Saturday, November 10, 2007

Let's talk about concussions

I have always hated Charter cable. No doubt you have, too. If this was a "Fire the Cable Company" blog, I'd put my story on here. But they very partially redeemed themselves this week with the inclusion of the NHL Network. I'm not too excited over it, because in their contract with the NHL, Comcast had to put the NHL Network in about 80 million homes. Within 10 minutes of watching it and the charming Canadians hosting everything, I knew that if I waited 24 hours, somebody would have a stupid article up about Eric Lindros' retirement.

Thank you,'s Scott Burnside

The first time we met Eric Lindros, he wasn't in a locker room or at a fan event. He was in the back of a Durham Regional Police car back in late 1992.

Lindros, already a household name in Canada, had been accused of pouring beer on a woman in a bar named "Koo Koo Bananas" just east of Toronto in Whitby, Ontario. Lindros turned himself into police on a Sunday morning, but there must have been some Quebec or Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound fans in the local police force because a few calls were made to local media, including this news writer working at the time for The Toronto Sun.

Here's where my problems start with the article. Putting my hatred for Lindros aside, I had no clue that when he was drafted to play junior hockey that he refused to play until the team closest to his parents picked him. I just learned that watching the NHL Network's career retrospective on him. It made me hate him more. So instead of making a joke that the whole world can laugh at, you just make one that Quebec Nourdique fans will get a kick out of. I don't think they enjoy good jokes ever since they had their franchise relocated to Colorado where they promptly won 2 Stanley Cups.

You see, Lindros J.D. Drew-ed 2 different teams because he's a whiny bitch. No fact to back that up. Lindros is that kid in class right before the bell rings that would raise their hand when the teacher asked if there were any questions about the homework and ask if the teacher meant to assign problems 18-19 like she wrote on the board or 1-19 which would be a more logical assignment and then everybody would have to do all 19 problems.

Needless to say, the picture made its way onto the front pages of newspapers and into newscasts across the country.

Police were later forced to apologize for the incident, which broke a number of protocols. But that was Lindros. Love him. Hate him. But try to find some middle ground.

N.O. No. I choose to sit on the hate him side of the see saw. Maybe it's his hair. Maybe it's how he might have ruined a fantasy team of mine. Maybe it's because his stats were always so high in NHL '98 but you couldn't knock him to the ground with an elbow to the forehead. Whatever it is, I hate Eric Lindros. The only joy I get from Eric Lindros is seeing him get hit. Here - you try to find some middle ground. See if you like him after this:

It's strange, perhaps even sad, that it seemed to take Lindros until the very end of his career to actually find that comfort zone, a place where he was accepted and comfortable.

I'm still not in the comfort zone, Scott. The only time I felt happy watching the NHL Network highlight package was that hit by Scott Stevens. Maybe players feel a different way, but I'm surprised he can form sentences. But let's get back to the article. I could go for days throwing one liners out.

Instead of appearing to care only for his own situation and best interests, as he did for much of his career, Lindros in the final days has morphed into a person who has selflessly given his time and is committed to the common good, albeit the common good of multimillionaire hockey players, but the common good nonetheless.

Worker players of the world, unite!

Lex Luthor looked out for the common good of the Legion of Doom all the time. All he was going to do was enslave the human race after he went back in time to steal all the great treasures of the world.

And Scott?... "worker players" typically don't holdout so they can be closer to home. Whiny douchebag players do that.

On Thursday afternoon, Lindros made formal what had been expected for months -- years if you count Lindros' forgettable turns in Toronto and Dallas since the lockout.

Because why pay attention to a high profile athlete who stopped putting up good numbers? There's another YouTube clip I almost put up here of a Stars @ Blues game from last year featuring Eric Lindros fighting a Blue with painful color commentary by Daryl Reaugh but I'll leave you to your own devices on that.

Lindros, who is expected to take on the role of the NHLPA's new ombudsman, was at the vanguard of the push to bring order to the players' association after the chaos that marked the union during and after the lockout.Lindros , always deceptively bright and thoughtful (qualities that might have been mistaken for being aloof or difficult at times), was on the search committee that recently turned up Paul Kelly, the NHLPA's new executive director.

All of this "Lindros: The Extreme Makeover" runs so contrary to the persona that Lindros either cultivated or foisted on himself over the course of his career.

What exactly would a players union ombudsman do? If there's an NHLPA blog, I think I should know about it. And why Eric Lindros? If I wanted an incontinent nincompoop leaving a trail of slobber because they aren't able to close their mouth anymore doing some investigations, I think Angela Lansbury is still available.

And so far I haven't seen any proff that Lindros has changed. Players like him now? So what? I have met a winner of the NHL's Clancy trophy, which is for being a humanitarian. He was a huge prick. He's the inspiration for many of my fantasy teams now.

I've suddenly run out of time, but there's one last bone I want to pick here.

Although the big forward immediately became Public Enemy No. 1 in La Belle Province, the Nordiques ultimately acquiesced and dealt Lindros a year later to Philadelphia for a package that included Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Philadelphia's first-round choice (eventually Jocelyn Thibault) in 1993 draft, $15 million and future considerations.

The deal would ultimately pave the way for the Colorado Avalanche to win Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001 and would spark debate over what might have happened if the trade was never made.

The Nordiques never would have won the Stanley Cup. I know what I said earlier, but
there was 1 think missing from that team until they moved to Colorado. Patrick Roy. The Montreal Canadiens would have never traded Roy to Quebec. Ever.

{Edit - Sorry about the horrendous formatting. Let that be a lesson to anybody thinking about blogging from a Mac.}


Tonus said...

"All of this "Lindros: The Extreme Makeover" runs so contrary to the persona that Lindros either cultivated or foisted on himself over the course of his career."

Oh Eric, you sly joker you! Spending most of your career "foisting" a persona upon yourself (huh?) that made you out to be a self-centered jerkwad! What a clever ruse! I am in awe.

PS: I'm hoping someone can assemble a video of "Eric's greatest hits-- on the receiving end" that I can watch over and over.

larry b said...

I figured you wrote this from a BlackBerry. It looks OK now though. Also, if neither Angela Lansbury nor Lindros are available, I think Vladimir Konstantinov might be able to fill those shoes.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Lindros must have slept with your mom or something. You hate the guy for using the little power he had, things that others have done but don't get any of the grief Eric did. Other guys have told OHL teams not to draft them because they didn't want to play in their city. Lindros was able to do that because he had talent enough that he had options. He told the junior team he would go to college and play. What about kids in the States; basketball players coming out of high school who don't want to go to certain schools? The only difference is that hockey players weren't given that leverage; they were drafted and supposed to show up and play regardless of their wishes. Now they have more options if they are drafted in more than one league, or if they get a college interested.
He didn't want to go to Quebec because he (actually, his parents) felt they would be a lousy team and he would take the heat, and as a anglophone things could go badly. So why do you hate him? He wasn't turning down the Blues. Here's a guy who played when he shouldn't have, with a serious head injury, and almost died another time when his lung collapsed. He fought with management in Philadelphia, but that shouldn't bother you, unless you are some Bobby Clarke fanboy. So what's your problem with Lindros?