(The title is the first, but certainly not the last Commodores reference we’ll use this season)
For the first time, the Detroit Red Wings have a player that is active on social media sites like Twitter. It’s an exciting time to be a fan, since our newbie often takes the time to answer questions or respond to comments. Having access to a player in his own words? What a fantastic world we live in.
Of course, there are downfalls.
Mike Commodore, who was not in the lineup for the Red Wings Red & White Game taking place in Grand Rapids on Tuesday night, spent the hours during which his teammates were in action live-tweeting his walk around Somerset Mall in Troy, highlighting stores that he’d never take a woman into.
Some people don’t see a problem with Commodore’s behavior, saying that it wasn’t even a pre-season game — it was just a scrimmage among teammates. And that’s a fair argument. It was just a scrimmage, and they weren’t offensive tweets (at least, not to me… a man) and it is the kind of access we’ve been craving for years. Perhaps I’m just bitter that he’s taken the time to answer every single question or comment on his Facebook page except for the ones referring to an appearance on TP:60.
But maybe it was poorly timed, in even poorer taste, and disrespectful of the guys he’ll be sharing a locker room with all season. Everyone’s entitled to a day off, and to spend it how he or she sees fit. But don’t you think that if you were a newcomer, you might make a bit of effort to be “one of the guys” before taking a sharp left turn off of I-75 during a team event? At the risk of sounding like a fist-shaking old man, it struck me as a tiny bit troubling.
But I’m mostly shocked at how quick people are to defend him. And, worse yet, to think he deserves to play above Jakub Kindl — who has, in short order, proven he belongs in the lineup and has become a very reliable defender on this team.
Maybe it was Commodore’s spectacular play in the AHL last season. No, that can’t be it…
Perhaps it’s the beautiful past relationship he has with Coach Babcock. Probably not…
I can’t help but think it’s simply because he’s active on Twitter and makes an effort to be personable. And, again, there’s nothing wrong with his socializing — frankly, I’m hoping he’s as approachable and open with fans all season as he has been in the early going. I just wish he had waited to share those updates for a time when his teammates weren’t literally on the ice entertaining fans in the old fashioned way: you know, by playing hockey.
Compounding the issue a touch was Brendan Smith acknowledging that he and Cory Emmerton had just finished a few games of NHL ’12 on XBOX. No one’s asking these guys to be alter boys, but I can’t be the only one that has an issue with the timing.
And that’s where the NHL’s new social media policy comes in. In short, players will not be allowed to tweet or update their Facebook pages beginning two hours before game time and ending after all of the players have completed their post-game media obligations. I don’t think Mike Commodore will get into any trouble during the real season. I’m nothing if not confident that he’ll be a good soldier, a wonderful teammate and a stand-up social media guy.
He’s already made fans of many of us. I just hope he isn’t cut any slack if and when he makes a boneheaded play on the ice simply because he makes an effort to be approachable in cyberspace.
Photo Credit: Tony Ding, AP Photo