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23 Intently Staring Goalies

Taking one for the team, even when it’s not at a game

Well, who knew that a NHL goaltender could be so lacking in grace?

Everyone else is talking about l’affaire Tim Thomas, so I might as well get my two cents in.

First a confession:  I have a number of relatives who, while not career politicians, sure made an attempt at it. They did this in and around Chicago, and oddly enough on both sides of the political aisle.

What did this mean to me? I attended a lot of events where I wasn’t particularly happy to be there, and didn’t necessarily agree with the views of the people putting on the party.

I mean, there were even White Sox fans in attendance!

Seriously, what I learned early on is that you will have to “take one for the team”, and you learned to do it in a polite manner. And if you just could handle being at the “Welcome Back” party for someone you thought would be better served by taking a permanent walk under Diversey Harbor, you bowed out with a minimum of fuss, had a nice little “social lie” available, and otherwise kept your mouth shut.

You certainly didn’t turn your non-attendance into the focus of the event. Doing that was a slap in the face of your family and your friends. That level of rudeness is remembered long after the baptism, cotillion, wedding, funeral, or whatever was crumbling dust in a scrapbook.

Shame on you, Tim Thomas…


More on this from Scott Coen at MassLive.com:

“Have you no sense of decency?  At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Joseph Welsh, a famous Boston lawyer, said those words to a famous ideologue, Senator Joseph McCarthy.

And while what happened in Washington, DC on Monday has nothing to do with what happened in Washington, DC back in 1954, those words were the first thing I thought of when I heard what happened, or in this case, what didn’t happen at the White House.

The real reason I dip into the history books is because no matter how many years pass, no matter how the times change, we are all time after time reminded how flawed we all are.

It’s especially true in our time.  Our time of thinking and acting in a selfish manner.  Our time of regarding no one’s personal feelings and sense of self above all others. And our time of clinging to the edges when it comes to our political views.

In our time there is no room for common ground, because our sense of common decency has vanished.

More….

Filed in: | 23 Intently Staring Goalies | Permalink
  Tags: goalie, goaltender, manners, tim+thomas

Comments

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Sure looks like you inherited the most important of the politician’s attributes: lack of conviction.
Hey, if I can be sycophant, we all should.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/24/12 at 10:40 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Actually….reading this over, I really should have written something way more hateful.  You really summed up what not having values is all about. 
Perhaps you should have titled it, “Social Obligations Trump Convictions”.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/24/12 at 10:43 PM ET

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You certainly didn’t turn your non-attendance into the focus of the event.

He didn’t.  The media did.

I attended a lot of events where I wasn’t particularly happy to be there, and didn’t necessarily agree with the views of the people putting on the party.

Well, I guess since you haven’t got the courage to stand for your principles then it’s wrong for anyone else to.

Posted by Garth on 01/24/12 at 11:36 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Also, I like the analogy…..I went to my Dad’s ribbon-cutting, grand-standing bullshit - So Obama is like Thomas’ dad in this comparison?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/24/12 at 11:39 PM ET

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Tuxedo, once of my core convictions is that people can be civil to those with whom they disagree. Do you share that view?

Posted by Ken on 01/24/12 at 11:42 PM ET

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That level of rudeness

To silently, and without any fanfare, bow out of a BS ceremony is rude?

Posted by Garth on 01/24/12 at 11:43 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Ken, people certainly CAN be civil in disagreement.  It is surely preferable.  But in no way do I feel obliged to swallow all contempt and be tolerant when I am presented with the same; or, in this case, when I am disgusted by the sycophancy of America.  Certainly it is rude, but political debates tend to involve issues far more important than manners.  Like, “do you think it is okay to kidnap and torture people, and hold them without charges of legal process?”.....a debate like that could get pretty heated.  I might call someone a Nazi in that argument.  It wouldn’t be effective.  But is it wrong?  No.  It is true.  It s my conviction.

I honestly believe that EVERYONE who opposes Thomas in this is PATHETIC.  Every single pundit is like, “well blah blah blah lipservice to liberty, he was SO WRONG…...”
You CANNOT support a right while being incensed that someone would exercise it.  Why?  Because it is STUPID.  As in, not logical or reasoned, but ideological - beneath contempt.  Everyone pretends to have a subtly-varied reasoning for condemning him.  But the reason is all the same.  You are cowed by an authoritarian state.  You are worried about that knock on the door.  Obedience is where it is at.  If your entire neighborhood gets herded out into the street and marshaled around in a code red scenario one day, you won’t be completely surprised. 
I know this is rude and will rile people up (ps, that’s cause it’s close to home).  I am a pretty polite person, but the idea that politeness is the most important thing in a debate?  That’s just censorship; changing the issue (“I don’t like your tone young man…”).  Which is incidentally, what some people have made this about - oh, it’s just a handshake.  Mmhmm.  Just another handshake.

