Chris Long

Eagles defensive end Chris Long is a smart guy. He’s well-spoken in interviews, informed about national issues and clever on social media. So it probably should have been clear right from the start that the tweet he sent Monday night was not meant to be taken at face value. That it was instead intended sarcastically, as a way to mock people who criticize athletes (mostly those who look like the average basketball player 🤔) for being weak, while proclaiming their preference for so-called “grinders.”

But because people on the internet are generally poor at detecting sarcasm, more than a few prominent figures thought Long was actually dissing hockey players for being fragile.

Victims included Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw…

Boston-based writer Jen Royle…

ESPN Seattle host Mike Salk…

TV writer Stefanie Williams…

Missouri radio host Matt Baer…

Political operative Chris Hansen…

Activist Yousef Munayyer…

TSN Radio 690 (Montreal) host Mitch Melnick:

And a whole bunch of regular fans…

But of all the gullible people who fell for Long’s tweet, none fell quite as hard as David Hookstead, a writer for conservative website The Daily Caller, who wrote an entire post (“NFL STAR HAS AN ABSURDLY STUPID TWEET ABOUT HOCKEY. HE COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG”) explaining just how off Long supposedly was. Here’s a wonderful excerpt, exactly as it appears on the page:

What is he talking about? He’d prefer watching grinders? Is he trying to just draw a reaction? There’s simply no way that anybody could possibly believe that NBA players are tougher or more interesting than NHL players. (SLIDESHOWHOCKEY RINKS MIGHT BE COLD, BUT THESE WOMEN ARE SCORCHING HOT)

Hockey players skate around with knives attached to their feet. Knives on their feet! NBA players cry if they get breathed on too hard. Please don’t interpret this as me hating basketball. I love basketball, especially college. But facts are simply facts, and the reality is that NHL players are lightyears tougher than their NBA counterparts.

Long took note of The Daily Caller’s misread of his tweet, joking that he might have to take legal action against the website for sending angry hockey fans into his mentions.

In a way, all the confusion around Long’s tweet proved his original point: that people laud hockey players for their toughness, often at the exclusion of other equally tough athletes in other sports.

But hey, at least the St. Louis Blues knew what was up.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.