Perhaps it was all of the nostalgia from the festivities during Sunday’s Chicago Blackhawks game or all of the talk about the impending doom of the website, but Twitter has been on the mind a lot recently.
In what feels like an unpopular opinion at the moment, let me just say that: I kinda like Twitter. Perhaps the verb “like” should be in the past tense right now. More specifically, though: I enjoy(ed) Sports Twitter, because that’s when it felt like Twitter was at its best, when it seemed to be primarily driven by the sports topics of the day. It felt like a virtual sports bar, a place to stake out for a few hours during a game if a venture outside of home wasn’t on the agenda for that night. Just a place to hang out, ya know?
Those of us born in the mid/late-1980s were at the forefront of the steady evolution of internet communication which made it possible to have online relationships with people we’d never met in person — from AIM to MySpace to online gaming to sports message boards to Twitter. We were online for the earlier days of the online communication before it devolved into whatever the hell it is now, so it feels like people in that age range were more likely to have had positive experiences online. One of those places was on Twitter with fellow Blackhawks fans in the first half of the 2010s as the team went on that incredible run. Every game was like its own signature event, accompanied by a steady stream of expletive-laced tirades or all-caps exclamations for two or three hours. Watching at the stadium or in a bar was always a great time, but Twitter made for a solid third option for those watching at home. Sunday evoked some of those memories with all of the old Marian Hossa memes that roared back to life.
if hossa walked into a room i was in i would leave because i am trash and he is a deity— horse massacre (@torqpenderloin) March 17, 2014
Monday served as another reminder of when Twitter can still be great: during a major sporting event like, say, the World Cup. There’s this comforting sense of community that emerges when virtually every person on my timeline, from national sports writers to random musicians to people I’ve known since high school, all talking about the same USMNT game because we’re all watching it. As I described it above, it felt like Twitter was that virtual sports bar again, a place where we could just hang out and watch some soccer — complete with the eruption of exclamations when Tim Weah scored and the avalanche of expletives when Gareth Bale tied it.
Maybe that’s what should happen to Twitter. Get all the politicians out of there. Ban every grandstanding jackass who’s making statements online they’d never utter in person. Suspend all of their accounts permanently and let the rest of us hang out to talk about the sports we’re watching. It felt like Twitter was better when it wasn’t taken so damn seriously, and sports is the perfect venue for that. Twitter’s just so much more ... unpleasant now. That’s the best word for it. And it becomes a more and more rigorous exercise to find the more pleasant portions of that site and the internet as a whole.
I don’t know if Twitter will be around for another 20 years or another 20 minutes but, if something pops up as an alternative in the days that follow, I hope there’s another place that emerges with the similar overall environment as early-2010s Sports Twitter. It was a lotta fun to be there.
Oh, and another stretch of three Stanley Cups in six seasons for the Blackhawks. That’d be cool, too.
The Week That Was
Wednesday, Nov. 16: Blues 5, Blackhawks 2
Didn’t feel like a single goal scored against Arvid Soderblom in this game was his fault.
Saturday, Nov. 19: Bruins 6, Blackhawks 1
The Bruins have looked unstoppable at times this season but considering the ages of guys like Patrick Bergeron (37), Brad Marchand (34) and David Krejci (36), can they really keep this going all the way until — Hossa forbid — the Stanley Cup?
Sunday, Nov. 20: Penguins 5, Blackhawks 3
Nostalgia overload this weekend, eh?
With it basically being the holiday season now, let me summon my best Jack Skellington voice from the end of “What’s This?” and declare: WHAT ... IS ... THIS?
The Last Supper (Chicago Style)— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 21, 2022
Photo: @David_Yarrow pic.twitter.com/Pm62trtkTF
Why are Seth Jones and Max Domi in there?
If this is supposed to be a take on “The Last Supper,” who’s Judas?
(Answer: it’s Domi)
(Answer, part II: In the original photo, Judas is the first person from the left who is seated. In this photo it’s ... Chelios? Oh boy.)
On a related note, Mary Magdalene is not in that da Vinci piece (no matter what Dan Brown says), it’s the apostle John. So why the model?
Of all of the former Hawks who should be in there, Tomas Kopecky was Hossa’s right-hand man. He’s gotta be in there.
Duncan Keith looks like he’s had enough of both Adam Burish and Ben Eager, which seems about right.
The middle three in this photo should’ve been Sharp-Hossa-Toews to re-create the line that eviscerated the NHL in 2013 (known around these parts as the “Red Wedding Line.”
Corey Crawford forever.
The Week That Will Be
Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Dallas Stars
Bring back the Circus Trip so we have a late-night game to watch at the bar on the night before Thanksgiving.
Friday, Nov. 25 vs. Montreal Canadiens
Full disclosure: I will not watch a second of this game because I will be too busy hurling every expletive I can think of in the direction of every English player on the field on Qatar.
Sunday, Nov. 27 vs. Winnipeg Jets
Working to confirm if the team name has been changed to the “Winnipeg Helleybucks” because he’s reasons 1-50 why this team isn’t awful.