On Monday afternoon, the Penguins official Twitter account decided to attempt to engage fans by requesting that they send questions for forward James Neal to the hashtag #AskNeal.
It was an innocent attempt to spur conversation on social media that ultimately took no time at all to completely backfire. Neal, who one former referee recently called "the poster child for what is wrong with the NHL discipline system," definitely had a lot of people who wanted to ask him questions. The issue was that most of them weren't Penguins fans.
*wakes up from 1000 year sleep* *first thing read is #askNeal* *cracks knuckles*— FGSB (@FlyGoalScoredBy) March 24, 2014
Several of the questions were clearly related to the 5 game suspension Neal received for kneeing an opponent in the head in December.
If Crosby wasn't your teammate, would you try to knee him in the head or use a different body part to contact his head? #askneal— Steph (@myregularface) March 24, 2014
Hi, James! There are 206 bones in the human body. How many have you used to hit people in the head? #AskNeal— Marinara (@FratBastard) March 24, 2014
#AskNeal when you go to mt.rushmore do you get the overwhelming sensation to knee those huge ass heads.— James N (@JIMinAC) March 24, 2014
Others dealt with the $5000 fine Neal recently landed for cross-checking an opponent in the head:
#AskNeal what part of the stick should I be holding to really lay a good cross check to someone's head?— Sam Holcomb (@Ham_Solcomb) March 24, 2014
Before long #AskNeal was trending... in Philadelphia, home of the rival Flyers.
Harsh tweets kept piling up throughout the day, the majority of which I probably shouldn't post, but you can read them for yourself on Twitter.