#IslesTwitter And You: A User’s Guide
By Michael Willhoft
Nov 14, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalieKevin Poulin
(60) is scored on by Los Angeles Kings defensemanSlava Voynov
(26) (not pictured) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Kings won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
#IslesTwitter [“ahy-ls twit-er”] (n.)
- a hashtag of ironic origin signifying an irrational or illogical reaction to events perpetrated by or related to the New York Islanders;
- negative groupthink on a game-by-game (or shift-by-shift) basis;
- a crowd as prone to excessive CAPSLOCK usage as it is to ledge-jumping;
- often used to categorize overwhelmingly visceral Internet responses to what was most recently seen and the corresponding belief that if given the opportunity, “I could totally do a better job as GM, bro.” (related: “armchair general manager”)
#IslesTwitter has probably been around as a concept since the creation of Twitter, mostly because New York Islanders fans have a penchant for voicing their opinions. (And because #IslesSportsYapper doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.) The hashtag just hadn’t officially been codified, which is where I came in.
Thusly, #IslesTwitter was born. Whoops.
What started as a joke (“LOL u guyz Isles fans can’t make up their minds about this team AMIRITE!”) turned into a sociological case study. Of late, opinions of the team (as seen online) have become increasingly negative. The Isles are treading water in a bad division and have suffered a string of injuries that have sapped much of the season’s optimism.
People are mad. I get it.
As I’ve written before, the high expectations surrounding the Islanders have come crashing back to earth at the quarter-pole of the 2013-14 NHL season. After all, what goes up must come down. Especially when dealing with this fan base.
(Of note: those borderline-unreasonably high expectations were created mostly by the fans. So there’s that.)
After wading through tweets calling for trades, firings, and the sale of the team, I decided it was best to deal with those reactions to the team’s early season performance by putting them in the #IslesTwitter bucket. Chalk them up to people unable to see the forest for the trees.
And it helped. As long as I could separate the unreasonable from the purpose-driven, I felt better about scrolling through my timeline during Islanders games.
I never meant for the #IslesTwitter hashtag to be confused with Isles fans in general, or for it to be conflated with the team’s Twitter fan base as a whole. #IslesTwitter is purely reserved for use in very specific situations.
Namely, for the times when you scroll past 10 or 12 consecutive Islanders-related tweets after the team loses a game that make you question whether mood swings that violent are capable of causing whiplash. (Your fan experience may vary.)
A brief comparison, if you’ll permit me…
Things that are #IslesTwitter:
- Thinking that top-tier defensemen grow on trees
- Pretending to know how to run the Islanders from a business operations and/or talent evaluation standpoint
- Calling the Matt-Moulson-for-Thomas-Vanek trade a “bust” after a week’s worth of games. (Related: claiming that Vanek is currently “milking” an injury. Bold strategy for a guy in a contract year, no?)
- Demanding that Charles Wang sell the team “if he doesn’t want to spend money,” despite the fact that he’s been losing money hand-over-fist and wouldn’t sell the franchise at its lowest value when he’s got guaranteed revenue coming to him once the team moves to Brooklyn. (Side note: Wang fought to keep the team in Nassau County; he ended up keeping the team in New York, which is better than Quebec or Kansas City or Seattle.)
- Anything involving Ryan Miller. Seriously. Stop.
Things that are not #IslesTwitter:
- Islanders fans with Internet connections
There’s a difference between #IslesTwitter and Islanders fans on Twitter. Let’s not confuse the two. #IslesTwitter is where reason goes to die; it should be used accordingly. Let’s not pollute the #IslesTwitter feed by tagging references to the fan base in general. Save it for when you see something that makes you shake your head, if only for the ridiculousness of it.
Or, you know, don’t. Maybe then, #IslesTwitter will be the hipster of the hashtag world: cool for a second, then “so over, man” when its true meaning becomes so diluted that people are accusing #IslesTwitter of being a corporate sellout.
-Mike (@Michael Willhoft)
I’ll be honest: I don’t read the comments section. Tweet me your responses and we’ll talk it out. Remember, there’s still plenty of season left (read: plenty of time for people to pour lighter fluid on the ongoing tire fire that is #IslesTwitter).