With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like, the argument can very easily be made that we know too much about athletes in this day and age. (Actually, the argument can be made that we know too much about everybody in this day and age, but this is a sports blog post, so stay focused, Sean.)
So when Dwight Howard tweets idiotic things like this leading up to the free agent slobberfest that ended up with the Rockets securing the services of the seven footer, it makes an impression, and not a good one:
say "eye yam stew peed" 4 times fast y'all gotta try this lol somebody jus got me
— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) May 10, 2013
Stew peed, indeed.
But the good news is that with 24-hour access to social media, it means that for every Twitter misstep like the one above the opportunity to redeem one's self is perennially there, too. (Of course, used poorly, social media also provides the chance to continue digitally mutilating one's self, too. See: Bynes, Amanda.)
Dwight Howard's recent performance on social media is all about redemption.
First, there was this appetizer late last week on Twitter in response to a female Twitter follower, presumably a Lakers fan, who was letting Dwight know that he "ain't never gonna never getting a ring":
@uHateBre with that face ion think u getting one either lol.
— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) August 7, 2013
Awesome. Take 'at, Brittni!
Now, Dwight caught some heat for this reply from some people who thought it was mean or whatever. Hey, nowhere else does the rule of "don't want none, won't be none" apply more acutely than on Twitter. If you just keep to tweeting things that you would only say to that person's face if you saw them in person, then you have nothing to worry about.
So there was that from Dwight.
But then it went from awesome to stupendous when some brief video clips trickled onto the Internet from Dwight's Instagram account.
Behold the greatness...
Dirty dancing with granny
Electric sliding with a room full of grannies
On the strength of that aforementioned tweet and those two videos, Dwight Howard is rapidly becoming one of my favorite athletes. (Yes, I'm that big a social media whore -- all it takes to reverse two years of my screaming that Dwight Howard is a petulant child and card carrying "Lucky Sperm Club" member is a couple hilarious videos of him dancing with a horny, old lady. Take note, my enemies. I'm easy to make up with.)
One of my other favorites, Johnny Manziel, is best known for his social media exploits, and perhaps the most striking thing to me about Dwight's videos are how opposite they are of anything Johnny would post.
Consider the following:
1. Dwight is seen in this video dancing with a woman who appears to be roughly 80 years old (but with the sexual chutzpah of a 21 year old). Johnny's videos typically involve several females with a combined age of 80. (I'm assuming this video is just Dwight's clowning around with this woman, but if anything did happen between the two of them, this is one way for Dwight to make sure he doesn't impregnate his date for the night. Menopause, FTW!)
2. Dwight is dancing in both videos. I don't know that we've ever seen Johnny dancing in any videos. We've seen him singing, screaming, boating, throwing, and getting a beer hurled at him, but never dancing.
(Side bar: I'm still trying to figure out which of these two Dwight videos is my favorite. On the one hand, the "Sexual Healing" video where it appears that the octogenarian woman is going to give him oral on the dance floor is good. On the other hand, the "Electric Slide" video...the gray Andrew Bynum wig, the same 80 year old woman still staring at him longingly from one dance row over, the fact that Dwight actually knows the "Electric Slide." Just so much going on there. It's really close.)
3. Dwight is blowing off steam in Aspen, a land locked, mountainous, middle-aged-to-old crowd hideaway. Johnny blows off steam in Cabo, a beachfront, sea level, raucous haven of debauchery where the only people over 22 years old are the help.
The moral of the story: Dwight Howard and Johnny Manziel are both social media All-Stars in their own respectively special ways. Without a doubt, #ANewAge of Rockets basketball is out to a fast start!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.