Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 09/30/11 at 11:00 AM ET
Considering that the Sharks won by a score of 3-0, there were a surprising lot of things to get upset about in the preseason game against the Canucks last night. Demers was hit in the head, left for a goodly while. Winchester did something to his knee (groin? ankle? “lower body”) when he went down in the shortest fight in history. He came back, as did Demers. I can’t help thinking that Winchester’s situation just got a whole lot more precarious, which is also disappointing since he looked like such a promising addition. And for no reason I could fathom, both top lines were playing, except that McGinn was holding Havlat’s place on the second line instead of Ferriero, until he lost it to Wingels (I see a pattern here). The lineup looked to me like all bad news for the vast majority of the Worcester guys. Speaking of bad news…
Just yesterday I was thanking my lucky sharks that the Team in Teal doesn’t do scandalous, embarrassing things like the Fly Boys do, or at least our press folks have the merciful good sense to not report on it. You know, use really bad words on camera and go on record refusing to not drink, go missing during the playoffs, or have the audacity to ask a bunch of millionaire 20-somethings to abstain for any period of time at all… from anything… you know, crazy antics like that happen on other teams, not with our fellas.
That was yesterday, technically two days ago now that it is after midnight.
There I was last night, enjoying a perfectly nice preseason game at the Tank, having a beer, wishing the Sharks would get on with routing this unworthy opponent (yeah, it took me a while to figure out Schneider was in net for the ‘Nucks. “No top line players” my ass. The goalie hangs out with the most important line). After a scoreless first period, I went out to join the smoking crowd and check Twitter, which I wouldn’t have done inside because one is prohibited and the other just really difficult. That’s when I came across David Pollak’s tweet about his post about the PSA that would not be.
I guess smoking really IS bad for me.
And how utterly unfair to have someone from the org whose name isn’t even on the roster, more than one skateless someone, do the damage.
Why oh why oh why oh why in the hell would anyone make such an unspeakably, profoundly, hopelessly, irredeemably stupid move? And Sharks fans thought own playoff goals were dumb!
Choosing not to participate in the video at this time, Bordelon said, “doesn’t mean we’re pro-bullying. It just means ... we can’t get involved with every cause that exists.” -Working the Corners
“Every cause that exists.” Yeah, because telling people not to kill themselves is such a nuanced, everyshadeofgrey kind of issue. Consider that your League went ahead and made a much more sweeping statement to the effect of “hey, don’t pick on gay people.” Would it kill you to step outside your comfort zone and take a chance?
Apparently, if you want to get some help with a cause, you can contact the Sharks Foundation, and apply for a grant. Because a grant is what you need. It takes money to pay a famous spokesperson to get your message out there. Like Matt Carle did by simply building a Twitter following and repeating the name of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia over and over. That hospital could have paid out thrice the money Carle gave them, to someone to do what Carle did for no charge.
Money isn’t what you need if someone bigger and stronger will just stand up for you. The flabbergasting irony is that the Sharks quite recently have done just that, for the LGBT community no less.
Last March they held a gay appreciation night. Last November, Douglas Murray sat on a discussion panel after a screening of Out. The Glen Burke Story. The discussion panel was aired by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. So there you have it, the Sharks already had a special night at the tank and made a tv appearance on behalf of people persecuted for sexual orientation.
“So they already did the right thing, you wrote it right there!” I’m pretty sure there’s some marketing rule that says you’re only as good as your last 24 hours of press. I found the above stories on just the first page of google results. Guess what else was all over that page and the next? “The PSA they would not do.”
What gives? What communication collapse let this happen? Whatever their personal views on the campaign itself, someone has to know that this was the wrong answer and it may haunt the team for some time to come. Didn’t like the project managers? Doubt the messenger? Find another way to say it! The Sharks are no worse, as far as I know, than any other NHL team on this particular issue, but for a moment they had a chance to be fireworks and cannon booms better, and they let it blow right by them.
Eventually someone will stand up and take a chance here, some NHL team will decide it is not so very risky to say, on camera: “hey, kids, don’t let the bullies run your life, it’ll get better, be who you are, and don’t kill yourself.” Maybe an NHL team has done it and I just haven’t seen the ad. Why haven’t I? Why isn’t it trending on Twitter? Because not enough people care? Because we need another?
How is it that the pests are leading the charge here? Sure, most hockey fans don’t really care what Sean Avery and Paul Bissonnette say, but maybe it is time to listen. How it is that, of all the nice guys and men of honor in the NHL, these two are the ones getting credit for doing the right thing?
Sure, you can leave it to Avery and BizNasty to represent the NHL in this scrap, if you really want to. But when it’s a measly thing like taking a public stand on behalf of kids who are killing themselves at an alarming rate, I have to wonder, where did all the enforcers go?
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About Petshark: Talking Stick
Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org