Chad Ochocinco and His Tweeting Ways

    July 8, 2009
    Chris Crum

The football player formerly known as Chad Johnson is ruffling some feathers with the National Football League. He has told the media that he plans to use Twitter during games. I haven’t seen any official statement on this from the NFL itself yet, but sports analysts seem to pretty much agree that it’s just dumb.

We will likely see the situation addressed by the NFL in the near future, as more and more players are embracing Twitter. Those players aren’t all Chad Johnson (yes it’s officially Ochocinco now, but we still called Prince "Prince" when he changed his name to a symbol didn’t we?). Johnson is known for his wacky antics. If you’re unfamiliar with them, there’s a nice collection of them here. Now he wants to take tweeting to another level.

Chad Johnson

Cincinnati Bengals fan blog BegnalsGab quotes Chad from a recent Houton radio interview: "It’s big for me and I’m taking it a step further," Ochocinco said of Twitter. "I have my own application coming out where people will be able to interact and follow me. You know more than through just the keyboard and reading my messages – you’ll actually be able to follow me and when the season starts, it’s going to get even worse. I’m going to really make it fun. I’m using Twitter during games, during halftime, after the games. I’m going to be taking it to the next level."

Chad is already quite the avid Twitter user. He even does follow Friday:

Follow Friday

It’s not that the NFL is anti-Twitter. The league openly utilized it to make April’s draft more social and get the fans involved more. If you ever watch the NFL Network, you can barely go ten minutes without hearing Twitter brought up, or the network’s twitter account being plugged.

My guess would be that they don’t want players tweeting during games though. I can’t imagine that coaches would be to thrilled about it either. Of course Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is pretty used to trouble from his camp.

Trey Wingo on ESPN’s NFL Live made a good point yesterday, that in order to Tweet you need to have computer, phone, or some type of mobile device, and he and his co-hosts were talking about how players aren’t even allowed to have cell phones with them other than in the locker room.

What will likely happen is that either Chad will not tweet during games, or he will and will get fined by the NFL. That is not a new concept for him either though.

The whole thing illustrates just how mainstream Twitter has become. Tweeting may not be great for Johnson’s bank account or for the Bengals (who have plenty to prove this year, and should probably be focused on improving on the field), but it is great for Twitter. The NFL has a lot of fans, and as its players embrace the service, fans are likely to follow (no pun intended). It’s kind of like the Oprah effect.