@Dan Ellis: Peace Out, Twitter! #DanEllisProblems
MONTREAL, QC. – Dan Ellis, remember him? He’s the goaltender who’s rights were obtained from the Nashville Predators in the Sergei Kostitsyn trade. He’s the goaltender we quickly adored for an entire two days before he decided Montreal was not the proper place for him, and then ventured off to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Dan Ellis, who happens to be one of the NHL’s most active “twitterers” has decided, either himself or due to pressure, to leave his Twitter account. He made the announcement late Wednesday night, his account was still active a little after midnight.
Let me explain for those who are not up to date on the Dan Ellis fiasco (if you want to call it that.) It started a few days ago when Dan Ellis posted the following “tweets” on his Twitter account:
- “Kind of bored today…what can I stir the pot about today?”
- “RT @reggie_bush:: ok so what is the sticking point with the negotiations? (the owners want the Players to take an 18% pay cut)..try 24% NHL”
- “If you lost 18% of your income would you be happy? I can honestly say that I am more stressed about money now then when I was in college.”
- “I can’t explain it and I never thought it would be the case but it is true. $ in no way makes u more happy or makes life much easier.”
The first thing that jumps out at me is that Dan Ellis said that he would stir the pot that day. He announced it himself and it was only a matter of time before he would “tweet” something controversial. As we can see by his tweets, he then “retweeted” a message by Reggie Bush of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. Bush was commenting on salary claw-backs professional athletes can be faced with. Then, in my opinion, things went a little overboard on his part when he started playing the sympathy card.
To his dumbfounded surprise, he didn’t receive much sympathy from his followers and the situation degenerated like none other. His followers attacked, some in a professional manner, others with childish name calling. Ellis fought back, sometimes even insulting his followers.
The story sparked excellent write-ups from many including Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy. He wrote an article titled Goalie Dan Ellis Discovers Lack of Sympathy for Whiney Millionaires. Another came from Spector’s Hockey in an article titled His Own Worst Enemy. Both are great reads and I definitely recommend them.
Personally, his initial comments did not bother me all that much. I found it surprising that he would dare say something of that nature and I definitely believe he lacked judgment in choosing to say what he did, but it was his reaction to his followers reactions that really bothered me.
How can you intentionally decide you’re going to “stir the pot” as he said it, and then when you do, react in a way that makes it seem like you never intended this in the first place? Perhaps he thought he would only stir up a pot, truth is, he stirred up a pot alright, but the pot contained a hornet’s nest.
Here are some examples of Ellis’ reactions to his followers from his Twitter account:
- “Simple solution to the sensitive=unfollow! I am not holding a gun at your head to follow so do yourself a favor”
- “If your getting overly jazzed up about my meaningless tweets maybe unfollow or therapy is just what the Dr ordered?”
Okay, so Dan Ellis is definitely not the guy you want doing public relations in any crisis situation. What followed was, I must say, the highlight of the week. Followers of Dan Ellis started mocking him, and sometimes in the most brilliant and witty of ways. The hashtag #DanEllisProblems on twitter (which was already existing because of past Dan Ellis rants, yep, not the first time) came back into circulation and inspired some rather funny tweets:
- @taylorhatchett: “Wondering how many gifts I can afford at Christmas time #DanEllisProblems”
- @adam47kauffman: “Not actually getting a penny for his thoughts #danellisproblems”
- @CooterTV: “Letting in goals from the neutral zone… http://youtu.be/Vp2eTuoUz3Y #DanEllisProblems”
- @drewfansler: “Pekka Rinne. #DanEllisProblems”
- @davidvjones: “Rebounds. #DanEllisProblems”
Dan Ellis then came out the following night and apologized to his followers. In what seemed like a sincere but maybe ‘pressured-into’ apology, he said how his intentions were never to hurt or offend anyone. Case closed. Right? No.
It looks like Dan Ellis is now closing his Twitter account. His decision? Was he pressured into it? Is it even true or just a tactic to see what kinds of reactions he gets? Who knows and frankly, this story is getting played out so fast I’m starting to wonder if I even care. I was amazed at the way Dan Ellis came out tonight to announce this. He’s in Tampa, I’m in Montreal, yet I could hear the violins all the way from here. The sympathy card being played was very weak in my opinion, and the worst thing in this to me is that it’s probably going to work.
Here was how he broke the news:
- @33dellis: “Twitter was a great way to see inside the life of athletes outside of public media. But this is even too much for me.”
- @33dellis: “I feel bad for the sincere followers/fans who just wanted a glimpse of things from the inside. But with the recent explosion…”
- @33dellis: “I am shutting down my twitter because in no way shape or form do I want this to disrupt my team.”
- @33dellis: “I deeply care for my teammates and faithful followers. This has all been misconstrued to no end and ppl’s feelings are getting hurt.”
- @33dellis: “There was never any intention in my tweets to undermine ppl who are in different income brackets. I donate 10% of my salary each year to..”
- @33dellis: “Help under privileged kids across the world. as long as I play in the NHL my peldge will remain the same to The Garth Brooks Foundation”
- @33dellis: “I deeply care for the less fortunate and make many efforts to be of even marginal help. I wish you all a happy twitter experience and…”
- @33dellis: “Hope you do not allow this misunderstanding to form the basis of your opinion of me. I welcome any of you to meet me in person to chat.”
- @33dellis: “But no longer will I xpress things through this medium. Thx again to all the good ppl I have met on twitter. I wish you all the very best.”
- @33dellis: “Peace out twitter!”
I have tears in my eyes just reading it again… But seriously, was all of this really necessary? Why am I here thinking that this ‘event’ could rival “as the world turns” on weekday afternoons in terms of soap opera type material? (Does that show even still play?) Already, messages are pouring into Dan Ellis’ twitter account asking him not to leave. Whether this was the plan or not, everyone’s already forgiven him, well, mostly.
Jeff Marek, from CBC Sports, had the following tweet which got a loud laugh from me:
- @JeffMarek: “When do we start the countdown for @33dellis2point0 ??????”
Jeff was making reference to Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes, who recently came back on Twitter under the handle @BizNasty2Point0. His original Twitter account had mysteriously disappeared following some questionable tweets with regards to Kovalchuk’s contract situation.
In conclusion, I say this. If you have a Twitter account, whether professional athlete or not, be responsible. Take a second to realize what you are doing. If you want to stir things up, assume the consequences of your actions. It’s a relief so few of the Montreal Canadiens players have Twitter accounts!
(Feature Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)