How An NFL Player Made Himself A Bigger Star While There Was No NFL
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett is a fine player. A three-time Pro Bowler, he fits into one of football's most coveted categories of player: an interior defensive lineman who can not only eat up space, but actively disrupt an offense (31 career sacks).
But that's not enough to explain why Dockett's profile is rising the way it is at the moment - after all, not only is there no NFL action right now, there's no NFL, period. To really understand why Dockett's becoming such a household name, you have to look at something else: his Twitter account.
For example, Dockett recently provided one of the saving graces of a slow news day by live-tweeting a lengthy traffic stop during which police wanted to search his car (he was having none of that). Even more recently, he made waves with his pet alligator Nino (which led some to think he deserves his own reality show, an idea Dockett didn't exactly shoot down). Oh, and his bio reads like so:
CEO of I don't give a f*ck records. I have a midget addiction. Charlie Sheen's my homeboy. I eat ants. I got a sex tape called Oprah on the Nine-Oh coming soon!
(We wouldn't hold our breath waiting for that tape to come out.)
So, a winning combination of weirdness and outspokenness. But has that same outspokenness ever gotten him in some hot water? Well, yes. And yes. And yes. While some of that hot water could be attributed to people just not wanting to hear athletes speak up on anything, it's also because...yeah, Dockett will say some ill-advised stuff (some of which is mentioned here, but appears to have been deleted).
A key for Dockett, though: ultimately, he comes off as having a good heart. Also, he won't shy away from addressing more serious matters, even those involving horrific personal tragedy. And, critically, there's that off-beat humor, which he's pushing to almost Artestian levels lately.
And really, Artest himself isn't such a bad comparison if Dockett keeps up his recent run of tweeting. He's embracing his inner weirdness, which tends to make it easier for people to accept it when he says something more controversial. Dockett proudly won't gloss over anything...and, as more and more people are realizing, it's hard not to like that. And of course, one other thing that helps that kind of blunt style thrive...Dockett knows when to be diplomatic, too.
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