One of the great disappointments of the local Twitter scene is that Ted Leonsis chooses not to participate.
Oh sure, his Twitter feed sends out automated links to his blog items, but there’s no interaction, no human being there, no mixing it up with friends and critics, no participation in puns involving Jay Beagle and dogs, no exclamation-mark filled geysers when the Caps win in a shootout, no daily demands that the team fix its lines exactly the way the stats dictate.
On the other hand, Leonsis apparently does dive into Facebook’s conversation with both feet. At least three times in recent days, the Caps and Wizards owner has chirped Thom Loverro, the ESPN 980 host and Washington Times columnist.
The first recent comment came when Loverro pointed out that the Wizards were 0-2.
“Tom being his monumental self,” Leonsis noted, which was surely just a reference to Monumental Sports, with no larger meaning.
Then, Loverro expressed dismay at what had happened in Philadelphia Friday night, when the Caps and Flyers brawled and all that stuff. Loverro expressed the opinion that such displays cause hockey “to be treated like a fringe sport.”
“Thom, hockey isn’t a fringe sport or a novelty,” Leonsis responded. “If you would like, I will go on your important Redskins radio show and we can discuss.”
Loverro had also expressed dismay that Caps teammates didn’t come to the assistance of goalie Braden Holtby as he was being punched by Ray Emery. To do so would have violated the NHL’s “third man in rule,” as many of Loverro’s commenters noted.
“Thom, you are making a fool out of yourself,” Leonsis then wrote. “Why are you doing so? What is the motivation?”
“I’m a dope I guess,” Loverro responded. “I guess I don’t understand the beautiful, wonderful nature of a sport that sanctions assault — in this case on a victim that wanted no part of it. And if you think I’ve made a fool of myself already, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
So then, of course, Loverro wrote a column for the Times about both his thoughts on the incident, and his Facebook exchange with Leonsis.
If Leonsis wants to come on “The Sports Fix” on ESPN 980 to declare that hockey is not a fringe sport or a novelty, fine, have at it. You would think he might be more outraged about the assault that took place on his player in Philadelphia Friday night — and it was assault. Emery should be charged with a crime, instead of given the third star of the game by the Philadelphia media, despite giving up four goals.
You would think he might have used his incredibly important network or blog to call for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to take action against this kind of violence — to finally take steps to change the culture of the game with drastic action.
But no. He wants to defend hockey.
It’s been said that the D.C. Sports Bog needs a stronger Facebook presence or else doom awaits. I suppose that’s true. But my main motivation for posting on Facebook is to get responses from Leonsis.
(And yes, I confirmed that the above posts were actually written by Leonsis.)