Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 08/07/12 at 01:33 PM ET
I don’t know where my Uncle Mike Babcock is. It’s the summer and he gets all eclectic on us in the off months. Writing, hunting, skiing, combing.
I wonder though, Mike. If you’re reading this? I wonder if you might take a few minutes and help me with a theory.
Get him in a room, Mike. Sit him down and give him ten minutes. Because, as much as we’ve disliked him over the years (and by “we”, I mean Wing fans), we always got the feeling you and he have this kindred thing going on.
Get Shane Doan in a room. Two folding chairs. One for you. One for him. Sit across from him. Don’t cross your legs like Dive fans and don’t let your knees touch. But get close enough so that when you tell him something he understands that what you just said was something uttered by the most intense individual on this huge earth.
Tell Doan that the Wings are going to pay him 6 million dollars for the next two years. He’s going to look away because Pittsburgh and Vancouver have already offered him more. He’s not going to turn his head but his eyes are going to stray up and to the right. Your left. His right. When his eyes shift like that, slap him in his face with an open palm. Bitch slap him, we used to say.
He’ll respect that. His hair won’t move. Neither will yours. His attention will be back on you, where it belongs. Then tell him that you’ve got a job for him. Hunting. Hunting defensemen. Hunting opposing forwards. And Cups. Move your head closer to his, Mike. Get in tight and tell him that if he’s this fiery bad ass everyone says he is, prove it. If he’s got this intensity thing going on? Well, he doesn’t even know intense until he deals with you for 9 straight months.
Ken Holland’s a nice guy and a proven GM. But he’s not the man to bag this prey. Get Doan in a room with Babcock. Break the glass and pull out Uncle Mike. Then, as he’s reeling, in walks Dallas Drake, who played with Doan for three formative years in 97, 98, 99.
Game, set, contract, Cup.
I dig Winging it in Motown. Obviously, JJ and Graham have been friends of A2Y forever and original members of The 19. WiiM is smart with bright colors and consistent material. SBN is a nifty home, but sometimes I see something that makes me feel just a little bit dirty. Today is one of those days.
Hi. My name is Andi, and I’m an Avs fan. Now that you’re all confused as to why I’m posting on a Red Wings board, I’m going to confuse you further by assuring you that I’m not here to troll. Weird, I know, but I swear that I come in peace.
Actually, the reason for my visit is an off-season project that I’m working on. I’m a staff writer for Mile High Hockey, the Avs SB Nation blog, and this summer, we’re getting to know the other 29 teams in the league from their fan’s perspective. It’s pretty well-known that you still don’t like us and we still don’t like you, but I figure that if Avs fans are going to continue despising your team, we may as well do so in a well-informed way. I think that most of us at least grudgingly respect your traditions and are actually pretty curious to see where you’re headed over the next few years, so any and all insight that you can provide on the Wings would be greatly appreciated.
“Andi”. Cute. She asks Wings fans at WiiM a series of questions, legitimate questions, about the team, the organ-I-zation, depth, prospects, playing style. A quality idea for a hockey blog, especially during summer months when all is dead.
But there’s a problem. Andi’s a Dive fan and I can’t abide the niceties and the cooperation. I can’t handle it. You got questions, Andi? I got answers.
1. In 3 words, how would you sum up your team?
Better than yours. Want it in two words? Suck it.
3. Why are you a fan of the Wings? Is it because of their playing style, current players, history, location, or something else?
Two words again: Suck it. Long form? Suck it.
A word about “suck it”. Don’t get all wadded up. “Suck it” isn’t, and really never has been, a sexual suggestion here. It’s more of a, I don’t know, bit of advice that may help you understand that you’re a second-class citizen when compared to Wing fans. Simple, concise. Ours.
There are many more questions from Andi. And it looks like the WiiM readers are being more than accommodating, helping her “understand” Detroit. So go ahead. But I can’t. If this was a, I don’t know, Islander fan? Got it. But Christ. You want to “get to know the Wings”? Not from me you don’t.
JJ’s discussion is sound and reasoned.
...if it brings interesting conversation our way and gives us an opportunity to have discussions like this, then it can’t be all bad. However, we’re going to stop way short of jumping into the realm of defining what makes one person a better fan than any other person, and that is unfortunately what may be at the heart of this matter.
If this becomes a bigger deal than it needs to be, then we’re dumber than I ever thought possible. Would there be a discussion if it was, for instance, Brazilian Red Wing fans? I think we’re familiar with that aren’t we?
If you’re a Wing fan and you hate the Dive, the Blues and dig Fresca? I don’t give a shit what gender you are. This, by the way, is strikingly similar to my stance on fairly recent policy changes in my military. If you can fight, do your job, follow orders or give them when you’re supposed to? I really don’t care about much else. I’m just sayin.
By now you’re fully aware that that 4 of the Russian 5 will be at The Classic. That includes Sergei Fedorov. Discussion, as it always does with 91, now centers around whether he’ll be “booed”.
He won’t be. The event, itself, doesn’t lend itself to that. It just won’t happen. But if this were a hypothetical Tuesday in February and Fedorov was in town playing his final season for the Rangers?
There would be dicks who boo him. And you, if you’re one of them, would be a loser. We’ve been over this many times. The guy helped us win 3 Cups and deserved at least 1 Conn Smythe (in 97). Yes, he pouted and dealt with Scott Bowman in his own way. Yes, the offer sheet, the defection to Anaheim, the other issues. Got it. Still a Wing. Still a Champion. Still ours. You don’t boo someone who brought us Cups. Enough.
Hope you’re enjoying your summer and that’s it’s been as relaxing and non-eventful as Ken Holland’s. Especially since you don’t get paid millions to be, you know, relaxed and eventless, like Ken Holland.
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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org