Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Story of Dallas Dave

Hello all, This is Dallas Dave.

Actually, it isn't. No such person exists. The person behind the twitter account and posts at a particular hockey forum was behind a number of individuals spanning across Canada. The hockey forum in question will not specifically be mentioned here, as I see no point in giving such a place any publicity. The reasons behind betraying that website and posting this are boring and not needed to be discussed. If at some time, and for some unfathomable reason, those details are being seeked out, they'll be given. I doubt we'll get to that.

So, what's the story? Why did we create a "Dallas Dave"?

To increase publicity to the website. To some degrees, it worked, and to others it didn't. The first "success" of the Dallas Dave project was the rumor a few years ago on trade deadline day of Alex Ponikarovsky being traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Nashville Predators. This was before the time of the twitter account. Someone created the "Dallas Dave" account, and posted this rumor. Then all the founding members of this forum went to, and spread the rumor. It caught on like wildfire, and actually resulted in AM640 in Toronto calling Ponikarovsky asking him how he felt about the trade, that actually had never occurred.

This was success #1.

From here, the project got a little craftier. A hidden forum to most members and all guests was created. This is known as the "ABS" at the forum in question. "Dallas Dave" would post a rumor there, where the public can't see it. This is where the "early" timestamp is created. All of the members in on the experiment would then post in that thread, saying something like "thanks Dave", which to an outsider would give DD legitimacy. This strategy was used on every deadline day, draft day, and July 1, or when some other trade was imminent, or if a "blank" (as the thread in the ABS would be called) was posted at just the right time out of circumstance.

To bolster Dallas Dave's credibility if we could get this plan to work, we created the twitter account, take a look, @Dallas_Dave.

Then came success #2, which was a result of quick action and some incredible luck.

A beat reporter (was known as @ajcthrashers) for the now non-existent Atlanta Thrashers reported that the Thrashers had traded Kari Lehtonen to the Dallas Stars. I checked to see if a recent "blank" was posted, and it was. So, a moderator of the forum edited the post in the "ABS" forum by Dallas Dave to say that the Thrashers have traded Lehtonen to Dallas. The post was made about 45 minutes or so before the beat reporter broke the trade. So, the thread in the ABS was edited, and was quickly moved to a public forum (NHL talk), and then I used the twitter account to post the link to the forum.

What resulted was many people (including TSN's Bob Mckenzie) crediting Dallas Dave for breaking the trade long before anyone else did, and his followers on twitter jumped very quickly, to the rate of 100 per day for the first week after that trade. Bob McKenzie actually made a point to "mention" @Dallas_Dave in a tweet saying he called the Lehtonen trade, and this further helped boost DD's popularity. For a period of time up until very recently, McKenzie "followed" Dallas Dave on twitter.

Now, Dallas Dave had a following.

I was in full control of the twitter account. Every now and then I'd post a rumor that came straight out of my ass, based on what was already being said in the media. Trying to find an obscure fact that was reported in the media, but something that not many knew about, proved to be key. Lots of "retweets" resulted, and DD's reputation began to soar.

This strategy was rinsed and repeated a few times. We were acknowledged by various media types. Eklund in particular mentioned DD both on twitter, and on his site "", where Eklund said he agreed 100% with Dallas Dave's thoughts on how the Brad Richards saga would play out (which I pulled straight out of my ass, way to go Eklund). Eric Engels, a reporter for the Habs, also gave Dallas Dave major props for calling the Montreal/NYR trade involving Paul Mara, which was also a result of the time machine we created at the forum. Recently, a very well respected member of the media let me (me as in DD on twitter) in on some rumors which were off the record, as the GM he had spoken to did not want this information out there. Since that media member specifically asked to be anonymous, and I like him, his identity won't be revealed. Neither will the rumor, you'll have to figure that out yourselves. This is just a small representation of the amount of times DD was credited with a good rumor, or an actual trade. These guys shouldn't be looked on negatively for falling for the trick. Bobby Mac is the most respected guy in the business, and he should be. Just because Eklund/Engels/others fell for it, doesn't mean they're inaccurate. While Eklund throws a lot of stuff at the wall hoping it sticks, he's nailed some things too.

By this point, every time DD posted a post on the forum, and then tweeted it, the site could get 1000 hits within seconds. New registers to the forum weren't as high as hoped, but it definitely put the website on the map, and the forum does have much more members now then it did back then.

Apologies to those who had their time wasted. Apologies to real experts like Bob Mckenzie, who were at some point or another duped. No apologies to people like NHLSourcesSay, who are shady at best with their reporting. I also sympathize with the good people who helped with this cause, whose efforts are now in vain. In that same light, I apologize for not detailing the chronicles of Dallas Dave more elaborately, and bragging about the successes I didn't mention here.. as I didn't want to write a novel.

Hope you enjoyed the story!