by Joe Tasca on 02/20/13 at 12:00 AM ET
This week, Brian O'Reilly, father of Colorado Avalanche holdout Ryan O'Reilly, wrote a lengthy e-mail to the Denver Post explaining why his son has chosen not to re-sign with the club. Some entertaining excerpts:
If my son was getting 95 in math we wouldn’t ask him to get 65 so the rest of the students in the classroom could feel better about themselves. Many parents have stories about their kids excelling in certain areas but they are asked to tone it down because you’re making the other kids not look as good or feels good about themselves. Is this not a Testament to the fact that we are not teaching our kids character. This would never happen in the classroom. So to a kid who isn’t as Academically gifted but in the arts or character, athletically Or proficiency in a certain skill why does it have to be devalued. So we ask the person who has a tremendous amount of character to take less money for his character yet it is the essential building block any team matter of fact the key Ingredient.
Character, compete level , dedication, the love of the game,is what are the building blocks for dynasties. That is a long-term picture but it has to be always the short-term value. Character has to win out over skill that is why it takes a lot of skilled players a lot of losses to understand the character element of the game . When we call an athlete mature beyond his years what we’re referring to is his character they already have developed .We practice , we play games in order to win a championship. The team that develops the most character will be the team in the end that succeeds most of the time.
While the e-mail is extremely difficult to read, it's clear that Brian O'Reilly believes his son deserves a hefty pay raise not because of his great skill or scoring prowess, but rather his dedication and character. Apparently, Greg Sherman doesn't understand the importance of these intangibles, otherwise he'd happily pony up the dough required to maintain the vital services of Ryan O'Reilly.
The e-mail is a rather confusing cross between a fatherly rant and a Tony Robbins seminar. Unfortunately, Brian O'Reilly seems to ignore the fact that hockey players aren't paid based on unquantifiable factors. If things like dedication and character were worthy of monetary reward, Colton Orr would be one of the highest-paid players in the game.
As a so-called life coach, Brian O'Reilly should know that some things are better left unsaid. Breaking out every sports cliche in the book in a rambling, semi-intelligible e-mail to a local newspaper doesn't do his son any favors. The only thing Mr. O'Reilly accomplished was introduce himself to the world as a Phil McGraw wannabe and a helicopter parent who can't bear the thought of his son being looked at as a spoiled brat.
My heart bleeds.
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About Tasca's Take
Tasca's Take is written by Joe Tasca. Born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island, Joe works as a broadcaster for seven radio stations in southern New England. Whether that's a testament to his on-air ability or because he has a desparate need for money is debatable.
Joe spends his summers playing golf, enjoying the beauty of Misquamicut Beach, and wining and dining girls who are easily awed by the mere presence of a radio personality. During the winter months, he can usually be found taking in a hockey game somewhere in North America. In the spring, he spends much of his time in botanical gardens tiptoeing through the tulips, while autumn is a time to frolic with his golden retrievers through piles of his neighbors’ leaves.