It’s no secret when watching major league sports, many are watching the players who get their pulse rising.
Watching a star play their best and give a top performance is an attractive trait in itself, and it seems some players take our fancy more than others across different teams and different leagues.
With this focus in mind, BetKansas.com took a break from tracking Chiefs Super Bowl odds to find out which sports fans are the “thirstiest” and which players, in particular, they are the thirstiest for. To source these findings, we used Linkfluence (a social listening tool) to scour over 500,000 X (Twitter) posts, revealing which athletes had the thirstiest fans online.
Sourcing all X mentions for more than 1,000 NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB stars, we analyzed keywords primarily associated with being “thirsty.” This included terms like “handsome,” “sexy,” and “hottest,” among others. These were then totaled together to find out who received the most thirst tweets over the last 12 months.
So, which athletes have the thirstiest fans?
Let’s find out.
NFL Stars With Thirstiest Fans
The results are in, so who leads the way in the NFL?
Taking the crown as the NFL star with the thirstiest fans is the Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce. In fact, it’s not even a close contest, with the tight end receiving a total of 37,320 thirst tweets over the last 12 months — over double that of second place!
While Kelce is deemed to be one of the best tight ends in NFL history, it’s undeniable many of these tweets are likely to have come off the back of his recent connection to Taylor Swift. Kelce’s social media mentions have blown up since the rumors began, with more posts online in the last 30 days (1.7 million) than the previous eight months combined (1.2 million).
Taking a very respectable second place was New York Jets star Aaron Rodgers, with a whopping 13,335 thirsty comments recorded on X. His April move from the Packers to the Jets received a mass amount of interest online, with many fans expressing their love for the four-time NFL MVP.
Discussion of his success and loyalty on the field fill online conversations, but off the field, his charming and confident demeanor comes across, which might be deemed for many, as attractive traits.
The Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, came third, with as many as 9,643 thirsty comments found on the social media platform. In fact, diving into the data, it’s clear to see his MVP Super Bowl performance in February had a large part to play in all these positive comments.
However, the two-time Super Bowl champion not only has eyes on him during game time but also away from the field. Outside the game, he’s widely considered attractive because of his confidence, charisma, and sense of style. Clearly, being a successful QB and having one of the most lucrative contracts in the league leads to a lot of online attention from fans.
Thirsty Picks For NBA Fans
For the NBA, it was Paul George who had the thirstiest comments online among devoted fans. The eight-time NBA All-Star received 18,718 thirsty comments online, which was the highest number out of all teams and players surveyed. So, chances are, the Los Angeles Clippers basketball player is winning fans over with his excellent performance, persona, and good looks.
Boasting a net worth of $1 billion, is it really a surprise LeBron James makes the top three? While not No. 1, LeBron comes out as the second-most popular NBA star for thirsty comments, with an impressive 12,309 mentions.
Diving into the data, it’s clear many of these thirst tweets were sent LeBron’s way after he officially became the NBA’s all-time scoring leader in February 2023. With endless awards and records on the court, LeBron’s success is an attractive trait which would likely be agreed upon by his 159 million Instagram followers. Whether he’s your GOAT or not, these comments are not likely to stop any time soon.
Fans are also falling for the Phoenix Suns Kevin Durant, who has received a whopping 6,469 thirsty tweets over the last 12 months. Over his 15 NBA seasons, KD is consistently one of the most impressive players in the league, with many ranking him among the best players of this generation. Some would say he’s aging like a fine wine.
MLB’s Thirstiest Fans
The fastest player in major league history to reach 250 home runs takes the No. 1. Over the last 12 months, the Yankees right fielder has received 4,476 thirst tweets, many of which came from the achievement above.
The five-time MLB All-Star also boasts one of the biggest followings across baseball, with over 2 million followers on Instagram and 540K on X, where fans express their fondness of the star. Standing at 6-foot-7, he’s also one of the tallest and most recognizable players in the MLB, making him hard to miss on the field.
Shohei Ohtani was next on the list, with the Los Angeles Angels star being mentioned in as many as 3,568 thirst tweets. Similar to Judge, this love comes from his incredible on-field performances.
Arguably one of the best players in the league, Ohtani has become a dominant starting pitcher and one of the most dangerous hitters, excelling in both parts of the game. Similar to Judge, Ohtani is also supported by one of the best followings across the league, having 4.9 million on his Instagram alone.
Houston’s Justin Verlander takes the third spot with a recorded 3,208 thirst tweets coming in over the last 12 months. The 40-year-old pitcher is still clearly turning heads with his solid performances on the field, seemingly getting better with age. Despite being out for the 2021 season due to a UCL injury, Verlander came back with a vengeance and picked up his third Cy Young Award and a World Series title in 2022.
NHL Stars With Thirstiest Fans
Taking the No. 1 spot across the NHL is the Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews, who was at the receiving end of 2,265 thirst tweets over the last 12 months. Looking into the data, many tweets came around his four-year contract extension with Toronto, which is reported to be worth around $53 million. With two Rocket Richard Trophies, a Hart Trophy, and a Ted Lindsay Award, Matthews stays high on NHL fans’ radar despite having a slightly disappointing 22-23 season (by his standards).
In second place was EA Sports’ official highest-rated NHL player, Connor McDavid. While he ranked first in the game with a 97 rating, McDavid has to take the place behind Matthews, receiving 2,036 thirst tweets. Many of these tweets were directed his way after he became the sixth NHL player ever to achieve 150 points in a season, a feat that got fans active online.
Rounding off the top three is winger Patrick Kane. Despite currently being a free agent, Kane is still receiving love online, having received 1,769 thirst tweets over the last year. With Kane linked to the likes of the Sabres, Maple Leafs, and Red Wings, the hockey world is keen to see what his future holds.
Who Makes Official Top 20?
When combining each league, it’s clear NFL and NBA stars lead the way. Judge, at No. 17, is the only player representing the MLB, while no players from the NHL make the cut. Matthews is closest to making the list but still only ranks 41st.
The table below ranks the top 20 athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB who received the most ‘thirst’ tweets over the last 12 months:
To reveal which athletes have the thirstiest fans online, we used Linkfluence (a social listening tool) to scrape over 500,000 Twitter posts.
Scraping all Twitter mentions of each athlete, we analyzed keywords associated with being ‘thirsty’ such as: “handsome,” “sexy,” “hottest,” and more, which were being used to describe each sports star.
These were then summed together to find out who had received the most thirst tweets over the last 12 months.