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This… is a democracy. Well, a democracy in that I am going to ask for your feedback but ultimately do whatever the hell I want because it’s my money.

Last year I told you that I would be using the surveys to help monetize the site and eventually hire a second person. And now here we are. I’ve specifically avoided mentioning on-site that I was looking for someone – instead I tweeted it – because I wanted a person who used Twitter often. I received a whole lot of responses. What you see here are the ones that stood out, based on either the candidate’s submissions, resume, or previous work. Many writing samples were submitted– some really good, some really bad, and some that were well-written but lacked the personality, voice and wit that I felt was a fit for this site. As of now, there are six finalists (though if there are any Bill Simmons or Drew Magary 2.0s out there, I’m all ears eyes) who have gone through the (in)formal application process of sending me a coherent email, demonstrating that they can assimilate into a modern society, and submitting three sample posts as follows:

1) A post about this hypothetical scenario: Tim Panaccio writes an article claiming that Scott Hartnell and Craig Berube are not speaking to each other. Hartnell, in response to the story, Tweets: “everything in that story is wrong BUCKO” or “not true at all BUCKO” (some applicants received different wording). And Panaccio responds “scott can have own opinion [sic]” or “believe what you want.” The candidates were advised that they could create context around it as they see fit.

2) A post about the job Ruben Amaro has done– either good or bad.

3) A post that they believe would belong on the site.

Over the next three days, I’m going to roll out the posts from each of those three requests, completely unedited. There will be a voting box for you to vote for your favorite. I won’t be revealing the results because though I’ll take the feedback heavily into account, I won’t necessarily choose the highest vote-getter due to a variety of variables, not the least of which are money and the current situation of the candidates. This is interview week. I may choose a full-time writer, I may choose a part-time writer, I may choose two part-time writers. I don’t know. It’ll be whomever the best fits the site, and a large consideration of their fittiness will come from you, the CB reader.

To the submissions!

I’ve obscured the identities of the candidates because most of them currently have jobs or conflicts of interest that would make publicly applying for a position detrimental to their existence. So, I’ve given the candidates names of Family Guy characters.

Images and blockquotes are called out in brackets, though they were not required and I was more interested in the storytelling and commentary.

Brian Griffin:

Headline: Scott Hartnell Giving Craig Berube Full Blown Teenage Girl Silent Treatment

[Insert a picture of Hartnell looking lost on the ice.]

Pop quiz hot shot: What is worse than a listless game 5 to put a team on the brink of elimination? How about Hartnell–head firmly planted up own ass– giving Berube the silent treatment.

I hate to be the harbinger of crushed dreams and sad realities to Type OB’s… so I’ll let everyone’s favorite Flyers beat writer do it for me. The floor is yours Mr. Panaccio:

[Insert block quote from story here depicting team meeting, calling players out, Hartnell not taking it well, silent treatment ensuing]

Delightful.

So instead of picking themselves up by their bootstraps like real Americans Canadians and preparing to score a ZILLION goals on Tuesday, we have Hartnell pouting because the coach yelled at him. Don’t mind me as I mosey onto this limb over here, but… BERUBE IS RIGHT. Has anyone seen Hartnell play this series- I’m not even saying that poetically, I mean have you physically SEEN him on the ice? He barely exists. What’s worse: when I do see him, he is losing a puck in his skates, getting outworked on the boards, or LETTING THE RANGERS TAKE CONTROL OF AN OFFENSIVE ZONE FACEOFF WON BY GIROUX WITH 44 SECONDS LEFT AND AN EMPTY NET IN A ONE-GOAL GAME. In my estimation Berube may have even been too easy on him.

Look, I know Hartnell is hardly the only one to blame here (looking at you, Claude), but at the moment, he is currently the only one abstaining from words with the coach.

Gotta love the GO TEAM GO attitude that the FlyGuys are showing coming up on Tuesday’s eliminator*.

UPDATE 1:

[Insert picture of Hartnell tweet “Everything in that story is wrong BUCKO.”]

Well that didn’t take long. I think we all expected some sort of denial, but from Hartnell’s twitter is interesting. On one hand, it helps eliminate the vibe of guilt that a deflected locker room question would foster, on the other hand dignifying with any sort of response leaves me without the warm and fuzzies.

Furthermore, can we talk about this ‘BUCKO’ thing? Who says that? Does it emit an aura of gravity over a less than sober medium like twitter? No it does not, Scott. Docked half a letter grade.

UPDATE 2:

[Insert picture of Panotch tweet “Scott can have own opinion.”]

Watch out everyone, Timmy P. is throwing haymakers over here. But seriously, this retort is nonsense. If he is saying it’s untrue, that’s either a fact, or a lie, not really an opinion. I have opinions on this, because I wasn’t there. Hartnell was there. If he says it did (or didn’t) happen he is either dropping some facts, or fertilizing some lies- not opining. I’m thinking this could be Panotch running in the other direction from the all knowing beast that pays his salary (and cut his expense account).

* Every elimination game should be referred to as The Eliminator. I can hear the idiots at ESPN getting wet from here: “Next on Sportscenter, can Durant and the Thunder survive THE ELIMINATOR?”

