It started Friday night when a fan of the Panthers (Hardy’s former team) posted a photo of Carolina receivers Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin and referred to them as “The Twin Towers.’'
Besides being stupid, the joke isn’t funny. Hardy seemed to recognize some of that eventually, when -- upon the urging of his employers, I'm quite sure -- he deleted the tweet and offered a graceless semi-apology.
“Ill say this I apologize 4a comment that mentioned an event where no reference 2humor is ever ok,’' Hardy wrote on his Twitter handle, @OverlordKraken, "but I hope my real fans know I would never.”
He "would never'' ... what? He just did. “Never’’ actually occurred. And over the course of the weekend, members of Cowboys Nation who expressed views ranging from disgust to disappointment found themselves blocked by Hardy, action that reeks of remorseless defiance.
However, you can’t block Cowboys management, not when they’re the ones who are writing your checks and rolling the dice with you after your involvement in a domestic-violence case, which is presently set to earn you a 10-game suspension this season.
“He’s under a microscope,’’ Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said. “He’s got to understand that. He’s a Dallas Cowboy and he came in here under some less than perfect conditions and a lot is expected. So I think he is going to learn and do better as we move forward.”
One way to move forward: A sincere apology, a true understanding of what was done wrong, and an acceptance that not all of his audience thinks 9-11 is a date ripe for dopey or even dangerous attempts at humor.
This weekend was supposed to be a Football Christmas for NFL/Cowboys fans, and Hardy's knuckelheadedness doesn't change that. (See below for profiles of all of Dallas' picks.) But Hardy thrust himself into the headlines again, for all the wrong reasons again ... and if you don't believe this merits me writing about it, you haven't spoken to this team's owner, coach and COO.
“These guys are young,” Jones said. “I warn (my own children) every day that it’s probably not the best thing they’re doing, spending a lot of time on social media … They’ve got to understand the pitfalls that come with it and once you put something out there, you better own it and better be able to live with it.”
But as with most tools, Twitter isn’t the problem; Twitter users are the problem. Hardy is a gifted player but also a “colorful’ one, shall we say. Owner Jerry Jones is aware of this foolishness. Coach Jason Garrett reached out to Hardy — maybe the reason the tweet has been erased from his timeline … if not erased from the consciousness of his fans or his bosses.
And now an update: Sources tell CHQ that Cowboys officials have urged Hardy to "clean up'' his Twitter account. He's responded in juvenile fashion:
Goodbye 4ever— The Villian King (@OverlordKraken) May 4, 2015
Hardy first noted that his "Twitter privileges'' had been revoked. (By the Cowboys). Then wrote "Goodbye forever,'' meaning he was done with Twitter. And then?
He went ahead and tweeted some more:
One more time: You don't have to care about this man's history, his immaturity and now his impudence. But trust me: His bosses care.