I’m not gonna lie to you, folks – the Senators’ social media was pretty thin gruel this month. Is it time to retire the power rankings? The paper-thin conceit upon which we’ve always relied is that when social media lets us observe our favorite Senators in their natural environments – the golf course, the boat show, the bottomless scampi basket – it lets us understand them more as hockey players, and maybe even understand ourselves in the process. But what happens when the players start turning the tap off? When tweets become less and less frequent, Instagram accounts go private, and the real action ends up being lost in the ether of Snapchat? Do I need to get a cellular telephone now?
I mean, are they on to us? On the ice, this past month was probably the most successful the Senators have ever had, and yet in the past, those sorts of good times usually translated into at least a few players tweeting blurry pictures involving a stretch Hummer, coconut Skyy, and a guy who looks suspiciously like Gordon Lightfoot. Not this month, though. Have we disrupted a delicate ecosystem by observing it too closely? Have we breached the Prime Directive? Does anyone remember laughter?
So is it time to shut this operation down? Convince me otherwise, guys. Convince me that there’s still some profligacy and a lack of self-awareness in the world, as long as we look closely enough. Convince me, one more time, that the only thing keeping us all from living our best lives . . . is us.
1) Erik Karlsson (last month: 1)
Whatever, that’s like, the cheap Lambo.
2) Partying with dogs (last month: NR)
Let’s dial down our expectations a little, maybe. We all have dogs. How have our favorite Senators recently been partying with dogs? Let’s find out.
Okay, this doesn’t look like much of a party, although in this guy’s defense, he does have a concussion (the man, not the dog). MacArthur is more excited than Apollo here, perhaps because he’s looking forward to his morning garbage can full of cereal in the background.
Also not much of a party, because it’s not clear Mike Hoffman’s bulldog is fully on-board with his particular brand of amorousness. It’s not exactly discomfort; it’s more of a perfunctory expression, like when you’re still mad about the fight over the credit card statement earlier but he’s making a big show of kissing you in front of everyone at the dinner party that you couldn’t cancel. Come on, Hoffman. Don’t put her on the spot like that, especially when you’re only moralizing about her Visa charges because you bought those new Callaways with cash. That’s right, she saw them, hidden in the garage behind the snow tires. So stop being such a jerk and just back off for a couple days.
Okay, it looks like this is as turnt as we’re going to get this month, and it still involves a large man tenderly kissing a small dog, in this case right after mastering the seamless “just turn everything off for three seconds” beatmatch. Forget it, let’s move on.
3) David Legwand (last month: NR)
Maybe we need to consider less usual suspects, so let’s consider David Legwand. David Legwand doesn’t participate in social media, probably because he’s old enough to remember polio. We can see how this decision sets him apart from Mike Hoffman, a man nine years his junior, in this Hoffman selfie – there’s no scarf, no product placement, no carefully styled hair . . . just a man, going about his business, probably reading Field and Stream.
It’s nice to find a throwback every now and then, isn’t it? To know that some people stay true to themselves rather than chase every little trend? Remember when K-cars were everywhere and ugly? The worst, right? But how awesome is it in 2015, the rare time you see a working K-car still on the road, its driver hanging a cigarette out the window in the middle of February? “I bet that guy parties,” you say. That K-car is David Legwand in this picture.
4) Andrew Hammond (last month: 6)
Hey, you can be 15-1-1, but that doesn’t mean the big sponsorships start rolling in right away. This tweet is great because it gives us an athlete who could not be more popular right now plugging a company that could not have less juice. It’s like seeing Harrison Ford shilling for invisible Japanese beer, or getting Erik Karlsson in your web commercial after you let him sit in your rented Lambo.
5) Bobby Ryan (last month: 5)
Yup, even the alleged swagger from our #1 this month turned out just to be product placement. Karlsson didn’t bother to hashtag the company, though. That’s juice. Less juice? When you make $7M a year but have to hang around an H&R Block in full gear hugging strangers, and Lazar still comes off more likeable than you, because of course he does. How many takes do you think they filmed for this commercial? Two?
6) Kyle Turris (last month: NR)
Karlsson and Ryan’s cheesy commercials remind us how low-budget, how milk-and-water, how ordinary the Senators were this month. So hang on, because now we’re entering the “Stars: They’re More or Less Similar to Us!” chunk of these rankings.
Here’s the Senators’ #1 centre in his role as celebrity pitchman for his city’s fancy new department store. Pretty cool, right? Sure, until he starts making clarifying remarks about NCC road closures. How Ottawa is that?
7) Patrick Wiercioch (last month: NR)
Then there’s his buddy Patrick, making his first tweet in seven months, but only because he lost his wife in that same department store. Patrick! It happens! Maybe do some browsing while you’re there? Maybe buy some slim-leg trousers that don’t look like you could use the cuffs to sail a Bermuda-rigged sloop?
8) Cody Ceci (last month: NR)
Okay, this guy wins.
9) Following the rules (last month: NR)
Fine, I can accept that the Senators clearly didn’t do anything exciting last month, but at least they won the games, right? And at least they didn’t lecture us about how we were celebrating those victories inappropriately, right? Wait, they did? Well that tears it.
Look, burger-throwing is silly, but it’s a relatively harmless and definitely short-term bit of fun, not to mention one of the only Senators fan rituals I can think of that actually developed organically following a variety of ham-fisted attempts by the team. The same team, by the way, that was more than happy to promote said burger-throwing by playing up some now-iconic moments. But then somebody pointed out that some moron also threw a Filet-O-Fish, and everyone agreed that was gross, so all the fun had to stop immediately. You know how the conversation went, too:
“The fans are going to think we’re typical, no-fun Ottawa if we tell them to stop throwing burgers. How do we sell this?”
“Get Karlsson to do a video. He’s cool.”
“You’re right, he took some pictures in a rented Lambo the other day. Good idea. But who does the French?”
“Can’t, he’s serving a double-minor for high-sticking right now.”
” . . . it’s 10:15 in the morning.”
“Ah, let’s just get Methot.”
“Perfect, those guys have great chemistry. I’m sure neither will look completely embarrassed telling fans how to celebrate responsibly now that the team’s finally put together a few wins after underachieving for most of the year. Alright, margaritas?”
“Again, 10:15 in the morning.”
10) Mark Stone (last month: NR)
Cody Ceci (@Cecer_83) March 20, 2015
Is Mark Stone in a state of urinary urgency the appropriate note to end on? Sure, what the hell – see you next month! Maybe.