 

Glenn Quagmire

Headline: Hartnell Pulls Out Cartoon Insult On Tim Panaccio 

When things are going poorly in the Flyers’ organization, it seems like the go-to option is to take a shot at Tim Panaccio. Much like Nikolay Zherdev and Mike Richards before him (though years before), Scott Hartnell would have preferred Panaccio didn’t say anything at all when he reported that Hartnell and Berube were not saying anything at all to each other. It’s been a tough stretch for Hartnell, who has seen decreased ice time and tons of talk radio criticism as the Flyers hit a brief losing stretch, but it seems, with this Panaccio report, Hartnell decided enough was enough.

In response to Panaccio’s report, Hartnell at the very least talked to Panaccio, on Twitter, when he tweeted “not true at all BUCKO.” Bucko, by the way, is a word you may have heard your grandfather and/or Foghorn Leghorn use. Panaccio responded with a standard “believe what you want.” What do we believe? People who wear the orange and black just do not like Tim Panaccio.

 

Tom Tucker

Headline: HARTNELL DENIES REPORT HE’S NOT TALKING TO BERUBE

<hartnell berube.jpg>

The ongoing feud between the Flyers and their beat writers has reached a new level.

We told you earlier [insert link] about Tim Panaccio’s report on CSNPhilly.com that the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell is not talking to coach Craig Berube after Berube dropped him from the top line (a move that paid off big-time, by the way).

Hartnell denied the report in a Twitter post today:

[Scott Hartnell ‏@Hartsy19 Apr 30 @tpanotchCSN not true at all BUCKO]

Not sure what Hartsy is going for with “bucko” in all caps. “Panotch” is a Steelers fan, so maybe he roots for the Pirates also? Regardless, he’s sticking to his story:

[Tim Panaccio ‏@tpanotchCSN believe what you want]

This is eerily similar to the 2011 incident when Mike Richards tweeted that he “writes articles that are no where close to being true.”

That tweet referred to Panaccio’s report that Richards and then-coach Peter Laviolette were not speaking. And whether the report was true or not, Richards was traded just about a month later to the Kings, and it was widely reported that off-ice factors played into the move.

Don’t expect Hartnell to be traded — if only because the Flyers would be very unlikely to find a taker for a 32-year-old who has five years and $22.5 million left on his contract and whose production has dipped.

The real question might be whether he should be watching his back in the locker room. As Jeremy Roenick would attest, it’s not the best idea to get on Berube’s bad side. Talk about #hartnelldown.

We’ll probably never know the truth, but regardless, add this to the list of spats between the team and its beat writers.

And Panaccio has his own personal history of feuds with the team. He was called “an asshole” by Bob Clarke, and Nikolay Zherdev once refused to talk to him because “he looks like he’s inthe Russian mob.”

Seems Hartnell would agree with Clarke and Richards (though maybe not Zherdev, but who knows?).

Regardless of whether Hartnell is actually on speaking terms with Berube, you can bet he won’t have many kind words for Panaccio any time soon.

 

Greased-up Deaf Guy (this candidate isn’t actually deaf as best as I can tell, but that’s cool if he is… and I’ll never catch him)

Headline: Hartnell Calls Panaccio “BUCKO”, Refutes Claim That He and Berube Aren’t Speaking

Scott Hartnell fired back at Flyers beat writer Tim Panaccio today in a tweet denying Panaccio’s assertion that he and coach Berube aren’t on speaking terms. Specifically, he used the term “BUCKO” to refer to Panaccio.

[screengrab of tweet]

There are a few ways we could go with this story. We could investigate the “he said, she said” aspect of this conflict. However, what I find far more compelling is that Hartnell refers to Panaccio as “Bucko.” That’s a term that I haven’t heard used by any non-social security eligible human in my entire life. Clearly, Hartnell does not use the term endearingly. I’m going to make some very, very liberal connections here, and assume this tweet suggests that he and Panaccio are not friends. Perhaps Hartnell did something to anger him in the recent past. Perhaps Panaccio had a crush on Sheena Parveen before Scotty snatched her away (Whatever happened to their romantic dalliance, by the way? Did she ever send him any dirty pics? Asking for a friend). My God, the possibilities are endless. I don’t want to digress here but I can’t think of any scenario in which I would call somebody “bucko”. Panaccio’s response?

[screengrab of tweet]

Believe what I want? He sounds offended, as rightfully, he should be. But should I believe the guy who follows the team who’s making a pretty wild claim, or should I believe the guy who’s on the team who directly denied said claim? Hartnell and Berube don’t strike me as the kind of guys who would be afraid to speak to one another about anything. However, based on an exchange of about 140 characters between the two men’s fingers, Hartnell and Panaccio we can assume are two guys that don’t talk to each other very often.

How often do hockey players’ and coaches’ relationships devolve to the point where they aren’t on speaking terms? Especially a charismatic figure like Hartnell and a no- nonsense figure like Berube? Maybe I’m not the best person to ask since the closest I ever got to the team was handing out t-shirts before playoff games, but this whole thing STINKS.

