Just the very thought of it sounds absurd. In a market where all four of the major sports markets are represented (at least for now), how could a guy who sees about as much ice time as the girls who clean the ice during commercial breaks be the most popular athlete in Phoenix?
In truth, Paul Bissonnette certainly isn't the most popular athlete in Phoenix. But he's certainly up there. Social media is a very powerful tool, and Biz knows how to use it, as evidence by his ranking in our own SB Nation AZ's power rankings for Twitter athletes.
Bissonnette is making a very dangerous case to become the most popular athlete on the desert, on a nationwide scale. Not many NHLers use Twitter, and the ones that do aren't terribly popular among the mainstream sports community. Washington's Alex Ovechkin has one that he seldom uses and rising star Steven Stamkos uses his every once in a while as well.
At over 88,200 followers and counting, there is perhaps no NHL player that carries more popularity than that of @BizNasty2point0, at least in a social media perspective and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who tweets with the regularity that Bissonnette does. It does make sense given how rarely Biz's enforcer skills are utilized in the Phoenix lineup, leaving him with more time on his hands than many.
But has Twitter made Bissonnette a favorite among fans inside and out of the desert to the point where he rivals Steve Nash and Larry Fitzgerald in terms of popularity? That's unlikely.
For one, with the exception of poor team performances this year, both are perennial All Stars in their respective sports. Bissonnette is an enforcer on a team that utilizes their speed more than they do their brawn.
But the fact that Bissonnette can even be mentioned in the same breath as two guys who could each be in the Hall of Fame someday really speaks to the power of social media.
Some speculate that if Bissonnette concentrated more on his game, he'd actually be a pretty decent hockey player. But for now, we're stuck with the spot-starting, enforcer that is Biz Nasty, who is much closer to a Dos Equis commercial than a Hart Trophy. And we in Phoenix like it that way.
He might not be the best athlete in Phoenix, or even the second or third best, but as far as entertainment goes, Biz Nasty is top notch and is well on his way to becoming the most talked about athlete out of the desert to grace the Twitterspace with his presence.