Salvation Army out-tweets sneering ESPN sportswriter

Commentary: The Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott jumps into a Salvation Army kettle after a touchdown. An ESPN sportswriter isn't impressed...at least at first.

Chris Matyszczyk

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Oh, dear.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It seemed like such a human gesture.

On Sunday night, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott scored a touchdown and jumped into a Salvation Army kettle behind the goal.

It was perfectly charming, even if he did it because the Cowboys partner with the Salvation Army.

After all, the NFL is known as the No Fun League where any sort of celebration is frowned upon. Surely even the NFL couldn't sniff at a celebration designed to draw attention to charity.

ESPN sportswriter Darren Rovell most certainly could.

After the Army tweeted: "Zeke made an important contribution for the @dallascowboys tonight. Can you contribute to the millions in need?" Rovell was ready with a sneer.

He retorted on Twitter: "Not subtle. Salvation Army using Elliott now to ask for your money."

The Salvation Army must have looked at these words and muttered: "Really?" Before, that is, answering like this: "@darrenrovell Our goal is to serve 58 million meals in the US this year. No time to be subtle."

The tweet enjoyed more than 11,000 likes and 4,200 retweets.

Even Rovell realized that, just perhaps, he'd sounded like a pompous mule (not a first, I understand). He replied: "Outstanding response."

There's something heartening that a charity doesn't feel the need to play nicey-nicey when its job is both hard and necessary.

And, while it's doing that, it can even out-Twitter a professional talker.