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Friday, November 6, 2009
Fitzgerald, T.O. following Ocho

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Very soon, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco won’t be the only NFL player with his own iPhone application.

 Fitzgerald
 Owens
 Ochocinco
Fellow NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Terrell Owens are in the developmental stages of creating phone applications, according to Rock Software president John Shahidi. Fitzgerald agreed to terms to do a personalized "app" this week, while Owens' has been in the works for about a month.

"Wide receivers are very interesting," Shahidi said. "Larry is not as wild as Chad and Terrell. But at the same time, a lot of people look up to Larry. He’s just a really stand-up guy, and his is going to be based more on that, more inspirational. We like that personality part with Larry."

Ochocinco was the first athlete to put a phone application on the market this year. It includes features such as a question-and-answer session with Ochocinco, and a GPS device where you can track the receiver's whereabouts.

Shahidi is partners with Bengals backup quarterback Jordan Palmer. The idea began in training camp when Ochocinco learn Palmer was working on various phone applications and thought it would be interesting to create one for himself.

Consider Ochocinco a trailblazer in this department. Other NFL athletes who recently signed deals include San Diego Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips and Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett. NBA All-Star and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard also is in negotiations and expects to have a deal in place soon.

"Everyone is recognizing that technology is moving towards the cell phone," Shahidi said. "People are now associating computers with work, and now phones are the fun part."

When asked what an ESPN.com AFC North blog phone application would look like, Shahidi had some interesting ideas.

"I would make it a trash-talking app," Shahidi said. "It’s between four teams with four crazy groups of fans. That’s the first thing I would do. And then you have some interesting characters with Ray Lewis and Troy Polamalu and Chad, so it would be some stuff built around them as well."

Sounds good to me. Where do I sign up?