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12-20-2011, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Western New York
Pretty cool move on Hartnell's part.
DENVER – Like any other hardcore Flyers fan, Seth Hastings was overtly frustrated with Scott Hartnell’s propensity to fall to the ice with regularity over the course of last season.
It got to be so ridiculous, in Hastings’ mind that he decided to keep track of every stumble publicly using his Twitter account (@SethDH) to memorialize each fall with the hash tag #Hartnelldown.
It quickly became a trending tag during Flyers games, with fans and media alike using it to reference every time Hartnell fell on his britches.
But something changed this season in a way that Hastings could never imagine.
Hartnell created his own Twitter account (@Hartsy19) and immediately followed Hastings. He reached out to Hastings to find out about the hash tag and decided that the two could work together to turn the tag into a positive.
“When I first saw it, I was kind of caught off guard,” Hartnell said. “I was like, ‘What is that’ because I didn’t know what it meant. I found out a little later that this count kept going up every time I fell down, so I could have hated it or embraced it.
“I talked to my agent and asked him if he thought it would be cool to make some t-shirts about it and take all the proceeds and give them to charity. He said, ‘let’s do it’ and within a couple of days I had the web site and the shirts. I tweeted about it and Seth was shocked that it got this big but he was excited thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhat this was all going to charity so he was a good guy.”
The shirts, designed by Hartnell, feature the infamous hash tag on the front with the number 19 on the back and the words “down and dirty” on top of Hartnell’s Twitter handle.
They are available on Hartnell’s web site(Hartnelldown.com)and all proceeds will be donated to charity.
Hartnell will give some money to local charities in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan that are recipients of money raised at the annual Scott Hartnell-Clark MacArthur Celebrity Golf Classic, and provide a couple of Philly area hockey players the chance to enroll in Minnesota Hockey Camps, a summer camp that hones hockey skills.
“Never in a million years did I expect this,” said Hastings, 26, a cook from Middletown, Pa (near Hershey) where he can be found serving up food at Hershey Park, the Giant Center and Hershey Park Stadium. “It started off as kind of a joke last year and then it took off when he joined Twitter and became a whole new beast.”
Hartnell called Hastings and offered him a pair of tickets to last Saturday’s loss to Boston and then met up with Hastings after the game and posed for pictures with the t-shirts.
“It’s wild,” Hastings said. “It’s what dreams are made of as a sports fan. You follow a team and at the end of the day the players are just normal guys when you get to meet them. It’s pretty cool to be associated with a guy who plays for the team who I love more than maybe life itself.”
Hartnell added that he’s going to try to convince some of his teammates to wear the shirts in the locker room once the Flyers get home so they can be seen on camera to promote the site even further.
It’s the least Hartnell’s teammates can do considering they give him as much grief – if not more – every time he falls to the ice.
“I’ve scored a couple of goals now where I’ve ended up on my butt and the counter goes up, so that’s a good thing,” Hartnell said. “You have to be light-hearted about it, you know? Every time I fall down in practice now all the boys start yelling ‘Hartnell Down,’ so that’s pretty good.”
So ,Hartnell has gone from social media whipping boy to Twitter darling this season – and not just because he’s having a very good season offensively.
it’s gone all the way from Twitter to charity, which is kind of surreal to me,” Hastings said.“It’s totally different now than when we first started. At the beginning it was more because everybody was ragging on Hartnell because of the contract he had and here he was falling down all the time, now he’s second on the team in goals and is a big contributor to the team and it has a whole different meaning .”
It does – but primarily because Hartnell has proven to be an athlete who gets it, and gets the fans, putting him into a refreshing minority.
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