It’s a new year, which means a clean slate for everyone -- and that includes athletes.
But let’s face it, we could all use a little help staying out of trouble in 2013. Some more than others ([cough] Dez Bryant).
I’ve put together a lineup of six apps that could help athletes avoid garnering headlines for doing boneheaded stuff off the field.
• News Booth, free
Tired of the media taking your words out of context? Regain control with News Booth, which allows you to create your own headlines. This is the perfect app for an offensive lineman wanting to get some love, a linebacker who is afraid of getting fined for verbally trashing an official or anyone on the Los Angeles Lakers.
• Snapchat, free
With Snapchat, athletes no longer risk being called for unsportsmanlike conduct for sexting. The free photo-messaging app can make sent photos disappear up to 10 seconds after viewing. If the user takes a screenshot, the app will notify you. Snapchat might even make it worthwhile to come out of retirement.
• Nüdifier, free
This one was only a matter of time. With Nüdifier, you can take any photo -- nude, fully clothed and even one of your pet -- and Nüdify it. The result: With strategically placed pixels, the altered pic looks both nude and censored at the same time. Classy. So dudes, keep your pants on and the message will still get across.
• Wickr, free
Let’s say an owner wants to get the jump on recruiting a prized free agent, or a college coach is looking to get in touch with a blue-chip recruit, but the timing goes against the rules. With Wickr, your worries can self-destruct -- along with your questionably timed text message.
No, really. A Wickr text message uses military-grade encryption and will self-destruct when and where you advise. It works for text, picture text and audio, and the sender even gets to choose the amount of time he or she wants the text to live before it disappears. There is a catch: Each user must have the app installed. Still, with stats like these, Wickr might just win Defensive Player of the Year!
Another option along these lines is TigerText, which basically sends you a hyperlink via a text message. The sender can recall it before or after it’s been opened, protecting his or her privacy. Note: The name is pure coincidence and was not actually named after Tiger Woods.
• SayHi Translate, $0.99
Americans playing sports abroad -- or non-English-speaking imports playing in the States -- never want to say the wrong thing to the media, especially when it could potentially get lost in translation. SayHi Translate is a universal voice translator that uses voice or typing to translate words and sentences into 40 languages in a matter of seconds. Granted, it’s no human translator, but it’s fun, cheap and pretty damn accurate, especially over time. The downer: It needs an Internet connection, and paying for international data can be expensive.
• Burner, $1.99
We’ve seen athletes change their names and their jersey numbers, but what they really should be changing is their phone number. It happens all the time: Athletes get suckered into giving some lucky lady their digits, and the next thing you know, she is starring on her own reality show spin-off of "Basketball Wives." Forget that. Burner, which acts as a privacy layer for your phone, allows you to create a temporary number for a given length of time, depending on how many credits you purchase.
Good luck in 2013, professional athletes. Don’t say I didn’t try to help!