In the world of sports today, often times the concept of team is overshadowed by individuals. Everyone knows who Terrell Owens, Manny Ramirez, and Shaq are. These players have a bloated sense of self-importance. When their play doesn’t grab headlines, the act out like an impetuous child to get attention. Throwing fellow teammates under the bus, airing team laundry in public, and demanding trades shows exactly how much they have forgotten (to steal a line from Herb Brooks) that the name on the front of the jersey is the hell of a lot more important than the one on the back. These players are getting out of control.
I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the NHL on taking a stand. The NHL has devoted the entire month of October to combat this trend. ”Hockey Fights Cancer” sprung out of a need that arose this summer. When Dany Heatley thew his baby fit and demanded a trade multiple times because he wanted to be “the guy”, the powers that be knew they needed to act and bring the pain. Hockey players are widely known as the most down to earth, friendly, and humble guys in sports. To have this threatened by the likes of an entitled winger acting like the love child of Kanye West and Whitney Houston had to be stopped. Ok, Hockey Fights Cancer really is about fighting something way more important than Dany Heatley, but if he wants to elevate his level of importance, ok, let’s go there.
Kudos goes out to Alex Ovechkin, Tim Thomas, Jeff Carter and Sidney Crosby for participating in the Hockey Fights Cancer ads. Way to demonstrate your good attitudes and willingness to stand up for what is right boys!
The fundamental breakdown in Heatley’s understanding of what being “the man” is centers around the fact that his brain hasn’t matured past the age of 14. He thinks that scoring goals, getting power play time, and winning makes you “the man”. He must think that doing those things makes you important and beloved. Those make a you pretty great hockey player, but they don’t make you “the man”.
Vincent Lecavalier donating 3 million dollars to build a pediatric cancer and blood disorders center makes him “the man”.
Zdeno Chara donating and working for Right to Play, travelling to Mozambique to see the good that the organization is doing for children makes him “the man”.
Even the little things make someone “the man”. Shane Doan stopping to talk to a disabled teen after practice, and not only giving the kid his stick, but taking it back to the locker room and getting other players to sign the stick before bringing it back out for him. That makes you “the man”.
These are the things that make players beloved and leave a lasting impression. In 30 years, you’ll barely be a memory, Heatley. It’s the work you do and your attitude outside the rink that make people remember you after you are gone.
Stay classy, Zdeno Chara, Vincent Lecavalier, Shane Doan, and all the NHL players helping with the NHL Fights Cancer effort.
Thanks for stopping by Dany Healtey, but don’t come back, k?