(and yes I am getting a little bored of politics on a hockey site.  Sorry.  Getting it off my chest.)

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/25/12 at 12:51 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Posted by tuxedoTshirt

Now you’re just lording your righteous rebellion over everyone else and calling them sheep. Stop. Berating others into agreeing with you is no better than this evil “authoritarian state” demanding obedience you’re so bent on yelling about.

The man expressed his opinion in a well reasoned manner. You don’t have to agree with it. If you’re gonna disagree, at least accept the idea that other opinions have merit as well.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 01/25/12 at 01:11 AM ET

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tuxedo Tshirt: Yes there has been too much political talk on this site today. And you’re the big whiner….I mean winner…here tonight. So why don’t you take your “principled” thoughts and put them to bed. I think we’ve all heard enough of it. And I’ll take my “pathetic” view that this was nothing more than a team event for a SPORTS team that a very selfish person decided to ruin because he thought his views were more important than any other person or his team, and I’ll shut up too.

Deal?

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/25/12 at 01:25 AM ET

mmuskrat's avatar

Just an interesting point.  In Canada, there’s the Queen, and the Governor-General who represents the queen, who can stand in to represent Canada for stuff like this.  He’s the spirit of Canada, and it makes it much clearer that the Prime Minister’s job is to be a member of a political party, to hold views, and to do his job according to those views.

In the states, the president is both, which makes stuff like this tough.  He’s meeting the team as the ‘king’; as the representative of the highest powers in USA, and in the spirit of America.  But since he also holds the role as a democrat, a politician, and someone expected to hold views that represent a party position, it someone like Thomas sees him as a politician, forgetting that the president wears two hats.  He set aside politics and put on the ‘king’ hat to congratulate worthy Americans.

Not saying one is better, but it’s stuff like this where you’d hope guys like Thomas could put politics aside and celebrate being an American and a champion.

Posted by mmuskrat on 01/25/12 at 01:51 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Nate….Sorry I put you out.  I don’t have a rebellion.  We are talking about Thomas’ rebellion.  I am offering an explanation for the types of views people are expressing.
Yes I was rude.  I thought that it was pretty obvious that I was being inflammatory on purpose, as a part of responding to the question “don’t you think being civil is the highest good?” (or whatever he was fishing for).

-Berating others is no better than torturing people who have not had the benefit of legal process.  Okay.  Great comparison.
-I don’t think his opinion has merit.  If I thought it did, I would certainly acknowledge its merit.  Do you think that every opinion is valid?  If so, what do you think is the best way to build a trestle bridge?  Surely we all have a right to an opinion, and all opinions are valid, right?
-VAHockeyfFan….I’m glad you got the message.  I think your opinion is pathetic.  And I don’t feel bad about it. 
As far as getting tired of reading it, well fair enough.  Politics are the tar-baby.  You don’t have to read it.  I have no doubt most people either skip over it or just avoid the thread.
You didn’t avoid the thread.  That couldn’t be because you wanted to share more of your thoughts?  I guess that’s fine as long as your nice.  Right.  Sling your moronic shxt nicely.  And censor me for rudeness.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/25/12 at 02:34 AM ET

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You know, I completely disagree with Thomas here but the dude has every right to skip out. He’s always been a huge team guy and has reportedly been mulling it over for a while. I bet he knew it would distract from the team, but he did what he feels is right, and good for him. Had the Canucks won and Luongo refused to meet with Harper, I would have loved it, so I can’t fault Timmy here.

In the words of Voltaire “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Posted by G on 01/25/12 at 03:17 AM ET

MarkK's avatar

Seriously, what I learned early on is that you will have to “take one for the team”, and you learned to do it in a polite manner.

Most likely, Tim Thomas did not grow up in a similar fashion, and never had the lessons in political acumen. He just didn’t go, and said as little as he possibly could about it. Blown a bit out of proportion.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 01/25/12 at 11:33 AM ET

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Had the Canucks won and Luongo refused to meet with Harper, I would have loved it, so I can’t fault Timmy here.

