Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wherein We Flog Dead Draft Animals, Yet Again

Said draft animal bein' why hockey is superior to ALL other brands o' professional sports.  A couple o' few excerpts from an article at
In a year the NBA’s image was supposed to be napalmed by a prolonged lockout, the league instead salvaged a decent chunk of this season and then stumbled ass-backwards into Linsanity. Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is more than a good underdog basketball story. He has become a cultural phenomenon.
Hockey desperately needs that kind of buzz infusion, and will not get it.

I am going to make a glaring geographical stereotype now as I try to explain why. Hockey is too bleeping Canadian. And Canadians are too bleeping nice.

No, really, they are nice to the point of almost being boring.

There is a reason you do not see "Real Housewives of Montreal" and why hockey players for the most part remain virtually anonymous. Do not bother emailing me about how I am generalizing and how you are offended. I recognize not all of y’all are nice. I am sure there are some real jerkholes up there. Although, off the top of my head, all I can come up with is Nickelback (and their biggest crime is against music) and Sean Avery (of course).

The NHL, to its great detriment, plucks extensively from this frozen tundra of nice — which helps in finding Lady Byng candidates and kills them when trying to sell hockey down here. This is partially why there is no Igin-love.
The rest o' the article focuses on Jerome Iginla, Calgary's captain, star player, and the source of many, many trade rumors.  But we're on about the introduction, which is all about "nice."

OK, there IS a point to be made in that introduction, which basically comes down to hockey players being bona-fide role models our kids can look up to and emulate.  We shall skip further sermonizing about drugs, thugs, and ugly mugs in the other pro sports.  If you've been reading EIP for a while you KNOW this is a recurring (if not frequent) topic o' conversation in these parts.

I do take issue with Ms. Floyd Engel, though.  Hockey might be nice and hockey players might be nice enough when viewed at a macro level.  OTOH, there's this:

That would be Number 24, the deceased Bob Probert (and a one-time hero o' mine), in a fight with Troy Crowder in 1991, during the Golden Age o' The Enforcer.   Bob was a nice guy off the ice but he was a holy terror when you either crossed him or took a run at Stevie.  And then he wasn't so very nice.  

Fighting is a hot topic in and around the NHL right now, mainly because it ain't NICE (and because of the spate o' untimely deaths among enforcers last summer).  But fighting is an integral part of the game and I would miss it if it went away.  I suppose that makes me not nice... but it is what it is.


  1. Buck, I'm going to give you that "hockey is superior to ALL other brands o' professional sports."

    I'm going to trust you on that one, because I quit looking at them when I was roughly 35 years old.

    Sure, I've watched a couple of NBA games...Jordan's last few. I have watched maybe a dozen NFL games since then...only if it was something "novel," like The Saints in the NFC championship, and the Super Bowl, or Brett Favre's half a dozen or so "retirement" games.

    But all of that out of curiosity...not wanting to miss the moment, and all.

    Truth is, I've kinda become interested in Professional Bass Fishing since the BassMaster Classic started being held around here occasionally. In's here this weekend...

    And, you JUST WOULD NOT BELIEVE how many thousands of people made their way to Shreveport/Bossier for it.

    The final weigh-in is tomorrow at the CenturyTel (I think they changed the name of the arena, but that's what we still call it...the Mudbugs Hockey team plays there, too).

    Now, that's a professional sport that a fishaterian like myself can appreshunate!

  2. I always watch the playoffs in (almost) every sport... except for bassetball, and the NFL, to a certain extent. So I hear ya about watching certain thangs in those other sports. But Pro Bass Fishing? That would be a bridge waaaay too far fer me. Just sayin'.

    I can understand the attraction for folks who view fishin' like some folks look at religion, yet still.
    To each his own, as some famous-in-certain-parts gay female impersonator once said. ;-)

  3. NYUK!

    Yeah, it's been a source of wonderment to me of how many multiple thousands of folks take their valuable time to come here for the BIG FISHIN' TOURNAMENT.


    I mean, I love to fish myself, and don't do nearly as much as I wish I could. If I live to "retirement age" (which ain't gonna happen), I'd love to make a regular daily happy hour habit of it.

    Daddy always said, "Every day you spend fishing is a 'free' one. It adds an extra day to your life."

    My Daddy DOES NOT lie, so I know it to be true.

    I guess I could probably live to be close to 200. But, it would really suck to look like a 200 year-old guy, and smell like smushed worms, desperate crickts, minnows, and Caddo Lake water.


    Daddy is a hard man to figure out...

  4. Speaking of NHL "enforcers" Buck, remember the NY Rangers 50s/early 60s enforcer "Leapin' Lou" Fontanato? "Gump" Worsley was the goalie (he of the crew-cut and no face mask--VERY few wore them then-almost NONE,) and Lady Byng award-winner Andy Hebenton the "nice-guy" book-end to "Leapin' Lou." The NHL had some real characters in those days..

  5. Andy: I prolly wouldn't fish if I lived on a lake. Or own a money pit... err... boat.

    Virgil: I didn't become a hockey fan until '85 so I "remember" those guys only through reading about them and the occasional old-time clip on The Tube O' You.

  6. Buck, I can't help myself. I like baseball and its highest level is the major leagues. I got attached to the Cubs in the mid '90s since they were always available on WGN. So I follow them regularly and live or die with each game (mostly die).

    That being said, I understand your point about the glorification of thuggery in pro sports other than hockey and even why it's important to show that hockey guys ain't always so nice. Pro football and basketball especially have their share of those phony "heroic icons" who get most of their attention from the ugliness of their "attitude."

    And the sports networks and announcers eat this stuff up at the same time they get on their high horse and fire the poor guy who wrote that misguided headline about Lin, "A Chink in the Knicks Armor?" To me, sports are all about physical skill, not thuggery or mafioso attitudes. And we don't want to even get into their bloated salaries. Ahhh me. Sorry. I'm going on here.

    Andy, I don't mind goin' fishin' and find it relaxing. I know it's a challenge to find and catch the fish, but I don't understand it as a sport, unless you define sport broadly as an activity that happens outside.

  7. I will probably always remember Howie Young (L.A. Blades) skate leaving the Seals (WHL) goalie in need of numerous stitches. I fact they stopped the game long enough for the repairs to be completed

    Also remember watching Hebenton play for the Portland Buckaroos in the mid sixties

  8. Oh, and I find fishing to be quite relaxing, but then it doesn't necessarily requite catching for it to be successful. Too bad game wardens want ya to have a license even if you're not catching

  9. Dan: Well said. I enjoy baseball, but I like goin' to the ballpark.. watching baseball on teevee puts me to sleep. But... that said, I always watch the playoffs and the World Series. It would be UnAmerican not to do so. As for that "Chink" thang... I ran across an article yesterday or the day before that was a candidate for a post of its own, but I was too lazy to develop supporting commentary (and I can't find it now, more's the pity).

    Ivan: You go back a lot further than I do!


Just be polite... that's all I ask.