NFL:Redskins’ Twitter King

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Associated Press
ASHBURN, Va. ó Washington receiver Trent Shelton is the Redskins self-proclaimed “Twitter King.”
The long-shot vying for a roster spot at training camp rattled off six in 16 minutes after Tuesday’s morning practice, including one about his interview with The Associated Press for this story.
Shelton has knocked out 6,111 tweets since launching his Twitter account in April ó and he’s closing in on 20,000 followers.
“They tell me I’m the Twitter king so I’m sitting on the throne right now,” Shelton said. “It’s like a reality show. You get people in your life, read every minute of your life, see what you’re doing.
“The first week I was about to get off there. I said, ‘This is crazy.’ It gets addictive like Facebook. It’s great networking. Some rapper millionaires wrote me back. Couple NFL players. I’m trying to get P. Diddy to write me back.”
The Redskins have a growing legion of tweeters on the training camp roster, running the gamut from Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley to marginal names such as Shelton.
Coach Jim Zorn has no rules concerning Twitter, beyond cautioning players to be smart. Cooley, for example, got into trouble last season for a blog photo that included secret team study material and some unintentional nudity.
“I don’t worry about it, but we talked about that,” Zorn said. “There are so many things players can do. You can Facebook, you can blog, you can tweet, you can e-mail, you can do all these things. How many things are there? We’re going to video conference very soon, whatever that’s going to be. We try to talk about it, and educate and talk about the perils. Talk about the cautions that need to be taken.”
Shelton’s tweets mainly revolve around football and religion. The son of a Ft. Worth pastor often recites Bible verses or discusses religion in the locker room.
“In the locker room the team is playing gospel music…man that word is more powerful than any crunk rap song!” stated one tweet. “I’m listening to my teammates talk about GOD…don’t get no better than that!”
Said Shelton: “Usually I write what’s the first thing that comes to my mind. Sometimes I think about it. An inspirational quote. But usually it’s what comes to mind and people laugh about it. ”
Like asking the difference between “goons” and goblins. Saying Santa Claus won’t visit some of his followers. Pondering whether to be a palm tree or oak tree. Calling the large transport busses at nearby Dulles International Airport “i-robots.”
Shelton also mixes plenty of football-related into his 15 to 30 daily messages.
“I had four lady massaging me at once wow!!!l” he tweeted. “in the ice tub whoa….it is cold as a mug talk to me to keep the pain off. . . . the fire alarms are going off in our hotel.u can tell its training camp cuz everyone to tired to walk downstairs hope it really aint one lol.”
Shelton is trying to earn the No. 5 receiver slot after spending parts of two seasons on practice squads in Seattle (2008) and Indianapolis (2007). The former Baylor wideout says his long-shot status is one reason his tweets are often self-motivational.
“When I write I’m going to have a great day, I have to go out and have a great day or somebody’s going to write about it,” he said. “It’s a constant reminder that anything’s possible. I’m going to make the decision hard on the front office people. ”
NOTES: DT Albert Haynesworth returned after missing two days of practice to have an injection of fluid into his left knee. “He’s just fine, perfect ó no worries,” Zorn said. … The team’s top two right tackles ó Stephon Heyer and Mike Williams ó are battling injuries. Heyer bruised his knee during practice and had an MRI. Zorn called the results “encouraging.” Williams (groin) didn’t participate in contract drills. … RG Randy Thomas (knee) was also held out of contract. … CB Carlos Rogers (calf) worked on the sidelines. … WR Roydell Williams’ broken finger is expected to cause him to miss 4-6 weeks. … DT Vaka Manupuna was released.