I’m starting this blog post not really knowing where I am going with it. I just felt prompted to write it. People have said over and over that hockey players are the athletes that are closest to real people. I mean, they play a game for a living and make pretty good money so it’s not exactly busting their butts at two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet, but it’s still an insane amount of work/dedication. To be honest, I don’t have a basis for comparison because, although I’ve been a lifelong sports fan, I’ve only ever met hockey players. I guess that speaks volumes right there.
I am definitely guilty of putting the players on an unrealistic pedestal. While the cerebral part of me knows that it doesn’t happen, the rest of me believes that they are little angels that are all friends with each other and do no wrong (except Getzlaf, Pronger, and Chris Neal…. I’m pretty sure they are in a Satanic Cult together).
When they do make mistakes, I’m pretty quick to forgive some things. Patrick Kane made some idiot choices in the back of vehicles (cab AND limo?), but he’s really young and college age guys do dumb shit all the time. At least he wasn’t drinking and driving in either case. Sean Burke pleading guilty to domestic violence is less easy to overlook.
What made me think of this is the giant clusterfuck that is the whole Big Ben situation. There are multiple allegations that he raped girls. At the very least he has engaged in behavior that is completely unacceptable. I used to looooove Ben. He was the hero that was able to march his team down the field in championship games, even as a rookie. All-American boy. The sad thing is that it’s not shocking for an NFL player. With the Gilbert Arenas/gun in the locker room debacle, it wouldn’t be shocking for NBA.
The NFL is looking at suspending Ben for 6 games for poor conduct. Dude, our league suspended head douche Sean Avery for six games for talking bad about his ex! Helloooooo higher standard! Even without the assault, I guess I would just be shocked if hockey players carried themselves in such a manner. I’m sure it happens, but even Mike Green’s faily attempt at living like a rock star (leave that to Ovi!) doesn’t disqualify him as a role model. We don’t really have ‘that type of guy’. I’m sure that’s naive. I feel like it’s safer to look have hockey players as role models. Even the dude I HATE most (Getzlaf) is a pretty good dude for the most part.
Why can’t they all be like Shane Doan? For reals.