Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is among the athletes who have already contributed to Derek Jeter's site known as The Players' Tribune. Merriman explained why it was a rewarding experience:

Malcolm Butler is still riding the wave of his Super Bowl heroics. Not only has he been handed the keys to Tom Brady's new truck -- a prize for being named the Super Bowl MVP -- but his hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi, will be honoring him with a parade this weekend.

Combine that with a standing ovation at a recent Boston Celtics game and an on-stage role at the Grammy's earlier this month -- where he and teammate Julian Edelman presented the Best Rock Album award -- and Butler's life has been genuinely turned upside down.

For an undrafted rookie with a small-town upbringing, Butler is new enough to fame that he can still remember what it's like to be on the other side, as a fan soaking up his presence. He's enjoying every moment he can, including a fun segment he shot for NFL Network, where he walked the streets in Los Angeles and asked passersby about the Super Bowl and his game-clinging interception.

Some fans are quicker than others to recognize Butler, but one thing is clear: His name may be famous, but his face hasn't made the leap quite yet. In moments like this, that's a gift in his own right.

Nevertheless, several people Butler interviewed took time to congratulate him on his big moment under the bright lights. The Patriots defensive back may be famous, but he's not too far removed from the moment for people to appreciate his unlikely path to stardom.

Season 19 of ABC's The Bachelor is winding down and naturally there is already speculation about who the next leading man will be.

One possibility, according to the show's host, Chris Harrison, should be Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. After all, Bryant is handsome, wealthy, emotional and (most importantly) single.

Plus, it doesn't hurt to have these abs:

Have to keep my abs right lol #throwupthex

A photo posted by Dez Bryant (@dezbryant) on

It should be noted that Harrison is a little biased -- he's a Cowboys fan -- but having Bryant on the show isn't a bad idea. Not only would it attract an entirely new demographic, Bryant's affinity for the dramatic would likely cause ratings to skyrocket.

Kudos to Harrison for the smooth shout-out to Bryant's controversial no-catch last month in the NFC divisional round game between his Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. The marketing slogans practically write themselves:

Bryant wouldn't be the show's first athlete, as Jesse Palmer (football) and Juan Pablo Galavis (soccer) have both taken turns as the leading man. But Bryant would be the first African-American bachelor or bachelorette, which is a change of pace that would be welcome among the show's followers.

For the time being Bryant has more pressing concerns than whether and how he'll find his soulmate. After the best season of his career, during which he caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and led the NFL with 16 touchdown receptions, there are rumors that the Cowboys might apply the franchise tag to Bryant.

Those who think Kobe Bryant is without a weakness are sorely mistaken.

The Black Mamba, who has found time for more introspection recently, admitted in an interview with GQ that one of his greatest flaws is his inability to cultivate great friendships.

When asked by interviewer Chuck Klosterman if he had friends, Bryant responded with this:

"I have 'like minds.' You know, I've been fortunate to play in Los Angeles, where there are a lot of people like me. Actors. Musicians. Businessmen. Obsessives. People who feel like God put them on earth to do whatever it is that they do. Now, do we have time to build great relationships? Do we have time to build great friendships? No. Do we have time to socialize and to hangout aimlessly? No. Do we want to do that? No. We want to work. I enjoy working."

Bryant has long been known as a loner and he's had lots of problems with teammates during his two decades in the NBA. But it's hard to argue with the results: Bryant has brought five championship trophies to Los Angeles and earlier in the 2014-15 he overtook Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

The 36-year-old Bryant traces his lack of companions to his childhood in Italy. He told Klosterman of his struggles finding friends while his family moved around the country to accommodate his father's professional basketball aspirations.

"Of course. It's not like I'm saying, 'I don't need friends because I'm so strong.' It's a weakness. When I was growing up in Italy, I grew up in isolation. It was not an environment suited to me. I was the only black kid. I didn't speak the language. I'd be in one city, but then we'd move to a different city and I'd have to do everything again. I'd make friends, but I'd never be part of the group, because the other kids were already growing up together. So this is how I grew up, and these are the weaknesses that I have."

Bryant has been committed to basketball for so long that now that his playing days are limited he seems to be struggling with how to handle himself. After tearing his rotator cuff last month Bryant is out for the rest of the 2015 season, the third year in a row in which an injury has sidelined him for the end of the season.

Bryant is set to make $25 million in 2015-16, but it's unclear whether he'll be able to make it through a full season. There's more uncertainty regarding who will be playing around him, as the Lakers are reportedly struggling to find guys who want to be Bryant's teammates.

To read Bryant's entire GQ interview, see here.

Comedian and actor Craig Robinson has appeared in some of the most popular comedies of the past few years, in addition to his role as Daryl on the American version of "The Office." But Robinson is also a big sports fan. As he works the press circuit for his new movie, "Hot Tub Time Machine 2," ThePostGame caught up with Robinson to see which sports stars he would most like to share a hot tub with, past or present. Watch the video to see who he picks.

