.

What Johnny Football has done since being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2014 is truly amazing, as he completely flamed out in the NFL and is now hopeful that he can try to turn his life around.

While I wish him the best, one glance at his social media or a visit to TMZ will prove that he just doesn't seem to care about anything but partying.

Sure, it's fun to keep tabs on what Manziel's up to and where he's headed out for the night now, but he should be preparing for an NFL season—not trying to be the next social media superstar.


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