The last 48 hours have seen one of the most staggering displays of emotional overreaction, knee-jerk stupidity, and just plain moronic behavior, all because of 0.15 seconds of hockey that took place at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Below is the video of the check that Boston Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara leveled on Montreal Canadiens’ forward Max Pacioretty. If you have not seen this, and are squeamish in any way, take a pass. I don’t want you to vomit on your keyboard.
The end result was about what you’d expect. Pacioretty is currently at Montreal General Hospital with a severe concussion and a non-displaced fracture to the 4th cervical vertebrae. Non-medical interpretation: he broke his neck, but not enough to cause paralysis.
So that happened. And then, following the league’s disciplinary hearing with Chara, it was announced that Chara would not receive a fine or suspension. And then, IQ’s all over Christendom dropped by 50 points, and all hell broke loose.
As you would expect, the hockey press went bezerk like somebody had given a bucket of crack to a cage full of spider monkeys. Jeremy Roenick was on the air on NHL Live literally within minutes, and when Jeremy Roenick opens his mouth, nothing good can come of it. Pundits and callers debated the situation on the air, on blogs, on Facebook, and most virulently on Twitter. Here’s a very small sampling of the emerging mental illness:
"Get Chara! I demand jail time!When did hockey become more about violence than about skill?Why don’t we just throw Chara out of the league?When you get back hope you crack your stick on Chara’s face!!!!!!!!!!I would still have sex with Steven Tyler. Does that make me a lesbian?"
Oh, but does it end there? Not by a long shot! At some point on Thursday, the Quebec director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne, announced that he has asked Montreal police to investigate the incident! Now, we’re not talking about a fight on the concourse, we’re not talking about fans assaulting players, we’re not even talking about players going into the stands to beat up unruly fans. In fact, we’re not talking about a fight at all! We’re talking about a body-check by two consenting players on professional hockey teams during the course of play.
And the Montreal police are now involved.
In the Southwest area of Montreal — not the entire city mind you, just the Southwest area where the Bell Centre is located — there are over 1800 violent crimes per year. We’re talking rape, armed robbery, assault, and even murder. Crimes for which there are, you know, actual laws on the books. Yet the Montreal Police have got time to worry about what goes on at a fucking hockey game.
Not to be outdone, the wonderful folks at Air Canada publicly threatened to pull their $6 million in sponsorship dollars out of the NHL completely, if the league did not take “immediate action” to curtail “life-threatening injuries” to players.
Gary Bettman, in his inimitable way, said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that Air Canada and their sponsorship dollars could fuck straight off — and oh by the way, your flight attendants are ugly.
Oh, but the fun doesn’t end there! Geoff Molson, Chairman of the ownership group of the Montreal Canadiens (and big-wig in the Molson-Coors brewing empire, in case you hadn’t guessed) sent out a letter to fans thanking them for their support, giving get-well wishes to Max Paciortetty, and excoriating the league for its handling of the incident. He further blathered on about how player safety “has reached a point of urgency.” He stated vehemently that he does not accept “any violent behavior that will put the players’ health and safety at risk.”
Good Lord, where to begin?
Montreal fans are the easiest to handle quickly, so let’s begin there. Habs faithful, answer honestly: if this were Pacioretty hitting Chara and putting him in the hospital, would you be calling for Pacioretty to be thrown in jail or suspended for life? Let he help you: not a fucking chance. So until you are willing to take that stance in every game, on every player, even your own, go back to trying to secede. We won’t be accepting any more bitching from you, jerk-weasels.
Geoff Molson: how do you feel about stick infractions? Full-face protection? Helmet safety standards? Eliminating fighting? Because more stringent management of those things has far more potential to reduce player injuries than getting nit-picky about legal checks. Are you going to be bringing up any of those issues at the General Managers’ meetings later this month? Hmm? No? Well then, you obviously aren’t the least bit concerned about player safety.
So after you’re done pissing and moaning about this, why don’t you FIX THE STANCHIONS IN YOUR RINK, you myopic whiner! Work with some engineers, come up with a break-away design that has less potential for players to get hurt. If we dissect this incident to determine who is actually at fault, we get two names: Zdeno Chara for hitting the guy, and YOU for having the stanchion constructed that way! So until you decide to do a safety review of your own rink and eliminate potential points of impact that could hurt the guys on your payroll that play 41 games there each year, no more from you either, suck-muffin.
Air Canada: you can put your sponsorship dollars anywhere you want. You know full well that the NHL is arguably the most visible and cost-effective way to spend your advertising dollars, and Bettman knows that you’d be idiots to pull your sponsorship. That’s why he told you to fuck off and fly the planes. So I will too: FUCK OFF AND FLY THE PLANES!
Now, finally, Mssr. Dionne. What, did Geoff Molson send you a pack of season tickets? What the HOLY LIVING FUCK makes you think this is any concern of yours, shit-hole? Are you investigating any of the other checks from that night? What about the previous game? Or the next one? Are you closely monitoring rinks around the area for these types of infractions at the amateur level? I think you may have a virtual crime spree taking place right under your nose! Better get some more of Montreal’s finest involved right away.
If I were a taxpayer, I would be in touch with the mayor and my MP the instant I heard about you sticking your nose into this. If I were the victim of a recent crime, and I heard you were wasting the police’s time with this kind of bullshit, I swear I’d march down to your office and beat you to a crimson stain on the floor. Montreal residents deserve better than you spending valuable time and their tax dollars on something that doesn’t concern you in the slightest. You should be ashamed of yourself, and I hope Montrealers let you know just how big a dick they think you are. Tell the cops to lay off, and do your Goddamned job, you arrogant little bitch.
Two final thoughts before I go kick some puppies. Max, get better soon. You’ve got some fantastic doctors there, listen to them. Be a good boy, eat your Jell-o, and don’t get too handsy with the nurses.
Zdeno: I don’t believe I have heard you apologize yet. Might want to think about that, ass-munch…
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