If you're over the age of say, 25, I probably need to explain what that is. If you're under the age of 25, chances are good that I don't.
For the fossils out there, Tinder is an online mobile app that takes information from a users Facebook page, runs it through a complicated algorithm, and uses it to match the user up with a list of potential people currently in the nearby area that they might be interested in meeting. The user gets a list of matches and, based on a person's profile picture, can choose to start a conversation with that person or not. It's quite popular among the college-aged crowd. It's not explicitly about meeting people for sex, but in the same way your average singles bar or college party isn't.
Tinder became a hot topic in the Ontario Hockey League earlier this fall OHLers Greg Betzold and Jake Marchment received 15-game suspensions from the league after they made some horrifying comments(and also used the adjective 'pure bread,' which makes me laugh to this day) to a young woman on Tinder that were made public.
Given the popularity of the app, especially among the college-aged crowd, it was likely only a matter of time before it worked its' way into college hockey as well.
Prior to this past weekend's series between Michigan and Penn State, some members of the University of Michigan student section, The Children of Yost, noticed some Penn State hockey players showing up as matches for them on Tinder. One rush printing job later, Penn State was greeted with this when they took the ice this weekend at Yost:
Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with those players being on Tinder. Like any social media site, it can be used in a variety of ways, both good and bad. The GPS on their phones would have automatically placed them in Ann Arbor upon arrival without them even necessarily thinking about it.
Still, human beings are at their most vulnerable when meeting new people. And it has to be a little rattling to see a blown up photo of yourself in what is naturally an awkward situation.
The only thing that could make it more awkward?
Yep. That's the mother of Penn State freshman forward James Robinson posing for a picture next to her son's Tinder profile. If Tinder is the online world's night club, nobody wants Mom there with them.
One night after the Tinder profile pictures debuted in Ann Arbor, the trend moved 60 miles south to Bowling Green. On Saturday, Bemidji State starting goalie Andrew Walsh was greeted with this poster thanks to Bowling Green's Bleacher Creatures:
It's certainly up for debate whether this is the good old-fashioned fun of students trying to get in the head of the opposition, or an invasion into the private lives of student-athletes. If nothing else, it's a good reminder that while there may be the illusion of privacy on the internet, it doesn't really exist.