There are NFC West superfans and members of opposing coaching staffs and of course the members of Chris Culliver's family. But even for those who follow the game closely, there's a decent chance that Chris Culliver's doofy "ain't nothing sweet" homophobia on Super Bowl Media Day—in a conversation with Artie Lange, the Charlie Rose of sweaty, drug-braised Howard Stern alums, because it's Super Bowl Media Day—was the first most people heard of him.
Culliver has played in every game in both of his NFL seasons, but started only six; he has not been in this sort of media churn before. And as first impressions go, Culliver didn't necessarily crush it. "No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do," Culliver told Lange. "Can't be with that sweet stuff... Nah, can't be in the locker room. Nah."
Culliver has already apologized, in a way that—while not evincing much more candlepower than the original #PAUSE-y slurrage—was at least in colloquial English, instead of the usual canned, multiply vetted duckspeak. As depressingly ignorant as Culliver's commentary was, it seems less likely that he's exceptionally bigoted than he was exceptionally off-message and ill-prepared for the leering, judge-y, TMZ-but-less-well-styled scrutiny of Super Bowl Media Day. (Props, too, to Artie Lange, for having the guts and good judgment to ask Culliver if he was "ever approached by gay guys"; just a good question that needed asking.) At any rate, it was not a good look, or a career highlight, or anything but a bummer, honestly.
And, of course, it raised some questions. Foremost among those: how the hell did over one million people come to follow Chris Culliver, reserve NFL defensive back and a guy whose Twitter personality is divided between actual bro-y idiocy, anodyne jocktweets and reckless hashtag abuse? The simple answer, which Vikings punter Chris Kluwe suggested on Twitter, is that they didn't, and that Culliver took Jessica Danielle's Twitter Tips For Creeps advice to heart and copped himself some followers. A cursory look at Culliver's follower roster certainly bears this out, as it's padded with random Filipinos, mismatched bios, and poignantly fakey-fake accounts. A goodly portion of Twitter consists of this, of course, and it's not necessarily out of the question that Culliver's "JUST LIFTED WEIGHTS LMAO" tweets could go over big in the Phillipines. People love good stories everywhere, and what is a better story than a 24-year-old defensive back ungrammatically discussing a recent workout?
Anyway, this is maybe a long way of getting to the fact that there's a site called Status People that allows for an assessment of fake-versus-legitimate followers that's somewhat more scientific than some doofus guessing at which Filipino followers are fake and which are Culliver superfans. So I went there.
So, there's that. There's a chance that Culliver doesn't know that his 780,000 fake Twitter followers are illegitimate. Of course, there's also a chance that he's never played with a gay person during his years in football. I wouldn't bet on either, though.