Twitter has been the catalyst for countless mini-upheavals in the way we consume media, some good some bad. You could write a 50 page thesis on the effects twitter has on our society but we’ll skip that for now. (Note: I just spent the better part of an hour writing the intro to that thesis before I realized the rabbit hole I was getting myself into and I came to the conclusion that a fan blog dedicated to the Florida Panthers is not the place to be having that discussion. Oh well.) Anyway, for us common folk one of Twitter’s best innovations is the way it allows us to interact with celebrities in a manner that five years ago would have been unimaginable.
For sports fans, Twitter allows us an inside look into our favorite athletes. A picture of what your favorite running back ate for breakfast on game day may not be essential to your fandom but it undeniably adds a certain amount of texture that enhances your overall experience. Some players are fascinating on twitter while others are drier than the dialogue in a Vin Diesel movie.
The Florida Panthers are no different. What follows are the results of my extensive research (about 45 minutes) on the twitter accounts of the Florida Panthers, both current players and prospects. The criteria that I valued in my search is as follows: an interesting bio, entertaining tweets, quality of profile picture, interactions with fellow Panther teammates, and anything that pulled the curtain back on what it is like to be a professional athlete. Pictures of players out partying or pictures with pretty girls were both surefire ways to add bonus points but unfortunately all the players are good about presenting themselves to the twitter-verse as model citizens so… Here is the list of the top Panther players to follow on twitter:
4. Tomas Kopecky
Twitter handle: @kopy82
What’s to like:
First and foremost Kopecky’s profile picture is capital A, A-mazing. The picture shows him sitting on a coffee table next to the Stanley Cup. The Cup is on Kopecky’s right but he is dismissively looking to his left at something on the ground and out of the frame. Kopecky has his right arm wrapped around the cup as if it were the waist of some Slovakian model whose name he probably does not remember. Kopecky’s outfit – a flannel button down precariously unbuttoned, revealing what appears to be a rosary–lends itself to the overall aura that he plans to take the Cup out to a nice dinner and then never call it back again.
The rest of his account draws its strength from the sheer volume of the pictures he posts.
Compousure + Compete + Confidence = SUCCESS
— Tomas Kopecky (@kopy82) July 19, 2013
And I finally learned how to retweet!!! Whatch out !!!!
— Tomas Kopecky (@kopy82) April 27, 2013
3. Scott Timmins
Twitter handle: @S_Timmins
What’s to like:
Timmins scores points right off the bat with his bio: “chase a puck around in the Florida Panthers organization” which does not seem especially exciting unless you compare it to the rest of the Panthers’ bios which are usually some variation of “Name, Number, Florida Panthers (position here)”.
When it comes to his tweets, Timmins comes across as just a regular dude. He tweets about Breaking Bad, he tweets his picks for #bucciovertimechallenge, and he chirps teammate Jacob Markstrom.
Anyone got Bieber tickets for sale tonight?
— Scott Timmins (@S_Timmins) July 26, 2013
2. Rocco Grimaldi
Twitter handle: @RGrimaldi23
What’s to like:
Grimaldi finds himself in the second spot due to the uniqueness of his twitter account. While most of the Panthers dedicate their tweets to picture of the fish they’ve caught, Grimaldi seems to prefer providing inspirational quotes. Grimaldi’s bio lets you know where things are heading right off the bat: “I confess the Lord Jesus Christ! It is by his love and grace that I am living!” He treats his 140 characters like an audition for captain of every sports team ever or maybe an audition for the lead in his school’s Christmas pageant. While we probably won’t see any twit pics of Grimaldi double fisting Bird Dogs, he scores points for being passionate about his beliefs and for winning the “most likely to have one of his tweets turned into a motivational t-shirt at training camp” award.
Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go to move forward — Rocco Grimaldi (@RGrimaldi23) August 11, 2013
Compliments are like perfume; sniff it, don’t swallow it — Rocco Grimaldi (@RGrimaldi23) August 7, 2013
1. Jakob Markstrom
Twitter handle: @j_markstrom
What’s to like:
Markstrom earns the top spot almost exclusively because of his serious dedication to the hashtag #buzzin. What it means exactly I’m not entirely sure although I am not ruling out the possibility that Markstrom is just always a little tipsy. Apparently, #buzzin can be used in a variety of situations, from describing his excitement for some Sunday morning football,
to the more ambiguous but probably no less awesome:
When Markstrom re-signed with the Panthers, he was so excited, he release the rare bird all caps #BUZZIN:
not a robbery it was a shoplifting sorry for mixing does to up, didn’t get the right guy but all the clothes r back in store at least — Jacob Markstrom (@j_markstrom) August 16, 2013
There are no other tweets from Markstrom to clear up what this could be referring to so with the limited context, our imaginations are left to wander. My guess is, Markstrom works as an undercover security guard at a Swedish boutique during the offseason and when some clothes went missing he mistakenly assaulted the wrong guy. The actual perpetrator witnessed Markstrom taking on this innocent bystander and felt so bad that he anonymously returned the stolen clothes to the boutique the next morning. Markstrom then told the police it was a robbery and the police gently corrected him, letting him know that the crime is officially classified as shoplifting. Markstrom, being the sensitive guy that he is, then felt so bad that he had to tweet an apology for the mix up. Interestingly enough this was not a situation that warranted the use of #buzzin.
— Jacob Markstrom (@j_markstrom) June 27, 2013
With that tweet, the Alien officially became the first non-stripper to utter the phrase “magical night with Wyclef Jean”….