December 27, 2010
It's never been clear why people get bent out of shape by what a visiting athlete says about a city.
Be that as it may, the hometown media corps in Buffalo can go to town on a Tweet allegedly belonging to Team USA forward Emerson Etem. If the Twitter account does in fact belong to Etem, it appears that he is not enamoured of the host city. (What, he was expecting Paris on the shores of Lake Ontario?)
Etem, 18, supposedly wrote that Buffalo was "ghost town" and "the worst city ever," comparing it unfavourably to his home base during the Western Hockey League season. (Ouch for Medicine Hat; what it has ever done to deserve that other than regularly sell out Tigers home games?)
Oh, to be that young again and still believe you weren't saying something that had already been said a million times. WGR 550 in Buffalo got wind of Etem's alleged remark (the account has 380 followers).
(Update: And just like that, the hashtag #EmersonEtemProblems has started on Twitter.)
Suffice to say, he and Team USA will probably have to address it. This also comes one night after Canada played to a packed HSBC Arena in its afternoon tournament opener, while Team USA played in a maybe three-quarters full building for its night game vs. Finland. Now a player on a host team allegedly talks out of turn.
Should they have to, really? A far better thing would be if people took it for what it was, a not overly original sentiment from an 18-year-old who's cooped up in a hotel room waiting to get back into action. From Terry Doyle at Loose Pucks:
"I'm sure Etem will realize that his thoughts should have remained within the dressing room and with his teammates at the team hotel. But I also hope USA Hockey staff don't make this worse by trying to hide Etem from the assembled media in Buffalo. If the locals take offence, allow him the chance to apologize for the comment and learn from this modern day gaffe."
One would hope Etem wouldn't have to shutter his Twitter account over this, if it is infact legit, but he's probably about to learn sometimes, the less said, the better.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.