Before you rule out the existence of mermaids, the nation's best college basketball player wants you to think twice and watch a Discovery Channel "documentary" about the subject.

In a revealing Wall Street Journal profile on Duke's Jahlil Okafor, Ben Cohen talked to the big man about, among other things, his television habits and his love for the mystical.

It turns out Okafor is a Netflix binger, which isn't all that unusual for a college freshman. More telling is that Okafor has a fascination with science fiction and loves creatures like mermaids and Bigfoot.

“That’s always been my interest,” Okafor told Cohen. “Things of the unknown.”

Okafor has tried, to varying degrees of success, to get his teammates to watch documentaries with him about these phenomena. One of those is the Discovery Channel's Mermaids: The Body Found, which represented itself as real.

"I tried to tell them," Okafor said about the documentary. "They wouldn’t listen."

Unfortunately for Okafor and young girls everywhere, the documentary was in fact not real.

Okafor never explicitly said he believed in mermaids, but that hasn't stopped people on Twitter from going after him for his interest in the sea creatures.

Okafor isn't the first high profile college player to be fooled by something he thought was authentic, but at least Manti Te'o was done with his collegiate days by the time his folly was revealed.

Okafor's Duke squad is ranked fourth in the nation and as it heads into a game against archrival North Carolina on Wednesday night. The game is at Duke, but when the two teams square off again in March, it won't be a surprise to see Tar Heels fans pillorying Okafor for his questionable beliefs.

Always involved in charity projects, Robert Griffin III decided to put an old foot cast up for auction earlier this month. The cast was worn after he dislocated his ankle in September, forcing him out of action for a large chunk of the season.

Griffin said that the auction money earned by the cast -- which is signed by the entire Redskins team -- would be donated directly to the Family of 3 foundation.

We now know who the winner of that auction is, and he's a true gem. Rich Bruno is a podiatry student and a huge Washington football fan. His love for both football and feet led him to drop a solid $1,522 on Griffin's cast, and he couldn't be happier about it.

In a long post on Facebook, Bruno discusses his victory.

"19 months ago, I enrolled in podiatry school," Bruno writes. "At that moment, what I loved most in life was the Redskins. They’re still a huge part of me. As time has gone on though, my life has been consumed by feet, and I have loved every second of it. I love feet. I love podiatry. I love the thought of making a difference in so many people's lives. I am also a huge RGIII supporter."

Bruno goes on to say that when Griffin dislocated his ankle, "initially fell to the fetal position and sobbed. A lot."

But he comforted himself with the realization that he, as a future podiatrist, could help improve that situation and heal athletes like Griffin. And so he will display Griffin's cast with joy.

"While I will now be liquidating everything I own to pay for it, I own that cast," Bruno writes. "I own that moment forever. I could not be happier."

He also posted his gratitude on Twitter:

Not sure the math in there is sound, but enjoy your new used cast, Bruno.

Steve Kerr had no illusions about his role as coach of the Western Conference All-Stars.

The Golden State Warriors' rookie coach knew that his role was largely ceremonial and he admitted as much before Sunday night's game:

During the game microphones caught Kerr drawing up a not-so-creative play for his guys:

Kerr did have one objective over the weekend, which was to run the 38-year-old Tim Duncan into the ground. Kerr and Duncan were teammates for three years in San Antonio, and Duncan's Spurs pose perhaps the largest threat to Kerr's Warriors in the Western Conference.

During Sunday's game, in which Duncan played 15 minutes and pulled down nine rebounds, Kerr jokingly tried to get the big man to play some defense. Duncan wasn't so hot on Kerr's strategy:

The irony here, of course, is twofold. First, Kerr has proved himself to be one of the most innovative coaches in the league, and he has led the Warriors to a league-best 42-9 record at the All-Star break.

Secondly, Kerr's Western Conference squad ended up winning the game despite his lack of creative insight. The West topped the East, 163-158.

Aside from enjoying all the fun that NBA All-Star Weekend inherently offers, DeMarcus Cousins is hoping his time in New York will also allow him to escape the soap opera of the Kings' coaching situation.

Sacramento fired Michael Malone in December even though the team was showing signs of progress. Kings management recently said that interim coach Tyrone Corbin would finish the season, but then changed its mind to pursue George Karl. As all this unfolded, Cousins issued a statement that he had no input on coaching decisions.

Charles Barkley criticized the decision to include Dwyane Wade in the NBA All-Star Game. Wade's wife, actress Gabrielle Union, responded by citing Barkley's lack of championship rings. More sniping ensued. Eventually Wade ended up having to bow out of Sunday's game at Madison Square Garden because of his hamstring injury, but the diss exchange was entertaining while it lasted.

In an exclusive interview with Access Hollywood, Union said matching wits with Barkley wasn't particularly tough: "It's like playing Scrabble with a toddler." See Union drop some other zingers on Charles in this "Access Hollywood" segment:

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