Twitter, whether you like it or not, has become the new newsroom. When clubs or agents aren’t breaking the latest transaction news on there, well connected media types and/or the players themselves are. It’s easy to understand why some would be apprehensive toward signing up for an account and jumping right into it. There is, after all, a lot of web savviness required to build a network worth following. Besides, you’ve got every hockey blog between here and Bakersfield, California reporting on even the smallest details that are uttered over the social media tool on a daily basis.
It’s the players themselves that can make for some of the more interesting follows on Twitter, and for better or for worse they’re on there and there’s very little filter between guys like Dan Ellis and Paul Bissonnette and fans of the game.
Ellis Island Is Lonely and Fallen On Hard Times
It was Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis that caused many hockey twit-heads to throw a keyboard conniption fit late Monday evening when he ‘tweeted’ the following:
Yes, the pains of making $1.5 million to play goal for half of a season seems to have taken a toll on Dan Ellis’ stress level. Is it fair to take a hockey player’s unedited, unfiltered, offhand remarks on a social media site as gospel? Probably not, but Dan Ellis took the time to opine about his and others loss in players’ escrow so there will be comment on it regardless. Compared to the ramblings of many other professional athletes that use social media to connect with their fans, Ellis more often than not comes across as very intelligent person whose interests stretch much further beyond the fluorescent lights of a hockey arena. It can be refreshing at times, and in the case of last evening, it can just look ignorant.
Ellis was met with a shitstorm of backlash from bloggers and fans alike. Unfortunately for Ellis and other players keen on social media, this is how the machine works: people will jump on a statement and take it out of context because it’s easy to do so when you’re only speaking in 140 characters. Dan Ellis chooses to tweet his musings on life beyond his duties in the crease and pays for it when he tries to get smart. He’ll probably scale back the finance tweets now and stick to talking about the mundane aspects of his life like driving to practice, or taking out library books.
Enter “Biz Nasty”
It’s not all lost revenue and hard done by for hockey players on Twitter. There is, of course, the undisputed king of keyboards Paul “Biz Nasty” Bissonnette and his occasionally X-rated ramblings. Bissonnette, for his part, takes the old hockey locker room stereotypes and turns them into comedic gold on a daily basis. “Biz Nasty” likes to stir the pot as much as Ellis, but he clearly has a different approach to doing so.
Bissonnette didn’t spend his long weekend complaining about a dip in escrow, but he found himself stuck in the middle of his own unenviable position while having dinner on Friday:
So we have NHL players trying to get smart using social media on one hand while taking things to the realm of toilet humour on the other. Like Dan Ellis has said himself, “Simple solution to the sensitive=unfollow! I am not holding a gun at your head to follow so do yourself a favor and protect your blood pressure”.
What do you think, is players using social media to connect with fans a detriment to their image? Or is it a refreshing way to expand the conversation around the game while providing never before seen levels of access to the common fan?