Footballers and any kind of off the field communication that doesn’t involve alcohol and the fairer sex often seem like an ill match. Post game interviews regularly reveal professional players to be socially incapable mongs with a few notable, but sparse exceptions. You often get the distinct impression that if you were to corner one for a fleeting chinwag, you’d end up talking about ear hemorrhagingly rubbish R’n’B music, and of course football, but in a uniquely dull way, akin to how a data systems analyst would describe his job in inanely mundane detail.
Despite this, thousands of people still have an overwhelming desire to feel closer to these modern Adonis’ (or should that be Adoni?) so twitter, the achingly modern and bizarrely culturally significant social tool, seems both a brilliant access point for such contact, and a terrible thing for bored footballers to get into.
Ostensibly, its makes sense for it to work on a celebrity stalker-ish level. Facebook is far better for social interaction, but adding famous people on it is often quite a dirty practice, mainly aimed at pervily voyeuring their personal photos and having their name crop up in your friends list. They probably wouldn’t add you anyway, but twitter allows you to stalk at will, and occasionally get a glimpse into the weird and wonderful mind of the unquestionably better people you aspire to be.
However giving the world at large the ability to access every fleeting thought that passes through the mind of a rich, detached and incredibly bored footballer isn’t always a good thing. Not only are they always liable to spout off the most ludicrously inappropriate waffle when free of the stern paternal gaze of their protective management teams, but on the other end of the spectrum, they’re quite frequently revealed to be incredibly dull. Occasionally though, you can strike gold.
Darren Bent was the first twitballer to gain significant attention after famously ranting about his transfer predicament. Whilst most likely cringe worthy for his advisors, it was gloriously funny to everyone else, and also showed a hint of a personality lurking beneath the hardened exterior of a professional sportsman as he told the world;
“Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go stoke NO do I wanna go sunderland YES so stop f****** around Levy.”
Unfortunately, most players or ex players don’t have such engaging personalities, or any desire to entertain outside of a football setting. As I’m writing this, American prodigy and Euro flop Freddy Adu has just tweeted;
“At kitchen bar about to have a nice meal.”
Thanks Freddie, though I doubt there’s a single person in the whole of eternity outside of the kitchen staff themselves who needed, nor wanted to know that.
Mark Bright is a compulsive twit, having tweeted 7 times in the last two hours, the most interesting of which tell us;
“im about to flick a coin, heads golf, tails bike ride”
Engrossing I’m sure you’ll agree. Though mostly likely only to people called Mark Bright. And even then only really one of those.
Former Barcelona star Luis Enrique is another serial tweeter, tweeting last night just to reassure his followers he was still on it, at 3 in the morning, whilst Hull’s Jozy Altidore had better things on his mind than relegation, bemoaning the slow loading of FIFA10 online for the PS3.
Stan Collymore is always a good bet though, being as he is, a man somewhere in the middle of a transformation from cheery football playing voyeur to angry, paranoid ranty pundit. In fact so strong were Stan’s views that he closed down his account in 2009 after receiving various personal threats. Which makes you wonder whether he was being a completely controversial loon, or simply looking in the wrong car windows. He soon booted it back up though and has been constant value for money since. He not only dishes out his blunt unedited views without discrimination, but also replies to his followers, and engages in general banter, conversation and research for his articles/phone ins, thus making him probably the most clued up and in touch with the public footballer/journo there’s ever been. That matters little of course though, since we all know that the general public at large are complete morons, but he should still be commended for his efforts.
Despite these few pearls of insight, the majority of footballers you’ll find on twitter are fake, and badly fake at that. What exactly the point of pretending to be Wayne Rooney or Cesc Fabregas is I’ve no idea, if all you’re going to do with it is post mundane things that Wazza and Cescy might actually say. Far better to rip the Mickey surely? Unless it’s all leading up to some grand scam involving a flash mob in a jewelry store cunningly staged to provide cover for a robbery. But if not, faux Rooney’s;
“CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 2-0 SORRY GUYS”
..just seems wholly pointless. Many of these, and certainly the more obscure ones, are quite hard to figure out. They could be real, as they’d seem such an incredible waste of time otherwise, but then again there are many things on the Internet inherently more pointless and time wasteful, and few more than Twitter itself. A Gazza one, for example, that seems to concentrate solely on his fishing exploits could quite easily be plausible. But then again so could anything and everything else attributed to Gazza, since the mind of Paul Gascoigne is a many splendid and maddening thing for anyone to comprehend. Who knows what he thinks about? It could well be fish. He mostly likely does call himself Gazza too, he went through a whole phase calling himself G8 for Christ’s sake!
But if you’re looking for comedy value from fake accounts, you could do little better than BigSam, Sam Allardyce’s crazed alter ego, who regales his followers with gems such as;
“Get in – my vintage WWF Legion of Doom spiky shoulder pads have arrived from the Internet. Lets see that c**t in Homebase throw me out now.”
And the always inspiring..
“Sometimes I can feel the presence of the Queen Mother at my side, watching over me. Other times I can’t. It comes and goes, really.”
Even better than the real thing.
You can follow Oscar on Twitter here; http://twitter.com/oscarpyejeary, where you can witness him doing his best impression of someone with something interesting to say.