A Canucks fan begins to turn into the Hulk after learning what the Kings Twitter account did.
In case you’re still stewing with outrage over the sheer audacity of the Los Angeles Kings Twitter account, I want you to know that they have heard your cries. Thursday afternoon, the Kings apologized for the tweet, which was, of course, heinous. It was in poor taste to suggest the Sedins were women, claim Francophones such as Alain Vigneault and Alex Burrows should be exiled to France, call Cory Schneider a ginger, and make a riot joke all in one tweet.
Wait, that’s not what happened? They merely suggested the rest of Canada was rooting against the Canucks? Then why is the outrage-o-meter bordering on aneurysmal? Because that’s just true.
Earlier this week, I predicted that we might see a redemption narrative take shape this year in the national coverage, especially since the Canucks had scaled back the embellishment, Maxim Lapierre had become a fighter, and the whole group was tougher and less powerplay-reliant. But, one game into the Stanley Cup playoffs, I can already say that I was wrong.
I didn’t expect Byron Bitz to hit a guy in the head (and neither did he, judging from his contrition this morning); it was a surprise that Ryan Kesler decided to pick Game 1 of the postseason to ratchet up the fakery, something we’ve hardly seen at all from him this season; and I wholly underestimated the way that hating the Canucks had become a national pastime, something the Kings’ social media guy clearly gets, and Canuck fans might want to get used to.
What blows me away is that the tweet touched on this phenomenon without deigning to any of the low-hanging fruit we’re bound to see and have already begun to see, and we lost it anyway. Provided the Canucks’ cup run goes beyond round one, we should expect to be inundated with sexist anti-Sedin arguments, absurdly slanted reporting, and lazy crap about Vancouver’s climate and geography not being Canadian (presumably from people that also want Hawaii and Alaska banished from the United States).
And this completely harmless sentence set us off? Here it is again, for posterity:
To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you’re welcome.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 12, 2012
And here’s the apology. From Cam Tucker at the Vancouver Sun:
“We encourage our digital team to be creative, interactive and to apply a sense of humour whenever possible. To anyone who found it offensive, we sincerely apologize,” said Kings VP of communications and broadcasting Michael Altieri.
Altieri would not discuss whether the individual would face any discipline, but said there had been internal discussions within the organization since the tweet was sent out.
“It’s definitely a philosophical approach we choose to take. We believe in engagement is first and foremost in all our digital strategies because we feel with engagement it will bring types of things we want for our business, for our organization over time,” said Altieri.
For what it’s worth, the apology rings a tad hollow for two reasons: first, because the tweet remains in their timeline for me to embed above. If they were truly ashamed of it, it would have been deleted. Second, Altieri’s use of the word “engagement”. That’s the key here. To spare me from repeating myself, here’s what I had to say about the tweet over at Puck Daddy:
As Thomas Drance of Canucks Army suggested, I suspect that much of the shock and awe among Canucks fans and even fans in other Canadians hockey cities stems from what they’ve come to expect from their team’s Twitter account, which embraces the word “official” and addresses the untold masses with the professionalism and relative remove.
You’d never see something like this out the Canucks’ Twitter account because it isn’t trying to drum up interest or attention; it’s just trying to maintain the status quo. Heck, it avoids full-on Orwellian status simply because the Canucks’ social media guru, Derek Jory, is talented enough to walk that fine line.
The Kings’ account, on the other hand, is actively trying to engage — and engage it did.
In effect, Vancouver fans are reacting (and I would say drastically overreacting) to a difference in approach. The Canucks’ social media presence is aimed at maintaining their fanbase and giving a massive, faceless organization a smidgen of personality. The Kings’ social media presence is aimed at growing their fanbase and attempting to drum up interest and appear relevant. And what’s more relevant than Canada hating the Canucks?
But it’s worth noting that Canuck fans seem to be forgetting about the other official Canucks Twitter account, @canucksgame, which tweets during games. Like the Kings account, it can be occasionally irreverent. And yet there’s little outrage when it makes a joke at the expense of the other team. How about that.
Thankfully, the uproar in this case is limited to Canuck fans and not Canuck personnel.
#Canucks AV, asked about Kings Twitter chirp: I don’t care about Twitter. I care about the Stanley Cup playoffs.
— Jim Jamieson (@JamiesonCanucks) April 12, 2012
AV is wise to brush this aside as a complete non-issue. That’s what it was, and that’s what it deserved, especially compared to the stuff that’s coming. Pace yourselves, Vancouver.Tags: canada's new national pastime, Canucks, Kesler, Kings, outrage-o-meter, playoffs, When Twitter is a regrettable medium