I would gladly call my friend ‘asshole,’ ‘jackass,’ or ‘idiot,’ but I would only call my enemy ‘bucko.’ I think we are on the verge of a war here, my friends. And given the verbal barbs being thrown around, the stakes could not possibly be higher. (If ‘bucko’ is simply Panaccio’s nickname then I revoke all the above, and this whole thing is a simple miscommunication. I apologize in advance.)

 

John Herbert 

Headline: Scott Hartnell – Cowboy Hunter

[Photoshop of Panaccio with a Pinocchio nose and pegleg – Pirate Pinocchio Panaccio]

From the “don’t let facts get in the way of a good story” department of local beat writers, Tim Panaccio posted a piece earlier detailing some locker room issues for the Flyers – specifically centered on “HARTNELL DOWN”.

[Photo of Hartnell giving the Hulk-a-mania ear – italics quote under the picture “Wait, what did he say?”]

Panacc-io, whom apparently takes up residence inside the Flyers locker room, suggested that Hartnell and Flyers head coach Craig Berube are not on speaking terms – specifically, that Hartnell has gone out of his way to avoid talking to Chief. The suggestion apparently stems from Hartnell’s recent “demotion” to the 3rd line skating alongside Couturier and Matt Read.

Timmy P writes:

“So after this most recent Flyers loss, Berube clearly felt it was time to shake things up, moving the ineffective Hartnell down to the 3rd line and replacing him with Michael Raffl. This move was expected, due to Hartnell’s recent inability to create much skating room for Captain Claude Giroux, and generally being less of a threat to score from in close than in recent years. Hartnell, however, is not taking this recent move well. Sources inside the Flyers locker room say that Hartnell has gone as far as to avoid Head Coach Craig Berube, not engaging him during team meetings and being “unavailable” for comments. Berube is reportedly quite unhappy with Hartnells’ pouting, and has involved GM Paul Holmgren in trying to reach out to his oft temperamental winger.”

Now, there is a TON of assumption in there, but one thing is clear, Hartnell was moved down, and Timmy P says he is unhappy about it. Luckily for us, in the word of social media, Scottie was able to add his two cents, tweeting out earlier:

[Screen grab of Hartnell tweet to Panaccio]

First of all – 10 points to Gryffindor for the use of “BUCKO” in a modern day setting. I suppose “NOT UH YOU’RE LYING!” wouldn’t have been quite as clever. Second, Timmy P, not one to let someone dispute his journalistic prowess – made sure that he responded in his strongest third grader voice:

[Screen grab of Panaccio’s tweet to Hartnell]

So…for those playing at home – Hartnell disputes the article, Timmy P responds (TWITTER WAR!) telling us to believe what we want. Journalistic integrity aside, if you are going to print an article like this (well…perhaps not print) – offer some level of support for it. Telling people to “believe what you want” isn’t exactly the iron clad defense of your infallible observational skills one would expect in this situation. Like most local writers, it’s a situation of: 1) Throw shit at wall; 2) Observe what sticks.

None the less, nothing says “Flyers Hockey” like a twitter exchange between a local writer and a (now) 3rd line winger. I’m sure Holmgren and Berube would be more upset at Hartnell for no #clutchtime in the tweet – expect a note from the city leading PR department on that one.

 

Adam West (the candidate explained that there was an element of truth to his context, so that might help to prepare you for the jarring final two paragraphs)

Headline: “Believe What You Want”

[Pic of what could be misconstrued as Hartnell ignoring Berube in the locker room post game)

A classic case of he-said, she-said. Last night Scott Hartnell took to Twitter to respond to Tim Panaccio’s csnphilly.com story claiming Hartnell was not speaking to head coach Craig Berube.

“not true at all BUCKO”, said Hartnell, to which Panaccio deadpanned, “believe what you want.”

Is there a rift between Berube and Hartnell or is Panaccio a filthy liar, incapable of composing a tweet or publishing an article free of half-truths, bad jokes, and typos? I read the tweet exchange late last night and wasted half my day exhausting all of my connections* while trying to unearth more information on this one and got nothing… Until out of frustration, I mentioned it to my wife as she and her close friend strolled through the door after work.

Her friend, Ms. Hartnell-to-be, works at a Center City sports bar, and just started dating Number 69 19 a few weeks ago. She stopped over our place to have a beer and confirmed, unequivocally, that Panaccio is full of shit and Hartnell and Berube are, in fact, speaking.

I pressed her for more details and additional evidence to corroborate her claim. She reached into the back pocket of her tight black jeans, called Scott, briefly explained the situation to him, and handed me the phone.

(*Full disclosure: the closest thing I have to a connection is that my wife’s cousin is married to Britt Reid and I once met Andy at a family BBQ)

(*I also met Eagles defensive line coach, Mr. Jerry Azzinaro, last night at Xfinity Live)

[Pic of Hartnell partying at Center City bar where wife’s friend works]

A big thanks to everyone who expressed interest. I tried to respond to as many as possible with feedback, though I undoubtedly missed a few of you. If for some reason you think that you are just the best writer ever and really want to do this, you may take a stab at these sample posts. But send them soon.

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