Thursday, February 16, 2012

SI takes the pole

Hey all, thanks for reading. Sorry I haven't posted anything fresh in a while, but I had the holidays, followed by a complete computer collapse. Getting back on the blog has been low on my priority list. 

First issue I want to discuss is this new SI poll declaring Phil Kessel the NHL's easiest player to intimidate. Really, SI? These days of internet hits equaling value have taken a serious toll on once-respected sports journalism institutions. Toronto sports media types have made their living off of things like this in recent times, with Twitter wars with Burke and Wilson, questionable photoshopped newspaper covers, on-air personal insults and even books referencing the clarion call of the lowest common denominator, the fabled '1967' taunt.

You people know who you are, and while this method of generating interest in your work may be paying your mortgage, I hope that every time you pull into your driveway you feel the way escorts feel when looking into the wastebasket. 

Since when are timidness or overrating quantifiable statistics worth discussing? Since when are arbitrarily conducted player polls worthy of print, mention or merit? You all know the answer. Sports Illustrated should as well, but they haven't cared much for respectable content since their swimsuit issues became their most profitable endeavors. Wastebasket fodder, either way you look at it.

With all sincerity, this doesn't merit a response, but if recent trends continue, someone from the Leafs brass will reply to this, which is exactly what SI wants. Please refrain and allow me to respond. Phil Kessel behaves in a manner necessary to continue his ability to play in every game for his team. He is not a large or overly physical player, he does not have Colton Orr to rely on for protection anymore, and he has no interest in being concussed. I wouldn't advise he change a thing. I would advise management to ice a squad more capable of countering this.

Lastly, it takes a really big person to kick a team and a city when they are down. Yes, the Leafs haven't won a Cup since '67, but that's hardly the fault of anyone currently affiliated with the team. The Raptors are terrible, the Jays are victims of being in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox, and the Argos are inept. These are tough times for sports fans in this city. Let's remember a couple of things though, that the reason Toronto has no NFL team and won't be getting a second NHL team (which this market could EASILY handle) is that it would be devastating to the Buffalo market. Toronto is being used to subsidize Buffalo sports, there is no other way to put it. Every game the Sabres and Bills host is boosted by Southern Ontario funds. 

So kick us if you want, but you should be lauding our patience and congratulating our selflessness and generosity. And the biggest party the universe will have ever seen will happen when the Leafs finally do hoist Stanley's mug, whenever it should happen. We're fans because we can't cheer for anyone else, and no amount of knocking will diminish our spirit.

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