Chalk it up to the lockout and no hockey this season, but, I’m feeling a little cranky at the end of 2012. Without hockey, Twitter is not nearly as fun. I’m not able to take out my frustrations on smug Bruins fans, or chat incessantly about Chris Higgins’ abs, or flirt with Tyler Seguin (who pretends not to notice me). Even the adorable LA Kings mascot, Bailey, can’t jolly me out of my five-hole funk.
The only highlight of this half season of non-hockey was when Ryan Kesler tweeted “Yooo” at me. For 17 minutes I felt like a teenaged girl who was just retweeted by Justin Bieber. But the limerence was short-lived. There was still no hockey.
Unfortunately, all I’m left with at the end of this year in regards to hockey is a short list of jerks who irked me in one way or another. So without fanfare, here is my list of Biggest Dickheads Of 2012 in the world of hockey:
Gary Bettman and the NHL
Gary, Gary, Gary. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this Supreme Dickhead and the owners who’ve once again fucked over fans, the league and all those who make a living from NHL games all over North America. For months hockey writers have been busy writing articles predicting when the NHL season would begin, all of them as wrong as the Mayan calendar predicting when the world would end. Day after day my Gregorian calendar keeps reminding me of hockey games that will never take place, and day after day my aversion for Bettman grows. I’m now forced to stay up half the night just to watch World Junior Championship hockey, which is nice, but not nearly as satisfying as watching my favorite team and players on the ice. Plus, the crazy hours and lack of sleep is making me even crankier.
You may wonder why Donald Fehr isn’t on my dickheads list, because every time I bitch about Bettman I get a few “don’t forget Donald Fehr” replies. While Fehr may carry some of the blame for the continual breakdown in negotiations, I feel Bettman and the owners he represents are largely to blame. The players felt they were royally screwed over after the last lockout, so it’s not surprising that they’re holding their ground more firmly this time around to avoid a repeat.
Paul Bissonnette and the BizNasties
For someone who is a hockey celebrity, makes millions, has a privileged life and relishes his bad-boy image, you’d think Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) from the Coyotes could handle the occasional insult lobbed at him on Twitter with a little bit of maturity and humor. Instead he sometimes lashes out at his target with digs and barbs that are cruel and personal at times, putting the “nasty” in BizNasty.
While chatting with a few people about a recent BizNasty Twitter tantrum, I called him an “insufferable prick” and a “spoiled brat.” Both, I think, accurate assessments of his behavior on Twitter. He happened to notice, made a snarky comment and then re-tweeted my tweet to his legion of mouth-breathing accolytes who proceeded to pelt me with a barrage of hateful, homophobic comments. For three days. I’m a big boy and no stranger to anti-gay taunts and bullying, so, I took my lumps and Paul got his pound of flesh out of me by letting others do the dirty work for him.
A few people tried to convince me that Paul is a cool guy in person, and perhaps he is, but, he and some of his followers are definitely gigantic dickheads on Twitter.
Ryan (@twolinepass) is a hockey blogger for Yahoo Sports who’s Twitter bio reads, “your favorite team sucks, your favorite player sucks, you suck.” He’s a self-described troll who prods and provokes others with outrageous comments and juvenile name-calling, like Beavis & Butthead, but a lot less funny. His fawning over BizNasty, who’s sophomoric antics are regularly featured in his posts on Yahoo Sports with loving adulation, might make you a little squeamish.
You’d think someone as sharp-tongued as he — who frequently refers to people as “dumbasses,” “assholes,” and “shitlords” — wouldn’t be as thin-skinned as his Nasty idol. But after sparring a few times with Ryan on Twitter, he eventually blocked me because I “shit-talk” him all the time. This is clearly a person who is as humorless as his posts on Twitter, and who takes himself a wee bit too seriously.
While I actually agree with Ryan about lots of political and social issues, he needs to lighten up or get off the ice if he can’t handle the body checks he likes to dish out.
This starts to veer into that taboo topic of politics. But it’s only because Tim Thomas, former goaltender for the Boston Bruins, put his Tea Party politics front and center over the past year by making his disdain for President Obama and support of Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay stance publicly known.
When heaped with criticism, he pulled the prima-donna routine. He refused to answer questions or cut interviews short and stormed away as soon as he was asked to comment further about his political views. Then he bailed on the Bruins and decided to take a year off from professional hockey. In light of the current lockout, that may not have been such a bad idea, but, in the eyes of many Bruins fans he went from being a superstar to a colossal dickhead.
I know I’m going to get hell from other Canucks fans for this one. But I find this mysterious @strombone1 Twitter account that is not Luongo, but actually is, but isn’t, tedious and dickish.
If it really is you, Roberto, then just come out of your Twitter closet already and stop playing this ridiculous game of hide-and-seek. It may have been cute and fun for a year or two, but, now it’s just downright annoying and creepy because most people now believe it’s actually you, so, why keep up the silly charade? What are you afraid of? Plenty of other celebrities bigger than you are on Twitter being jackasses, but you are actually funny. Or do you want to be the Greta Garbo of goalies?
Luongo and his wry sense of humor would get a shit-ton more followers, and wouldn’t have to beg dickheads like BizNasty to follow him, if he kept tweeting what he tweets now using a verified account. Otherwise, the ambiguously anonymous goalie gig is getting old.
You’ve seen them on Twitter incessantly using their concocted word “shap” and calling people they dislike “milts” or referring to others as “b” (e.g., you mad, b?).
I call them Shapsters. They think they are hip and cool, but they are just irritatingly cliquey. No one really knows what the hell they’re talking about most of the time. They have tweetups they call “shapups” and created the eye-roll-inducing “Shapys” which apparently gives out awards for who knows what, probably Miltiest Shapper or something equally dopey. Even Luongo (as strombone1) is parroting this shap crap and has become their Patron Saint of Shap. Shapsters, just close your bazoo already.
Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) is a hockey legend and a legendary curmudgeon who says some pretty outrageous shit on national TV here in Canada.
He calls people he disagrees with “pukes” or “pinkos,” and his disdain for French-Canadians and Europeans is well known. He’s also an advocate for fighting in hockey and openly railed against Brendan Shanahan for cracking down on it with severe suspensions, as well as a few former hockey enforcers who spoke out against fighting. The backlash he received for being such a dick forced him to make a rare apology on the air a week later.
Cherry’s one redeeming quality is that he has a sense of humor about himself. Anyone who wears Elton John hand-me-downs on TV to talk about hockey doesn’t take himself too seriously (perhaps Ryan Lambert should start wearing obnoxious clothing, too). It’s why people either love him or hate him. He may be a dickhead but at least he’s an entertaining one.
Christopher R. Barron
The last, but not least, dickhead is Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron), co-founder of GOProud, the gay Republican organization that supported Mitt Romney and his anti-gay party platform in the recent U.S. Presidential election. Believe it or not, Chris is gay. He also happens to be a hockey fan who likes the Pittsburgh Penguins, a good hockey team with one of my favorite players, the delightfully dreamy Sid Crosby.
Chris doesn’t seem to have a problem interacting with the hateful conservative zealots of his chosen political party, such as their official “Gay Icon” Anne Coulter. But when it comes to debating fellow hockey-loving homos about his questionable support for politicians who’d prefer that gays stay in the closet, he can’t handle it and blocks us, including PuckBuddys. Oh the lively, chirpy political and hockey debates that could have been if he weren’t such a GOPathetic dickhead.