Twitter can be a very powerful tool.
We all know this. It gives players an unheralded way of communicating with their fans and vice versa. It gives angry sports lovers a perfect outlet for venting their frustrations. And it offers us a way to connect with others who share our passions and obsessions.
But what happens when Twitter usage goes wrong? What happens when it is used not for good, but for evil?
Usually, the Twitter accounts belonging to professional teams are bland and borderline boring. They're useful if you're looking for scoring updates, stats and even the occasional behind-the-scenes photo, but controversial, they are not.
Except for these few rare, and awesome, exceptions. The masked men (and women) behind these official team Twitter accounts decided to go rogue, and the results were hilarious. Read and enjoy.
Whoever is behind the L.A. Kings' Twitter account, he/she is the king of trolling. But it's nice to know that when things aren't going well, they can admit it. The Kings can poke fun at themselves.
But they're not going to do it solely at their own expense. They have to bring another team into the mix, too.
The Pittsburgh Penguins got steamrolled out of this year's Eastern Conference Finals by Boston, suffering a shocking four-game sweep—and in the West, the Kings weren't far behind them, losing to the Blackhawks in five games. Their season ended with a heartbreaking double-overtime loss, and afterward, they wanted to drown their sorrows.
So naturally, they invited the other losers:
@penguins you guys wanna grab a drink later?— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 9, 2013
The world of MLS may not be the most popular in the sports realm, so sometimes, the teams have to cause a bit of a ruckus in order to get some attention. Sporting Kansas City did that pretty well a couple of months ago when it didn't feel like it was getting enough props for ending the Houston Dynamo's 36-game home unbeaten streak.
After KC took down Houston, the man behind the official Twitter account wasn't interested in being a good sport. He decided to rub it in with this super sportsmanlike tweet:
Sorry about your streak @HoustonDynamo. It was fun while it lasted.— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) May 13, 2013
The Houston Dynamo were already feeling feisty after seeing their 36-game unbeaten streak snapped. They weren't in the mood for Sporting KC's senseless provocation. They also weren't in the mood for being gracious in defeat.
Before Sporting KC engaged in this battle, it should have recognized one small factor: the Dynamo had plenty of meaningful recent triumphs to its name, including one over KC in the 2011 playoffs and another in 2012.
So Houston did the reasonable thing, sending KC a little reminder of the history between them:
The New York Yankees pride themselves on their professionalism and class, but apparently, when it comes to Twitter, all bets are off.
Prior to kicking off an interleague series last month, the official Yankees account came out of nowhere with this, reminding the Dodgers of the time they lost the 1977 World Series to the Bronx Bombers:
The Dodgers weren't going to take the abuse without hitting back, reminding the Yankees of what happened the last time they visited New York for the '81 Fall Classic:
Your move, New York:
@Dodgers Oh yeah, 1981. We've only won 5 championships since.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 18, 2013
The war raged on, but just like in 1977, New York got the last laugh:
He may not be the official voice of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he might as well be. He is, after all, their mascot.
Last month, Jaxson DeVille made it his mission to troll ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio like there was no tomorrow, and the results were hilarious. He began by calling Florio an "IDIOT" (all caps), then turned his ire to ProFootballTalk in general. Here's the exchange that transpired:
Props to @ProFootballTalk for Capitalizing on people's lack of desire to Google search the web themselves for articles about their team.— Jaxson DeVille (@JaxsonDeVille) June 20, 2013
@JaxsonDeVille . . . Props to you for finding a mild upgrade from your gig as Eric the Clown.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 20, 2013
“@ProFootballTalk: Jaxson Props for finding mild upgrade from gig as Eric the Clown.” we're both seen as clowns but I can take my suit off!— Jaxson DeVille (@JaxsonDeVille) June 20, 2013
The exchange continued for a while, but it was DeVille who landed the knockout punch:
Mike @ProFootballTalk I Can keep busting U up all night but I got important things to do like cleaning my litter box now go copy and paste!— Jaxson DeVille (@JaxsonDeVille) June 20, 2013
The Brooklyn Nets, apparently, were so bothered by their own trolling of themselves that they came to the conclusion they had to shut down their very popular @Nets_PR account. And it's really a shame because it was still so entertaining to follow.
Though the account was never verified as the official voice of the Nets, it had thousands of followers, and its most epic commentary got thousands of retweets.
Here was one of the account's biggest hits:
#Nets now 32-0 when outscoring opponent this season— Nets PR Dept. (@Nets_PR) February 20, 2013
But have no fear: The man behind the now-defunct account still tweets from @calder_h.
