It’s a dilemma.
Presented with an individual bent on aggrandizing his presence by offering negative comments and spurious information: should he be ignored or taken to task for being ridiculous?
Ignore Him, He’ll Disappear
Conventional adult wisdom supports ignoring the pest because it’s clear ANY attention will feed his addiction, gratifying the desire for a glance from people psychoanalysts might say he subconsciously considers his superiors.
Mr. Gagnon enjoyed free rein for a long time on the #Coyotes hashtag, ramping up negativity despite being ignored.
Respond To The Nonsense
Another option is to respond to falsehoods, exaggerations, and misinformation when they appear.
Depending on the gravitas of the person or organization responding, the effect of any response can be used to lend credence to the information:
“See?! They’re denying my facts, so they MUST be true!”
This author has NO “inside contacts” inside the Coyotes organization or any other “sources” that aren’t publicly available to any person with:
- interest in the Coyotes NHL team
- access to the Internet
- the ability to buy a ticket to a Coyotes game
- the initiative to visit a hockey practice or two
- the ability to introduce themselves to another human
How This Started
According to his LinkedIn page, Casey Gagnon is a customer service rep with Consumer Cellular. His side job is airquotes reporter.
Rumors on the Twitter grapevine have it that Casey requested press credentials from the Coyotes media department some time ago, past the time the revised Twitter API allows searching for verification of his initial diatribes similar to the below recent one.
He was denied press credentials for some reason, most likely because he was “a blogger” versus “a real reporter”.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have NOT asked Rich Nairn (VP of Communications) nor any other real Coyotes representative if this is true because any of them would rightly tell me it was none of my business.
I actually had a private DM conversation with Mr. Gagnon at the time about the nature of his initial complaints, suggesting to him that negative public comments about Coyotes representatives was counterproductive to his goals.
I also offered my assertion that I have had the exact opposite experiences with Nairn and, in fact, any Coyotes representative I’ve had contact with. To whit, every one of them was courteous, approachable, and professional in every regard.
Qualifying Body Of Work
Casey doesn’t have much of a visible body of work except for tweets. The one time I requested press credentials (for Barrett-Jackson some years ago) for a web site I ran, I was expected to show them my work and explain why I deserved the credentials.
The only entry on his Phoenix Sports Hub blog is a goodbye post from December 25, 2013 where Casey explains he’ll be posting on The Hockey Writers and on his now defunct @PHXSportsHub and @CaseyPSH Twitter accounts.
I found sixteen blog entries on The Hockey Writers web site from Casey with the most current one published almost a year go.
Not much content for a professional.
Purveyor Of Wrong Info
As far as being a credible source of Coyotes information, there are hundreds of fans more accurate on Twitter than @SportsHubAZ.
Minutes before David Schlemko went to the Dallas Stars:
Answering a query about why the team named was changed to “Arizona Coyotes”:
The actual reason is the City of Glendale insisted on the name change, so it was written into the arena management agreement. This was a carryover from the failed Jamison deal.
Contradicting himself about Coyotes relocation:
You get the idea.
Turn It Up To Eleven
In December, Casey was harping on “the Barroway deal” falling apart, joining some of his other misinformed blogger brethren in spreading that noise.
Social media tension escalated when Casey, feeling slighted for not being credited for his “breaking” the news of the deal being a fait accompli, doubled down with his venom directed at local reporters including this gem leveled at an actual working reporter (who knows more about hockey than 99% of us and is a consummate professional), Sara McLellan.
He was assisted in his delusion by some reputable people who actually did credit Gagnon.
Further to @Casey_AZSH reporting on Yotes sale. The voting process to approve the sale of 51% of the Coyotes to Andrew Barroway has begun.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 30, 2014
When Gagnon still didn’t get the attention he deserved, he increased his volley of insults, including a rant comment on a post regarding the completion of the sale of 51% of the Coyotes on NHL.com.
Coyotes Nation Responds
Coyotes fans are a weird bunch. Most of us not only admit that fact, we embrace it.
Admittedly, there’s not yet enough of us, but there’s a core group of fans that feels a sense of ownership for our team that’s above and beyond “normal”. We’re hardened by years of strife off the ice and are acutely aware that social media inaccuracies can morph into “facts” that have a real life effect.
For lack of a better word, let’s call us the hashtaggable “Coyotes Nation”.
As Gagnon’s personal attacks that many might characterize as “cyberbullying” continued, Coyotes fans and others ran out of patience with the inaccuracies of @SportsHubAZ and began to push back.
What happened then was inevitable, but the description thereof will have to wait.
What did you THINK “Part One” meant?