One of the best feel-good stories to come out of the NHL this season was the acquired fandom of Anthony Holmes, aka Tony X. Holmes, who goes by @soIoucity on Twitter, discovered an appreciation for hockey and hilariously live-tweeted Game 7 of the Blues-Blackhawks playoff series.
His sense of humor and genuine excitement about the sport made him a viral sensation. He quickly picked up more than 80,000 followers on Twitter and got invited by his hometown Blues to attend a game on their behalf.
This week, he was scheduled to attend the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, where he would present an award on national television. Early Wednesday morning, he tweeted a photo of his plane ticket and presumably was on his way to Vegas.
But Tony wasn’t heard from on Twitter for the rest of the day. Then, on the awards show broadcast, host Will Arnett mentioned Tony’s absence and asked those watching at home to use the hashtag #TONYMIA to find out where he was.
That was presumed to be some sort of lame joke or bit that would eventually lead to “finding Tony” segment, but it never happened. The show ended without a Tony X. appearance or explanation.
I reached out to Tony to find out what the heck happened, and this is what he told me.
Apparently, he was originally scheduled to fly out of St. Louis at 6 a.m. and he missed his flight. (The photo he uploaded of his Southwest ticket was posted at 5:19 a.m.) The next flight available after that was for 1:55 p.m., which would have him land in Vegas around 3:30 p.m.
He left the airport to go home for a few hours before that flight, but ultimately fell asleep and ended up oversleeping and missing the second flight as well. After that, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to make it to the show. He never stepped foot in Vegas.
Tony said he “feels terrible” about the whole thing, but the truth is he didn’t miss much. The awards show was a pretty awful production that may have done more harm than good for his #brand. Still, I’m sure it would have been nice to spend some time in Sin City on the NHL’s dime.