|One more year (at least) of this glorious hair.
It's ironic to consider the social media impact that Teemu Selanne
's announcement had today, considering that when he came into the league, there was no Facebook, there was no Twitter ... heck, there was barely an internet. We were calling friends on our rotary phones to talk about what we watched on our black and white TVs that night (okay, maybe that's a stretch).
But the strategy we here in Ducks land used to release the announcement, then the reaction that announcement got throughout the day, was slathered in social media. It's especially unique when you consider that social media barely existed the first time Teemu started doing these annual summer comeback decisions.
Letting you in on a little something, this video we used to spring the announcement was actually shot back in May, before Teemu headed to Finland for the summer and his current vacation in Italy (not a bad life he leads). It was shot with a "just in case" intent, even though, for whatever reason, most of us here felt more assured of his return than we have in past offseasons.)
In the days leading up to the announcement, we decided to first release the video on our Ducks Mobile App (announcing it was there on Twitter and Facebook), to provide a bit of an exclusive for those who have downloaded it. About a half hour later, we posted a link to the video on those social networks, and right around the same time the flood of retweets, replies and Facebook comments came pouring in. More than 200,000 people saw the posts on Facebook this morning regarding Selanne's comeback, while almost 4,000 people "Like"d them and close to 400 commented on it, with countless others showing their enthusiasm on Twitter. Here's a pretty cool collection of those comments. Among them were these from Selanne's teammates:
The #OneMoreYear hashtag was used on Twitter by countless fans to celebrate the announcement, as you'll see here, although with Teemu, I don't see why #FiveMoreYears is too much to ask.
It's all a reflection of the unabashed and well-deserved love for the 42-year-old Selanne, something we're able to see immediately in the age of social media -- and that's a pretty cool thing.
For those following the Ducks on Twitter, they were the first to see Teemu's comments on the return during his long-distance conference call with media this afternoon. Among the comments (in which he encouragingly used the words "unfinished business" more than once):
On his decision to return
"I still feel that I have something to give and that I can still play on this high level. Even with the tough first half we had last year, I still enjoyed the game so much. That is why I think I knew way earlier than normal that I wanted to play again. Our team, we want to win again. That is a big part of my decision too."
On continuing to play in his 40s
"Age is a funny thing. A lot of times, I don’t really feel 42 right now. After all, they are tough numbers. It all depends how good you feel, how healthy you are and how much passion you have for the game. That is why I still enjoy the game. It’s fun to go to the rink every morning. It sounds pretty old when you say 42 as a hockey player. Mentally, I am still the same level as Getzlaf and those other guys. That is most important and that is why I am still in the game."
On talking with his family about the decision
"My family has always been so good. Once in a while they ask what I’m going to do. They always have said it’s your decision and we’re going to support it 100 percent. My family felt that I’m not ready to retire. They know I’m at the end of the runway right now and there are not going to be many years left. We are all enjoying this moment right now. I know my boys are very excited that I’m back."
And as we've seen today, they aren't the only boys (and girls) who are excited today.