Why would you troll a fellow team in your own city?
Earlier this year, after someone tweeted that pitchers and catchers were due to report to spring training in just six weeks, the Cowboys' official account sent out this gem (which has since been deleted):
"Similarly in the category of nobody-cares…the NHL is back!"
But this was definitely a battle won by the Stars, who took a magnificent cheap shot at Tony Romo with their own Twitter account:
After they got owned, the Cowboys tried to back down with some lame excuse about the original offending tweet being posted accidentally. It's 2013. We all know how to use Twitter. Nice try, though.
They were trying to be creative. We get it. But this was just dumb.
It's safe to say the entire hockey-loving world was shocked after the big, bad Cup-favorite Penguins found themselves in a 2-0 hole after the first two games of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals. They had been embarrassed at home, they looked clueless and outclassed and they needed a revised game plan.
So they played hangman. At least, that's what the team's official Twitter account would have us believe, tweeting this before Game 3:
The board says it all. http://t.co/6wd85ijDiw— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 4, 2013
Alas, hangman didn't work, and the Pens got swept right out of the postseason.
So the Ravens tried to do what so many other pro teams (like the Kings, for instance—but we'll get to them) do so well, and it was just an epic fail. A miserably epic fail.
The Ravens, of course, topped the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, and they celebrated accordingly with a parade through Baltimore that drew about 200,000 fans.
For some unknown reason, the Ravens' official Twitter account decided to find a deceivingly sparse photo of the crowds at the Miami Heat's 2013 championship parade, post it alongside a photo of the crowds drawn by the Ravens and tweet it with the following caption:
Unfortunately for the Ravens, though, the numbers don't lie: Miami's parade drew twice as many fans, according to the Baltimore Sun. But the Heat were too classy to point that out themselves.
There is nobody better at trolling than whoever is behind the Los Angeles Kings' official Twitter feed. Nobody in the world. Whoever it is that runs the Kings' Twitter account, he could teach a course.
Exhibit A came at the expense of UFC. Once the Kings won their first Stanley Cup in 2012, the champions were in high demand. Everyone wanted them, their Cup and their good juju in the house, including UFC, which visited the Staples Center last August for UFC on Fox.
In a show of excitement, UFC extended an invitation to the Kings to attend. The Kings—or at least, their resident Twitter troll—were not into it, responding thusly (the tweet was later deleted):
"Sorry, the Cup is only for those who play a real sport."
UFC's olive branch was snapped by the Kings and sent right back to them, and as a result, all bets were off.
The UFC no longer wanted the Kings in the house for its event, and it no longer felt the need to be all warm and fuzzy with the local hockey team. So after being told that UFC wasn't a real sport, UFC sent out this dagger:
The Kings were really excited about winning their first Stanley Cup. Like, really excited.
There is, however, a way to relay your excitement without being obnoxious. There is a way to be excited without excessively trolling the team you have beaten. There is a way to be sportsmanlike, but the Kings' Twitter guru is apparently unfamiliar with it.
In an expert display of rubbing it in the losers' faces, the Kings—almost a year after taking home the Stanley Cup—sent a video of the best moments of the Stanley Cup to the Devils' official Twitter account, along with this caption:
Perhaps the Kings should cool off on the Twitter trolling for a while. They do, after all, only have one Stanley Cup to their name.
The Devils, meanwhile, have three, which they had no problem pointing out in response to L.A.'s act of trollery:
@LAKings glad we could give back. We are always willing to help the less fortunate. We have 3 cups tweet us when you do too.— New Jersey Devils (@NHLDevils) April 9, 2013
It's kind of the equivalent of the scoreboard chant, which is kind of lame, but still—someone needs to put the Kings in their place.
Also, it's worth noting that the Devils' retort got almost 2,000 more retweets than the Kings' initial hit.
Perhaps the Kings should have cooled it a bit with the trash talk during this year's playoffs. They did, after all, get steamrolled out of the Western Conference Finals by the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
But until that happened, the Kings were right up on their high horse, tweeting nonsense like this:
"Let's Go Haw...." Kings GOAL! Williams gets a sick on a loose puck and with the 2nd shot on goal, #LAKings lead 1-0.— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 1, 2013
Alas, the trolling was premature. The Kings would lose that game 2-1, and they would lose the series 4-1.
Waiting for the Blackhawks to retaliate by tweeting the Kings a photo of the Cup…