Now Playing: Fitz and the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up the Pieces
It’s that wonderful time of year again: Mother Nature teases us with 40-degree temperature swings, I bemoan the fact that I have to start ironing shirts because it’s just a little too warm for sweaters, and oh yes, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us! While the exciting conclusion to the NHL season involves only half of the teams, it usually sees a sizable spike in social media interaction including an influx of many new and otherwise infrequent users to sites like Twitter.
As a seasoned veteran (read: regular annoyance) to the Twitter-verse I feel it is incumbent upon myself to throw out a few tips of the trade to help those so-called “n00bs” maximize their Twitter experience during the playoffs. Be sure to tweet irrational and hyperbolic statements with reckless abandon. Things like “[Insert opposing star player's name here] eats babies!” and “[Team A] is so good they’ll only need THREE games to sweep the Canu…errrr [Team B]” are things that will only cement your reputation as a critical hockey mind and a fan worth following for the duration of the playoffs. Also, when referring to a series between two teams for which you have nothing but vitriol, asking the general populus if there’s any way both of them can lose or a meteor can strike the arena is the accepted and appreciated way to approach this situation.
In addition, it’s helpful to know that the best way to discredit the argument(s) of a fellow fan is to resort to childish name-calling. Why bother with logic and fact-based responses when calling someone “shit-for-brains” or impugning their female relatives will get the job done in a much more efficient and mature manner? It will not only earn you respect from the masses but also save you boatloads of time actually following the game beyond the 8 seconds one might catch on the nightly ESPN SportsCenter.
It must also be noted that you’re not a real hockey fan unless you assault and berate the officials at least a half dozen times each game. In the incredibly unlikely event that you can’t find fault with a particular penalty or overturned goal, surely one of the linesman got a skate in the way of a clearing attempt that cost your team an odd-man break, and by logical extrapolation, the Stanley Cup. Failing that, some other popular topics of choice are: 1) The resemblance of their face to their hindquarters; 2) Their propensity to orally consume fecal matter; 3) The similarity of their visual acuity to that of a bat, and many more. When critiquing the referees, creativity and tastelessness rule the day. Worried that you’re being baseless and inappropriate? Fear not, you’ll fit right in on Twitter.
As with any aspect of sports, it helps to have incredibly thin skin when dealing with the smack talk and chirping during the playoffs on Twitter. By all means take everything said about your favorite team as a poison-tipped arrow directly to your heart and react accordingly with caps lock and profanity-laden tirades that would put Bruce Boudreau to shame. This process is sped up by using hashtags and trending topics so every tweet is that much more “troll-able” by fans of the opposition. It is also likely that you will anger people from time to time resulting in them “unfollowing” you. I assure that everyone that follows you would be lost without hearing about it through websites that track and call out your unfollowers every 15 minutes or so.
The most effective smack talk, as everyone knows, is like a fine wine and only gets better with age. So it only stands to reason that dredging up old, tired storylines that pertain to events off the ice such as Sean Avery’s “sloppy seconds” remark and Patrick Kane’s flap with a Buffalo cab driver will serve you especially well when waxing intellectual about their respective performances in the postseason.
Keep all of these helpful hints in mind and you yourself can build a strong Twitter following with hundreds, if not thousands of followers. Well, either that, or you’ll get run off the internet with the speed of a Zdeno Chara slapshot, I forget. Enjoy the playoffs, kiddies!