NFL stars have a real talent. It's just that sometimes their real talent for not quite thinking things through can get them into trouble.
So I would be curious what you might feel about the latest enterprise from Jeremy Shockey, the Super Bowl-winning tight end of the New Orleans Saints.
Shockey has a singular grasp of the power of social networking, as well as that of the English language. So he has announced a contest on his Facebook page, a contest that will hopefully throw up one woman who "deserves" to date him.
I know that there are many reasons why a woman might deserve the privilege of dating an NFL star. However, given the recent dating difficulties encountered by the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Rothlisberger, some might feel that caution ought to have tempered Shockey's Facebook valor.
Oh, and his Twitter valor, too. He has also flagged this contest upon the heartily masculine wallpaper of his Twitter page.
The Facebook wording of his, um invitation--and the rules-- might cause some to pause for a time out. "Ok LADIES heres the contest.. Post a video on the 'just fans' section of my fbk fan page explaining why u deserve to have me take u on a date 1 nite this offseason... Contest ends sun night 4/18 at 8pm est... Lets have fun w this so be creative but just be careful its not too inappropriate where fbk deletes it!! good luck!!!"
Yes, you must post a video to show just how much you deserve a date with Tarzan of the trenches. I am sure you are imagining what joys some of these videos might contain. I am equally sure that Shockey will choose someone with a considerable grasp of the works of Keats and John Donne. However, I fear that some might offer more carnal poetry with which to catch his eye.
Not for a moment do I think his intentions are less than honorable. ESPN reported that Shockey intends to donate the same amount as the date costs to charity. However, the fortunate charity that will benefit from this wholesome contest is the St. Tammany Parish Children's Advocacy Center in Covington, La.
And I fear there will be a couple of people who might be rendered slightly uncomfortable by replies to his contest such as this from a poster called Eve Marie: "you should have a contest for your under age fans so they can meet you like me cause im 13 so im pretty sure a date would be illegal. can you please consider it :) i would LOVE to meet you."
At the time of writing, Shockey has received 327 replies to his initial offer, although some of them are less than complimentary. Janicen Little, for example, wrote: "Are you that desperate for a date?"
Others have expressed contrary feelings. Jennifer Burchfield-Sumrall, for example, wrote: "Damn! That sux....I am married:( So guess I am out on this one! Luck to the lucky lady tho! Now if you got a hot chic and want to double date...lol now that might work!"
Heather Williams expresses another potential obstacle: "Just one question...Is there a distance limit? I live in San Antonio and want to make sure that there won't be a logistics problem there before I post my video."
The logistics of dating are often troubling. However, Shockey is very clear he's just dating for the fans. He told ESPN: "Our sport is about the fans. Who Dat Nation is a big fan base. It has some of the best fans in the world. I'm going to really enjoy it. It has nothing to do with me picking up a girl."
One's mind can only continue to boggle off its toggle in anticipation of what criteria Shockey will use to determine who will be the lucky winner. ("Genuine", "fun" and "creative" are the only words so far mentioned.) Will he ask teammates such as Reggie Bush to help him choose?
However, perhaps Shockey might heed the advice of Facebook poster Sara Foor: "So if you REALLY read all these, and I did read quite a few...maybe you should consider making the videos a private message. You might get a few less exhibitionists and a few more sane girls, or a lot more of each to pick from at the very least."
Such evidently sane wisdom is in short supply on our social networks.