The Good and the Bad of this past week.
It’s Friday. So we close out the "Week That Was" with our latest volume of Cheers and Jeers.
This week, I give props to the Canucks and the Boston media (WHAT?!?!), while I give a (sad trombone) Honda Crosstour to Tim Thomas, Dave Hodge and the TEAM 1040.
CHEERS to the Vancouver Canucks for helping to introduce mindcheck.ca – a website and initiative to help people cope with mental illness. In the wake of the death of former Canucks forward Rick Rypien, the Canucks organization is spreading the word that it is okay to seek help for mental health. Leading the charge from the Canucks standpoint is one of Rypien’s best friends while in Vancouver – Kevin Bieksa.
JEERS to Tim Thomas for his embarrassing, selfish stance to recuse himself from attending the White House ceremony honouring the Boston Bruins. He released a vague statement on his Facebook page explaining his political views, while boldly and falsely claiming that "this wasn’t about politics." He put his own agenda way ahead of his teammates, on a day that really wasn’t about politics at all. As an American, as someone who claims to be a Patriot, as someone who represented his country in the most recent Olympics, Tim Thomas should have been honoured to celebrate his Stanley Cup achievement at the White House, and should have been honoured a President. Instead, he decided to be petty and make a political statement, without making much of a statement at all. The only statement he made was that he lost a TON of respect in the hockey world.
CHEERS to a significant contingent of the Boston hockey for rightfully roasting Thomas for this ridiculous and selfish behaviour. The Boston media is usually the most homerific collection of writers and TV personalities you will find in sports. Trust me, this isn’t me looking through blue/green/white-tinted glasses – ask ANYONE in MSM or the Blogosphere who doesn’t live in Boston. That said, the Boston media put aside their long-standing bias to eviscerate Thomas. Two of the most pointed articles came from Kevin Paul Dupont (who, truthfully, is a pretty even-handed writer) and (GASP!!!) Joe Haggerty. I KNOW!! Did I just praise Haggs for putting aside his bias and calling out a member of the BOSTON BRUINS?!?! YEs. Yes I did. And, no, pigs are not flying.
JEERS to Dave Hodge for his tweet on Tim Thomas, involving Thomas’ kids and the intimation that Thomas is a racist because his kids are named Kiley, Kelsey and Keegan. It was a BIG mis-step from Hodge, of whom I am a BIG fan, especially of his presence on Twitter. Listen… I thought it was funny and I got the joke right away. HOWEVER, the optics of this are REALLY bad, and tweeting about players’ kids is pretty offside. The joke would have been much more palatable had Hodge said, "…Thomas’ dogs are named Killer, Krusher, and Kujo.". So while I wasn’t offended (frankly, because I’m not an idiot), it was ill-timed. Hodge did offer an apology to appease the thin-skinned.
CHEERS to Paul Bissonnette for tweets this week, which seemed to be extra hilarious over the past 5 days. He live-tweeted his experiences as a spectator at a WWE event ("I have never seen so many stretch waist jeans in my life as I have seen tonight.
#WWE #Raw"), he chirped Alex Goligoski on his new contract ("Hey @gollygoose33, was there a Rack City clause in your new contract?") and of course.. another trip to Vegas ("Just checked into my room. Can’t wait to get in my PJ’s, order room service, maybe even rent a movie. #Vegas").
JEERS to the TEAM 1040 for continuing to employ Bob "The Moj" Marjanovich. The Moj is quite simply the worst personality in sports radio I have ever heard. He is employed in a market values hockey heads-and-tails above all else, and Moj knows absolutely nothing about hockey. He makes every interview about himself and talks about himself with his interview subjects. From what I can gather, none of the other personalities at the TEAM can stand him, so I’m not even sure why he would want to work there. But the tipping point this week was when Moj ACTUALLY DEFENDED TIM THOMAS AND ALEX OVECHKIN. This guy is completely out to lunch. He has absolutely no understanding of hockey or this market or how to conduct an interview. Those seem to be three big factors in being an on-air personality in Vancouver, and Moj has proven that he is a failure at all three. Mr. Team – fire Moj now. You’ve lost listeners because he is on the air. Make him gone.
CHEERS to the side show that occurred during the All-Star Game Draft. The draft itself was fairly boring. Even the final pick was probably the most boring player that could have been selected (Logan Couture – great player but zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…). But the extras were pretty awesome. Couture even made light of his last-place selection by tweeting that he was gonna go pimp out the Honda Crosstour that he won. Patrick Kane was at his Patrick Kaneyist when he said "that blonde is unbelieveable." Scott Hartnell suggested that the players rushing to the bathrooms during the TV breaks because they like to play swords when using the toilets. The problem was that, on camera, these guys were all STIFFS. Uncomfortable, awkward stiffs. But the side show was enough this year to make it entertaining. As was the Twitter live breakdown of the event. Dynamite stuff from the Twitter hockey world.
Finally, JEERS to Gord Miller for RUINING Carey Price’s shutout bid while he was calling play-by-play for the Montreal/Detroit game for TSN on Wednesday. With Montreal up 6-0 to start the third period, Miller mentioned that Price was working on a SHUT OUT. And five seconds later, Jiri Hudler scored to break the shut out. But the best part was the Miller made a point (BEFORE Hudler scored) and talking about the jinx, stating (and I’m paraphrasing here) that he was x number of feet away in a media press box and that he has absolutely no influence on Price getting a shut out. Then Hudler scored. MILLER, YOU FOOL!!! … … … …
Ok, I’m kidding. In fact, I am completely on Miller’s side on this. I HATE the notion of a shut out jinx. It’s completely retarded. It’s baseless. Could Price here Gord Miller? Does he have a headset in his goalie mask? Was Price’s confidence then suddenly shaken? Upon supposedly hearing Miller say "shut out", was Price suddenly so distracted that he lost focus and let in Hudler’s shot? NO! NO NO NO NO NO! This was nothing but a coincidence and a fluke. So let’s end this stupid notion that broadcasters have ANY influence on goalies and their ability to make saves when they’re trying for a …. wait for it … SHUT OUT.