If Twitter was a movie, for professional and college athletes it would be a horror flick; entertaining as all get out until you are the one getting killed.
For some reason athletes seem to be attracted to the social media outlet, much like moths to a flame. It's as if the chance to share their inner-most thoughts at a moment's notice in 140 characters or less is a drug. Once they get started they can't stop even though they are fully aware of the dangers involved.
Many an athlete and coach fall victim to Twitter all the time. Last week it was UCLA head coach Jim Mora. This week it appears to be San Francisco 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs.
To fully understand the storm that was stirred up you have to know what has been going on this season with Jacobs. When he left New York to come to San Francisco he fully expected to be an active member of the offense; a compliment to starting running back Frank Gore. Instead he has hardly played this season. Injury issues have kept him out some, but in nine games he has only been active once.
So when the unhappy running back made the following tweets it is easy to see why people assumed he was talking about football:
Never work in a place where you hate your boss so much, you should always be happy at work.#YouLiveAndYouLearn
That was followed up by:
Have you ever been in a spot and you wonder why are you there.
Considering his history with the 49ers it is easy to see why people think he is talking about the 49ers. Needless to say he didn't make too many people happy, especially considering that his boss—head coach Jim Harbaugh—went under the knife to deal with a heart issue.
Jacobs later tried to clarify his comments by claiming that they were about his brother and his situation. If that's the case, then his brother should be pretty angry at him for airing his dirty laundry where his boss may hear/read it.
Stuff like Twitter is a great way for fans to have access to players; something they would never have without the social media application. If used the right way it can be an effective marketing tool.
Chad Johnson may not be suiting up anymore, but the man is social media guru. The popularity that he gained through it likely had something to do with him getting signed the last couple seasons even though he was over the hill.
For every Johnson there are a dozen guys like Jacobs—or worse. You could inadvertently tweet a picture of yourself with a naked teammate in the background like Chicago's Brandon Marshall did this week. Then again, maybe it's the opportunity to see athletes stick their digital foot in their digital mouths that makes it fun for fans.