As much as I would like to shit on anything and everything that Luongo is about, I have to admit I would love it too.

Posted by Garth on 01/25/12 at 12:33 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from Victoria on 01/24/12 at 11:34 PM ET

So basically you’re saying that everyone has a right to disagree with something and stand up for that belief, but if they disagree with your point of view they’re “stupid” for doing so?

Good to know.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 01/25/12 at 01:31 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

The point here is regardless of political ideology, Thomas was selfish in declining the invitation.  He was the only American-born player on the team, and he snubbed the Commander in Chief of his country.  Of course everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in, but pick your battles; don’t basically tell the President to “shove it” literally to his face.

The other players who weren’t American-born, they have no vested interest in the President, other than the fact that they play the majority of their sport in the country he oversees, yet they attended.  They smiled politely, shook his hand, and posed for a photo op.  How hard would that have been, Tim?  You didn’t have to speak to him.  You didn’t have to play golf with him.  You didn’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time with the man.

Look, we all have to do things in this life we don’t like, and to call someone a “sheep” because they don’t always stand up for and vocalize their beliefs is absurd.  Tim Thomas should have sucked it up and gone to the White House, then Facebooked, Twittered, Reddited, or whatever his displeasure later.  Rasheed Wallace—RASHEED *#$%@& WALLACE—said this regarding going to the White House to meet George Bush when the Pistons won the championship:

“I’m not going to say (expletive) to him. I didn’t vote for him. This is just something we have to do.”

How do you let Rasheed Wallace out-class you?

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 01/25/12 at 01:44 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

“Of course everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in, but pick your battles; don’t basically tell the President to “shove it” literally to his face.”
How do you not get that supporting a right means actually supporting it?
What is the “it” that got “literally” shoved in his face?  Did it literally hurt?

I think you really hit the nail on the head with this phrase: “he snubbed the Commander in Chief of his country”.  In other words: he’s your master.  Obey your master.

as for this little gem:
So basically you’re saying that everyone has a right to disagree with something and stand up for that belief, but if they disagree with your point of view they’re “stupid” for doing so?”
Certainly everyone has a right to voice an opinion.  If that opinion is stupid - as in thick-skulled illogic - I might just call it that.  It is certainly possible to say something I disagree with and not be stupid.  Several people have made intelligent posts that I disagree with.
Specifically though, I have singled out a certain mentality - that of paying lipservice to someone’s right, while deriding them for exercising it - as stupid.  Stupid as in, people not capable of clarity and logic think in this way.  When I say stupid I mean mental incapacity, not disagreement with me.  Does that clear things up?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/25/12 at 03:10 PM ET

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He was the only American-born player on the team, and he snubbed the Commander in Chief of his country.

Hmm, it’s almost…ALMOST…like he was making a point.

How do you let Rasheed Wallace out-class you?

Jesus, how do you possibly think that what Rasheed Wallace did is somehow classier than what Tim Thomas did?

Posted by Garth on 01/25/12 at 03:17 PM ET

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About 23 Intently Staring Goalies

23 Intently Staring Goalies comes from the 23 close-up photos of goalies that used to line the walls of my office.

On the good side, it kept down interruptions, but it also made sure I had to leave my trash outside my door if I wanted it picked up.

I've been watching and analyzing goaltenders for going on 40 years. Some of that was spent drawing goalies on my grade 8 math homework. Then it was taking my card decks and printouts to Indianapolis Racer games. Luckily, the Internet took off, and by 1991 I was half of the duo that would ultimately become the Plaidworks hockey mailing lists. I wrote "Handicapping the Goalies' for the San Jose Sharks mailing list, and took a lot of photos of goalies in action. I have around 5000 slides of mostly goaltenders in action from 1989 through 2001 from the WHL, IHL and NHL. Since I've gone digital, I've added about 10,000 more images to the library. During summers and when the league went dark, I was reading through multiple SF By area news papers, tracking ice hockey from the 1917 recreational leagues up through the California Seals.

We'll be talking about goalies and goaltending. We'll talk about whats going on now, who's in the system, and when the doldrums hit, I'll haul something out of the big bag of history, or something from the photo archives. We'll talk about who's hot and why, and who's not and what they can do to get back on track. We'll take a look at the trends in scouting goalies, and why a style may work for one team but not another. I'll battle with my dictation software to get it to understand Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky.

It should be interesting--hope you want to come along for the ride!