It was only a matter of time before athletes and other sports figures got into the iPhone app game, and now, thanks to one company, they have done so only as modern sports celebrities can: tackily.
I recently stepped into the world of four sports figures' iPhone apps, each from Rock Software: Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, boxer Floyd Mayweather, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. This is what I learned.
1. Ochocinco Is An Emotional Train Wreck And A Lonely Husk Of A Man. Maybe.
This should be self-evident by now, what with his new dating show and all, but the app offers a glimpse into the man's soul, and you can almost feel its yearning. Not only does he say (in his Tips section, of all places) that listening to Michael Bublé makes him want "a significant other," but he also cops to sitting on a curb, reading about all the breakups in the celebrity gossip magazines. This is so sad it almost makes you want to go on USTREAM and cry on camera.
It gets weirder. Again in Tips, he poses the following creepy rhetorical question: "What would happen to me if I was accused of the same allegations as Ben [presumably Roethlisberger]? (Hey, I'm just asking)." Something on your mind, Chad? Everything OK? Why are you doing this?
And the pièce de résistance: a GPS function. That's right: At any moment, you can know exactly where Ochocinco is in the world. This is the sort of self-absorption wrought by Foursquare and the like, but amped up to the nth degree. How sad is it to think that Ochocinco goes from town to town, loudly declaring himself at every stop but quietly pining — over a little Bublé and an OK! Magazine — for that special someone?
2. The Ochocinco News Network Is A Sham
If you've ever had the pleasure of following Chad Ochocinco on Twitter, you should be familiar with the OCNN. If you aren't, it's essentially his platform for announcing whatever flits across the transom of his mind — something about Dancing with the Stars , or a phone conversation with Will Smith, or whatever.
Well, disappointingly, these are not part of the OCNN on his app. Rather, if one were looking for the latest news on Ochocinco and navigated over to that part of the app, one would be greeted with a streamlined feed of Yahoo! Sports news. Because there's not an app for that already or anything.
3. Floyd Mayweather Is A Bit Of A Boaster
Mayweather is a great boxer, even though he might be something of a wuss, and his app is designed to combination-punch that notion into your cerebral cortex. This is mostly accomplished in the Facts section.
Roughly 80 percent of all the facts consist of Mayweather's thoughts on conditioning — and it's probably true that conditioning is "one of [his] greatest attributes" — but this section is also where he gets a chance to show off, like in the above picture. Or claim that he is in the "check cashing business." Or that he's "the greatest boxer that's ever lived." You get the idea.
4. My iPhone Can Work As A Push-Up Counter
Do you have trouble keeping track of numbers in the low-to-mid teens? Well, if you feel like pressing your nose onto your iPhone screen, you can have a machine take care of all that tricky push-up counting for you. Thanks, Floyd Mayweather Jr. The iPhone App!
5. Jared Allen Got The Short End Of The Stick On This One
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better defensive end over the last five years than Allen. A defensive presence like him deserves a top-notch iPhone app, or at least a Big Buck Hunter tie-in. Unfortunately for Allen, his app is highly unstable and crashes before you can use such fun and exciting features as "American Flags," "Hunting Pics," or "Mullet Gen." If "Mullet Gen" is what I think it is, I know I am missing out.
6. His "Dictionary" Is Fun, But That's Because It's The Only Feature That Works
"Cotton-pickin'"! "Nairn" (meaning "not one")! A punny new definition for "paramour" (it's an automated device for cuttin', of course)! Those are fun words! Mayweather's app had a dictionary, too — I learned that "funductive" is a portmanteau of fun and productive — but Allen's is something to behold. Come out with a full book of these, Mr. Allen.
7. Mark Cuban Is A Puzzler
Shocking, I know. But this one is just so bizarre, it's hard not to like it. First off, it's called "Mark Cuban's Puzzle Palace." Look at that picture. It looks like a Super Nintendo game from 1992.
In the app itself, you take a picture or use one from your phone's album, or you can select a picture that's included of something Cubes likes — the Mavericks, Pittsburgh, Mark Cuban, etc. After that, a very simple puzzle is yours to put together, and I suppose you can beat your best time or something. A quality time-waster.
8. Everybody Should Be Doing This
These apps are terrible, but there's something almost charming, in this day and age, about a product so defiantly lo-fi and half-assedly thrown together that no one could bring himself to charge anything for it. It's like finding Drew Brees's official site on Geocities or something. Let's have more of these, sports figures. Imagine the possibilities: William Perry's Refrigerator Challenge; a pre-solved LeBron James puzzle you can play with two of your friends; the Pacman Jones Weather Report. How funductive!