It’s April 20th, and the Caps are once again looking like a team built for the regular season, down 3-0 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals to the New York Rangers.
Tipster J did what he is wont to do: took to Twitter to rant and rave about his team’s lack of postseason prowess.
As you can see, J writes that owner Ted Leonsis, head coach Bruce Boudreau, and general manager George McPhee are “ALL GARBAGE.” He also suggests that Alex Ovechkin should “go LeBron” and depart the Capitals for a winner.
And that’s where the fun started. After the Caps completed a miraculous 4-3 comeback in overtime, J got these two Facebook messages the next day from Capitals owner Ted Leonsis:
The billionaire sports mogul, in between Games 4 and 5 of the playoffs, seemingly took time to ask a single Caps fan to “chill.”
As J describes it, “When [the Capitals] were down 3-0, I tore into the team. I always do, it’s a reverse jinx and often works. Many of the people that follow me, namely those that see through it or have a sense of humor, get it. Ted does not.”
Whether you believe in the power of the “reverse jinx” or not, it does seem strange that Leonsis would single out J for his harsh criticism of the team’s lackluster fist two periods. Having reached the limit of 5,000 friends on his Facebook profile, and maintaining his blog at TedsTake.com, it is not unusual to see Leonsis using social media to interact with fans. In this interaction, Leonsis is clearly civil, but when you write the kind of checks he does and maintain such a high profile, everything you do and say carries more weight.
The odd wrinkle to this story is that J and Leonsis are not friends on Facebook. J isn’t sure how or why Leonsis saw his tweets. After all, many a Caps fan was overloading Twitter with disappointment during that second intermission. However, it did freak J out a bit that he was singled out. J temporarily protected his tweets from view of non-friends, and removed his Facebook info off of Twitter. “I think that owners should keep a decent enough distance but shouldn’t get too involved with fans,” J says. “They should be open to constructive criticism but not to get that . . . intimate.”
Leonsis is one of the more visible and outspoken owners in the NHL, and clearly has a passion for the Capitals. That passion has spilled over into physical altercation with a fan in the past, and now seems to have morphed into defending his club on the internet.
What do you think, is Leonsis over the line in singling out dissenters, or is this kind of 1-on-1 interaction a welcome change from the world of ivory tower sports owners? Did J’s tweets warrant a dressing-down from Uncle Ted?
Sorry,I think it is good that Ted interacts. I assume his dust up of your friend J was civil and polite. But the fact that he even hears (over the top) criticism from fans and takes time (he is busy, you know) to respond is VERY positive for Caps organization. I’m not familiar with J or his tweets, so I don’t know about his “reverse sarcasm”. When I read the tweet on this post it sounded simply obnoxious. I’m sure that’s how it seemed to Ted as well. Most people (me included) would simply blow J off as a jerk. Ted did not, to his credit.
I think your points are well-taken.
I don’t happen to agree with J’s points about how the Caps are run, and this actually started because I responded to his passionate tweets with my own arguments.
He countered with this information, and allowed us to post it in the hopes that it will open up a discussion about owner-fan interaction and the direction of the Caps, which you have nicely done.
Thanks for reading,
J needs to get over himself. He says that owners ”… should be open to constructive criticism but not to get that . . . intimate.”
What is constructive about “The Caps are CHOKERS!!! CHOKERS!!!” Ted Leonsis, Bruce Boudrerau, George McPhee…ALL GARBAGE.”?
Good for Ted! I’d like to see more owners get involved with the social media. If J can dish it out, then he ought to be able to take it back in as well.
Not even a Caps fan, but I did think was an interesting post. While I don’t agree with the tone of Ted’s message, I do think it is great to see an owner directing contacting a fan. In the age of overpaid sports stars and billionaire owners, it’s cool to see one that wants to interact with his fan – even if it may not have been the best tone, I still give Ted credit for trying.
I’ve heard many stories just like this one about Ted. He needs to take a step back.
If you kool aid drinkers think what Ted did was great you are cluess bandwagoners. He goes WAY out of his way to attack fans that criticize him or the team. There are many long time fans that he has tried to destroy in one manner or another. Just by posting this my season tickets are in jeporday. According to Ted and GMGM we have one the East to years running. First seed sure the conference not hardly. Ted needs to take a big step back and figure out what’s wrong with this franchise and it’s sure not the fans. Many of us have been putting up with this teams lack of playoff success for over thirty years now and we don’t need The shiny one telling us how to be fans. Just a spoiled little rich boy.
Oh this is nothing new — he’s been doing it for years. I could show you emails he’s sent me that make this look like nothing. One of which he sent me a few hours before Game 7 vs the Penguins in 2009.
Ted has had other brush up with fams including some when he blew up the Caps message board in 2009. He needs to chill aittle and stop threatening taking folks season tickets away for their opinions….course that might be a blessing ;^)
Three weeks after the original incident, I feel compelled to laugh at all of the press that is calling out the Caps for more or less sucking. Would Ted dare take Thomas Boswell’s season tickets for saying the team is broken? Would he find some way to contact Jeremy Roenick for calling the team a “country club”? I would think not since Ted only picks on the little people.
Ted is enabled by a passive DC sports media and a far-too-forgiving fanbase that, minus the Piney Orchard choking incident, hasn’t covered any of his poor conduct. It also helps that (taking away Bisciotti), he is the least of four evils in the DC/Baltimore sports scene considering he’s up against pennypinching billionaires and two flavors of evil. To be frank, Ted wouldn’t last a year in New York where the press WOULD care about things like this.
nice ideas, however how about just now not weblog for the day you have nothing to say quality over amount!
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