Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The NHL vs. The Internet

The Jiri Tlusty naked photo mess has highlighted just how damaging the Internet can be to a player's reputation when the players aren't careful about their activities. Like it or not, there are those who want to take advantage of an athlete's name and use it for nefarious purposes.

As Chuck Gormley of The Sporting News reports, the NHL wants to make its players aware of a world that many of them know little about. Unbeknownst to many players, they are posers pretending to be an NHL player, and often getting away with it.

"Go on MySpace and type in anybody in this (locker) room and there will be someone posing," said Carter, who is single. "I have a friend who said she sent pictures to my MySpace and I don't even have a MySpace. She said, 'Oh, I've been talking to you for the past month and a half.'"

Umberger, who is married, went online and discovered there were four people posing as him on their own web pages. When he found that some were soliciting women, he had all four accounts canceled.

I've seen a few such sites, and they range from harmless 'role playing' (a game where people make no bones about playing the role of a player, and disclose that they are not the actual athlete) to actual identity theft, where many are duped into believing that Jason Smith actually spends six hours a day on his Facebook account.

Unfortunately, it will take a combined effort between the NHL and its clubs to ensure that their athletes are protected.

My solution would be for each club to have one of its employees act as an IT watchdog for their players. Between the clubs and the NHL, these people would scour the internet, ensuring that any MySpace-like accounts are legitimate, and make sure that any false accounts are deleted. It's so incredibly simple for someone to set up an account and pretend that they are an athlete, and an amazing amount of people seem to fall for it.

Since ye olde newspapers are hardly the force they used to be, teams need to focus more of their energy on the media that most fans use, which is definitely the Internet. What goes on TV and Newspapers can more easily be controlled, but the Internet allows fans to get around any controls the NHL has in place for the more established channels.

For the new breed of athlete that does use the Internet often (such as Tlusty), they'll need to be protected from their own stupidity and/or gregariousness as anything that they allow to be exposed will spread around the hockeysphere faster than the Ebola virus.

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Hey man! Arturs Irbe and Eric Staal are my Facebook friends!!
haha Both frauds, yes. I mocked the Eric Staal wannabe and all the people who believed it was actually him.
how entertaining was it that irbe was getting paid over a million dollars to play in the minors,,,

staal is sick though,,, i have him on my fantasy team, and he is a big help,,,
A buddy of mine used to hit the bars pretending he was G. Qwertyuiop (name of 4th-line scrub withheld) of the St. Louis Blues. He never had to buy a drink for himself. Girls would fawn all over him. I even heard one ditz plead with him as we were walking away, "send me a postcard of the Arch."
The real story is the jaw-dropping niavete of people without the good sense to figure it out.

It's unfortunate that hockey players have to keep a keen eye out for cellphone cameras every time they have a beer (although it's old fashioned for a team's PR to get their undies in a bunch over hockey players holding a beer in some bar), but then again, they are well-compensated for it.

Simple rule: don't make out with chicks in public, and don't ever take pics of yourself naked.
1) As we wrote on Mirtle's site this morning. Perhaps we're one of the few wondering what the big deal is here? So, some teeny boppers or other losers are "impersonating" Ryan Miller, etc. Big deal.
2) Its "identity theft" IF they are using his name to get a credit card, make fraudulent purchases, etc., Else it seems like harmless silliness At least no more harmful that what paparazzi have been doing to celebrities forever.
3) Gossip/rumors have always surrounded famous people/athletes. It just more widespread with the Internet. Its part of the price of fame.
4) Anyone wanna bet Gordie Howe would trade one guy impersonating him for one of Crosby's pay cheques?!?
Man - and I thought I kicked the real 'Derek Roy's' ass in a fight in NHL 08 on Xbox Live
Sorry, but this has happened to me, and I didn't even go looking for it. I was scammed for months by someone pretending to be a whole slew of players. I am no dummy and this person went above and beyond to make up childhood stories, scenarios, knew every little thing about the players (including their parents, aunts, uncles, siblings names). Some people out there are just evil and if they try hard enough, they can fool anybody they want to. I wish NHL security people would take down all of those fake sites so that what happened to me wouldn't happen to anybody else.
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