Quick lunchtime rant on hockey rumours
This is yet another rant that isn’t new or original but it’s Monday and a horribly awful one at that so here you go.
Please. Stop. Giving. Fake. Insiders. Attention.
It’s NHL Draft week. July 1st is coming up. GMs are busy generally managing their teams. Hockey insiders are hard at work trying to figure out what’s going on and how much of it they can report. Hockey “insiders,” on the other hand, are rubbing their paws together in glee, because other than the trade deadline, this is the time of year they get the most attention.
Don’t get me wrong. Who doesn’t like attention in one form or another? We all do. Chris Higgins likes to accidentally lift up his shirt every five minutes. Some people spend hours on their hair. Tell me you read my blog or that I said something funny and you’ll basically have me eating out of your hand forever. It’s normal to want some degree of attention for what you consider a talent or an accomplishment.
What’s not normal is making up a bunch of bullshit and preying on desperate hockey fans in an effort to get 15 minutes of internet fame. Sure, there’s the odd example of someone able to make a living out of hockey lies but for the most part, people are just doing this shit for the attention.
And we’re just handing it to them.
Real insiders like Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger have worked very hard for a long time to earn and maintain the trust of each one of their myriad of contacts. A large part of their job is about taking information seriously and sharing only what they can, and it takes a lot of work to maintain people’s trust, especially when you’re constantly being asked for information from your audience. The reason you constantly see people saying they won’t believe X or Y until Bob McKenzie says it is because he’s not going to talk out of his ass or share information simply to get attention. Rumour-mongers, on the other hand, don’t need to build and maintain the trust of any of their contacts, because all of their contacts are imaginary. They can say what they want and get all the attention they crave because they’ll never piss anyone (other than hockey fans) off or lose their jobs for it.
A guy who really works for a hockey team isn’t going to tell you shit. He has nothing to gain from it and everything to lose.
Also, you know how it pisses you off when you get dismissed as nothing more than a guy in his mother’s basement who makes shit up on the internet because he has too much time on his hands and no credible sources? Rumour-mongers are why. The hockey blogosphere is an amazing collection of brilliant, knowledgeable, hilarious and eloquent people who write about hockey from angles there just isn’t room for in the mainstream publications and yet it doesn’t get nearly enough credit for that because the fake insiders get caught making “anonymous” shit up all the time.
One such cretin got called out by two hockey writers over the weekend. His response was that he had more Twitter followers that the two did combined.
First of all, I really hate that argument. You can buy followers by the tens, hundreds, and thousands. There are even services that let you stagger it over days or weeks, so that it appears more organic than going from 2 to 2000 in 20 seconds would. Tons of girls out there manage to amass followers by tweeting revealing pictures of themselves or sexually suggestive tweets but little to nothing else of substance. I follow people who are otherwise awesome but have sycophanted their way to at least 50 “influential” follows in the last few months alone. There are also scores of people in the hockey blogosphere who are so much more interesting, funny, eloquent than I will ever be who have less followers than I do. Follower count? Not an argument.
But that non-argument did bring up a really sad point. I’m really only familiar with the work of one of the writers the fake insider brought up, and sort of acquainted with the work of the other. But I can tell you, and others will vouch for this, that Jonathan Willis at least is an excellent hockey writer who works incredibly hard and deserves far more attention and respect than a fraudulent attention-whore. But I’m willing to bet that many of you know who the attention-whore is but not who Jonathan Willis is. That really pisses me off.
Earlier today, Darren Dreger reported that Jaromir Jagr has decided to rest free agency.
Jaromir Jagr is not signing in Montreal. Nor will he be signing in Toronto. But you can bet that every single fake insider will constantly be hinting that Jags is seriously considering one or both of these teams, or that his shortlist includes them, or it’s between one of Montreal/Toronto and a team that might actually make some sense. Why? 1. Because we’re desperate fanbases but most importantly 2. because we’re the largest fanbases. Largest fanbases = maximum attention.
Fake hockey insiders are Kardashians of the hockey world. They do absolutely nothing to earn your attention and get it anyway. We all have better things to do with our time, rumour-mongers included. So stop giving these people attention. It’s all they want. In fact, do what Twitter user LOLVancouver suggested and report them as spam. And then stop giving them attention. Forever.