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:
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?