It’s been a while since we had a good hockey post around here. As you know, I love hockey. I’m a huge St. Louis Blues fan and I feel like I’ll jinx their late playoff push by writing about them. This post is not about them, but if you haven’t noticed, there’s an excellent playoff race going on over in the Western Conference. Check out the current standings. But no, that’s not what this post is about; this post is about Sean Avery.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video of Sean Avery’s latest transgression. Keep in mind that these are Rangers announcers.
That’s just stupid. Maybe if it’s a player with no previous history of being an idiot, then this isn’t as big of a deal. Still stupid, but not this bad. But when you have done this:
and said this, referring to his ex-girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert, who is now dating Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf:
For that little stunt Avery was suspended indefinitely and it saw his short stint with the Dallas Stars come to an end. He was then picked up off waivers by the New York Rangers, his old team, when he pulled off that little slashing stunt.
Avery has criticized Commissioner Gary Bettman by saying that he has no idea how to market the league. He says that the the NHL needs villains and that’s what he is and he enjoys it. Part of that I agree with. The NHL certainly does need to do a better job of marketing itself. What Avery clearly fails to realize is that to be a villain, you aren’t supposed to act like a six-year-old. Sidney Crosby has turned into a villain to some just by being good. Alexander Ovechkin has drawn the ire of a few people for his brash play on the ice and his goal celebrations. Steven Yzerman will always be a villain to me for this play.
The flip side to those players that I named is that they are also loved. Fans in Pittsburgh love Crosby. I love him for bringing attention to the game. Fans love Ovechkin’s attitude. I love him for doing things like this. There are even some uneducated, bandwagon fans who love Yzerman. I don’t.
No one loves Sean Avery. He has vilified himself to everyone. That’s not marketing the game. That’s just showing his own stupidity.
The old saying, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” doesn’t apply here. Hockey must do everything in its power to show itself as a great game, because casual sports fans aren’t paying attention. If all they see on SportsCenter are the above clips of Sean Avery, it’s certainly not going to make them tune in.
Hopefully the NHL gets it right this time and gets rid of Avery for good. He’s no good for the league.
I’ll leave you with this video, because I enjoyed it, courtesy of Darcy Hordichuck.