Lightning goalie Dan Ellis is calling it quits on Twitter. No, he’s not retiring from hockey, he’s just not going to use Twitter anymore. We’ve outlined Ellis’ missteps and repentance for his words to this point but to say that this is a surprising outcome from everything that’s happened the last few days would be a lie. Ellis spoke to Damian Cristodero about his departure from the social media outlet and the sour taste it has left in his mouth given everything that’s gone down lately.
Ellis’ reasons for pulling a Derek Bell-esque move of “Operation Shutdown”:
“It’s unfortunate because Twitter is a great way for fans to get to know people, and Twitter is a way to show a personal side, to show something that isn’t in your regular newspaper. It’s everyday life. I know many times last year with Nashville I would show what people what it was like on the road; the type of hotels we stay in and the way the team takes care of us and what some of the other guys like to do. Unfortunately, something like this ruins something like that for the fans. For myself, growing up, I would have loved to see the inside of a professional hockey player or a musician or anything like that. When you’re young you want to know what real life is like and it’s not always portrayed in regular media that sometimes covers more the scores and who got penalties and stuff like that. It’s a great way in, but unfortunately a few people had to ruin it.”
All right so perhaps after taking some time off and letting folks forget about this rather ugly, albeit, crazy instance of foot-in-mouth disorder, could he come back once things settle down, a la Paul Bissonette? Well…
“I don’t really know. It was a pretty sour event. I am a good person and quite honestly it was quite hurtful the things that happened there and a lot of the things that were said. For me, I’ve seen a lot of negative things from that media source. I’ll probably avoid it for the most part for quite some time.”
Well that’s a bit of a bummer. Ellis is actually a really engaging guy with a decent sense of humor… That is when he’s not getting roasted for making a poorly-constructed comparison. In the end, however, Dan Ellis leaves athletes with a piece of advice that probably shouldn’t be followed to the letter.
“Just keep it basic, keep it boring. Anything other than that can stir things up. If it’s something that’s going to cause your team and your organization negative attention, stay away from it. After my experiences I don’t see any benefits to it unless you’re doing it in a charity way or a promotional way to help people out. As a player there’s too much stuff that can happen. It opens up a can of worms that just isn’t safe in any way.”
You can say what you want, you just have to be able to deal with the slings and arrows of your followers should you say something that lights a fire under some people. Keeping a good public face is key for teams and their media staffs since having a player be a potential pariah anywhere they go makes everyone’s job a lot harder, especially a goaltender whose job requires incredible mental clarity. Telling everyone to keep it boring though is patently false.
If you’re going to be wild, embrace that image and run with it. If you want to keep it straight-laced that’s fine as well. But if nothing else, Twitter has proven to us that you can be a smart-ass and a jokester and have a fruitful time on there and have fun with the fans. Being more careful with how you word things should always be adhered to though. You can come up with a good point to shout about, but saying it the wrong way conveys the absolute wrong message and that’s a very hard lesson that Dan Ellis has learned through this. Taking it out on the medium is just projection.