There was great volume of high-pitched conversation about the Capitals taking place late last Thursday night, near the end of the Penguins’ 5-2 seal-clubbing of the Caps, and the most intriguing of it emanated from the Twitter feed of former Washington Post and Capitals reporter Jason La Canfora. La Canfora, who covers the NFL today, spent 10 years at the Post, on the Skins beat the back half of his tenure there but also a few seasons on 15th St. as Capitals beat reporter. His stint on the Caps’ beat was wedged between ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (then Rachel Alexander; thoroughly forgettable coverage) and Tarik El Bashir’s fine work. La Canfora I thought brought quality and commitment to his work covering the Caps. His hockey chops were well earned, too — previously he covered the Red Wings while with the Detroit Free-Press.
Today La Canfora has more than 270,000 followers on Twitter. Though I’m not an NFL devotee and don’t follow La Canfora on Twitter, his contemporary thoughts on the Caps aren’t irrelevant, to me anyway. Early last Friday morning an OFB Twitter follower alerted me to a string of La Canfora tweets that he thought vividly amplified my Caps’ autopsy of that morning. I didn’t get around to searching them out until deep in the weekend, but when I did I couldn’t find any Caps-related La Canfora tweets, from last Thursday night and any other time. Weird.
So I asked around a bit. Indeed folks in Twittersphere did see La Canfora take the gloves off last Thursday night in 140 characters, directed at Capitals management. Better still, a 4th estater who follows La Canfora on Twitter had the tweets still cached. He pasted them into a Word document and emailed them to me. Behold:
There’s more than a little bit of Joey Kocur Detroit in that roundhouse syntax. This was a reporter — years off the beat to be sure, but still with extra distinctive street cred with which to weigh in on a pressing Capitals matter of the moment — delivering a gutsy vantage, unafraid (initially, at least) of offending management sensibilities. The perfect example for his contemporary puck peers in D.C. to emulate. But they’re sentiments no longer to be found on La Canfora’s feed. Search for yourself, but you won’t find them; they’ve been obliterated.
The JayB4 addressed in the tweets is a Jay Brooke, a Caps’ fan, and his feed has plenty of dialogue directed at La Canfora last Thursday night.
What gives? When did La Canfora delete his tweets, and at whose behest? Media members deleting tweets is considered poor form, and so what are we to make of La Canfora white board wiping away his whole string related to the crumbling of the Nation’s Hockey Capital? It’s a particularly interesting matter to yours truly, as I’m fond of reminding of the lavish civility the professional press in these parts ever impart upon Mr. Leonsis’ hockey club.
And by the way, La Canfora was spot on.
Update: Thanks to Dan Steinberg for pointing out that the tweets are still there and one needs to click “ALL” instead of “No Replies” to view the tweets. And there’s more there than we initially thought.