While my fascination with Twitter.com has flattened out, there’s one area of the site, at least as it pertains to sports, that continues to intrigue me. If you follow numerous, almost famous NBA and NFL players, it’s hard not to notice that many of these athletes are using the site almost solely as a tool to meet women. (And if single, not a damn thing wrong with that.)
(Resident literalists: Not a ‘groupie’ in question)
That’s not to say that those athletes are seeking out random, attractive females on Twitter. What’s fueling the phenomena is that groupies, for the first time as far as I can tell, groupies have direct access to dozens of professional athletes across the country without ever leaving their kitchen table. Groupies who include the garden-variety hip-hop “video vixens” and, in some cases I’ve seen, baby mamas estranged from other athletes.
In the past, that group of women was limited to stationing themselves at games and hotel lobbies in their hometowns with no guarantee of meeting anyone - let alone their favorite player. Twitter has completely changed that. Now they can get their Travelocity on with countless ballers after a well-placed Tweet or three.
What’s also interesting is that many of the meetings between groupies and athletes on Twitter don’t involve direct messages - though the service is often readily available. The vetting process by the athletes, while usually not altogether obvious, is oftentimes out there for everyone to see.
If you’re wondering about that lack of privacy, you can officially count yourself out of a reality show/Facebook generation that has spawned wide open online correspondence. Most Internet babies don’t email or direct message. Their correspondence goes up on the “Wall” of the recipient for all of his/her 743 friends to see. There’s of course exceptions to this, but thanks to social networking, discretion is now the exception.
Chronicling many of these athlete-groupie correspondences are various urban blogs and message boards. Some of the posters and commenters on those sites are obsessed with tracking the movement of groupies - especially if they’ve been linked to married players. Many entries are astonishing in their accuracy and detail, so much so that it’s reasonable to believe that groupies themselves are posting them.
For example, last month a notorious groupie from a southern NBA city was flown into another southern NBA city by a married NBA player for an apparent hookup. The groupie, on her Twitter account, actually noted her movements throughout the time she was with the athlete, enraging scores of message board commentators. (Reax is equal part outrage, amusment.)
If you investigated that particular situation closely enough, including following Tweets from the athlete himself, you could plainly see what was going on. Though between the two people involved, the tryst was obviously left unsaid on their respective Twitter accounts. Safe to say the player’s wife either isn’t on Twitter, isn’t paying intention, doesn’t care or for some reason puts up with her husband’s affairs.
I’ve often been tempted to post about these situations, at least as it pertains to married athletes, but I’ve held back for a lack of smoking gun evidence.
For those of you who are still skeptical about all of this, consider that there are countless message boards, and in some cases, blogs, chronicling these activitives right now. Those forums contain the names of the athletes involved, along with their groupie “jumpoffs“.
Many of those message boards are well-known enough to have been mentioned in divorce proceeding documents and restraining orders involving current and ex-athletes.
Point is, if none of what I’m noting was true, those message boards and blogs would’ve been sued into the stone age by now.
Understandt that NFL and NBA superstars aren’t engaging in this sort of thing, for obvious reasons. They’d never be able to get away with it because of the media and/or their followers snitching on them. It’s the almost famous guy who is cleaning up with the groupies.
Finally, to clarify on why I haven’t posted on this stuff - yet: If I’m going to out a married, celebrity athlete in an extramarital affair, I’m damn well going to have some smoking gun evidence. If the hookup involves a single athlete that doesn’t involve criminal conduct or downright bizarre behavior, then I think dude has every right to his privacy.
Like we’ve seen with Myspace, Facebook and now Twitter, all online social networking trends slow down eventually. Eventually a fairly famous married athlete or three will get caught cheating, with Twitter cited as evidence. When that happens, and it will, athlete jumpoffs will have to locate another launch pad.