Trent Shelton is the King of D.C. Sports Twitter
Pro Football Talk had a little item today about Twitter and the NFL, explaining that "in an industry where the men who play the game compete with each other regarding cars and wives and salaries and, um, foot size, there's a new -- and very public -- tool for determining who's doing the best."
Twitter is that tool, and the number of followers is the stat. Which might make you wonder, which D.C. athlete has the biggest electronic foot size?
The answer was already compiled by Mister Irrelevant, and it might surprise you: Redskins first-year reserve wide receiver Trent Shelton, who's far from a lock to even make the team. He has more followers than popular teammates DeAngelo Hall or Chris Cooley, more followers than new Wizards Mike Miller and Randy Foye combined, more followers than Gary Williams or Seth Greenberg, and way more followers than any WaPo sports writer. (The only D.C. guy who has him beaten is Alex Ovechkin, but Ovie's Twitter feed is currently on hiatus.) He has more followers than any of the active players mentioned by PFT this morning, and he has more followers than PFT itself.
So....why Trent Shelton?
Well, he isn't just a football player, as quickly becomes clear if you follow his feed. He has an entertainment company, ShellyWorld Entertainment. He promotes parties. He's done events with celebrities from outside (Dani Evans from America's Next Top Model) and inside (Cowboys TE Martellus Bennett) the world of sports. He edits his own videos on his Mac, feeding the results to more than one YouTube account; he helps promote musical acts, and he has more Web sites than I can keep track of. Plus, he has his own line of t-shirts, the Stylin On Em collection. Diddy's chef has one.
"I've got a business mind," Shelton told me during OTAs. "I know one day football could be over, like that, so I always have other doings. Kind of call me the Renaissance man, because I try to do it all."
I should note here that Shelton said he only does "it all" during the offseason; that during the fall, he said, he's still completely devoted to football. The 24-year old from Baylor--who left school ranked in the top five on the Bears' list of receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches--has spent time on practice squads with the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks, but that's obviously not his goal.
"I've been like that; I don't want to be a practice squad player," he told me. "Yeah, it's a good living. I take it for what it's worth, I'm learning, but nobody wants to be [on the practice squad]. I want to play, you know what I'm saying? I'm tired of sitting at home watching the games on the sideline. I want to play."
In the meantime, he threw a party when he first got into the NFL, and realized "Whoa, this is easy money, easy revenue," he said. His brother has ties with several musical groups, and so they occasionally perform together under the name Vice Versa, and he tries to lend his brother offseason help. He has musical notes and a microphone tattooed on his arm, has worked with a hip-hop/rock crossover group called Game 7, and envisions a post-football life in music management, if he doesn't go into sports broadcasting. He makes in the high five figures as a practice squad player, and figures he can supplement that with his entertainment world connections.
"As a single guy, that's good money, as long as you manage it right," he said. "I'm really into trying to invest; that's why I'm doing events and trying to get into investments and stuff like that. I'm trying to make 80 turn into 160."
And sharing a locker room with millionaires?
"It's actually motivation," he said. "It's motivation that I could get that, whether it be in football or whether it's something else. It's motivation, I look at it like that. It's an opportunity. A lot of people don't get to say they played next to millionaires, and so I hang out with millionaires. It's cool."
As for growing up in Fort Worth and still promoting events for members of a certain NFL franchise, don't worry, he's not a Cowboys fan.
"I hated the Cowboys, actually," he said. "I was a 49ers fan. I was a big T.O. fan, so whatever team T.O. went, that's who I cheered for. So when he went to the Cowboys, I hated it, but still cheered for him a little bit. But now I'm a Redskin, so I definitely hate the Cowboys."
(I'll go ahead and admit that I don't understand 76 percent of his Twitter updates, but his feed is incessant, funny, confrontational, clever, bizarre, and image-heavy. It's still kind of strange that he's the most popular man in the D.C. Sports Twitter world, but that's sort of the reason why.)
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