It was a bigger story than Marc-André Fleury’s inability to stop a puck, ‘James Neal: Headhunter’, or Jonathan Quick shutting out the President’s Trophy winners. Yes, I’m talking about Sydney Crosby Vs. the glove of Vorachek, apparently the most captivating saga since Ilya Bryzgalov Vs. the Bears, quickly eclipsing Shea Weber mistaking Henrik Zeterberg’s helmet for an egg-shell.
Since when is this even a story? Since when did hockey become so boring that a glove becomes a bigger story than the player supposed to be wearing it? Yet commentators spewed their indignation over the incident, whilst reporters seemingly thanked God for finally having something compelling to ask the superstar. What did they expect, an admission of the incredible immaturity of his actions? An apology? Something other than the scripted, PC, or cliché answers always given by athletes during interviews? Sports media has become so drama obsessed that the commentary is gradually morphing into People Magazine, crying wolf at gossip that isn’t there. Jersey Shore won’t be back for a sixth season, thank goodness we have the NHL to pick up the slack!
This glove incident is the pebble that starts an avalanche, so inconsequential that it barely deserves an eye-roll, yet somehow deserving of a Kimmo Timonen slash and the eventual ejection of both him and Kris Letang. The only thing less mature than Crosby’s glove antics were the reactions to it. Reactions that include not only the brawl, but the media’s over infatuation with, and over exposure of, the incident.
Its ridiculous, but nothing new. Last year Roberto Luongo got more attention for “pumping someone’s tires” than for the Jekyll & Hyde nature of his goal-tending, while during the season, self-proclaimed ‘hockey experts’ cared more for Tim Thomas’ (who deserves kudos for standing up to the media’s hounds) political views than for Bruins’ struggle with a similar identity crisis. It is a sad story that is by no means restricted to hockey, but is indicative of the problems with a modern media in which Question Period is simply an audition for the 6-O’clock News, and court rooms are more important for boosting ratings than for dispensing justice.
So get the cameras out of the locker rooms. The players rarely, if ever, have anything new or insightful to say. And while we’re at it, get them out of the House of Commons, if only to create the illusion that QP actually serves a purpose. At the end of the day, the only people who will truly miss the drama are those who are paid to talk about it, and hockey, not to mention politics, will be better off for it.