Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Does Steve Simmons have an intern?

Dan Wetzel: JACKASS
Never a bit of hunger... never pressing, barely caring... players who can't deal with not being pampered... didn't select enough young, hungry legs and offensive firepower... No idea. No clue. No pride.

Of course, it is tough to keep up with 10 events at once, and this is a guy who doesn't think hitting home runs has much to do with natural ability, so take it for what it's not worth...


I didn't see any problem with the article. I mean, all he was pointing out was how many excuses the Americans made for losing. And Selanne countered every one of those. So why the rage?

I can't see any reason to be angry with Wetzel either. The US is doing what they usually do when they exit a tournament early. They're blaming everyone except for the players. At least Gretzky stood up and said they lost, as a team, to a better team.

I guess the "no pride" thing is a sore spot with me, and I don't care what Modano said after the game.

I generally hate comparisons between "regular people" and "professional millionaires", but consider: ask Dan Wetzel to pick his 10 worst columns ever. If your next question was, "What's your problem - don't you have any pride?", how the hell would he respond?

"Hey Dan, maybe if you didn't make so much money to write about sports, you'd approach each column like it was the last thing you'd ever write!" Why would this heckle be unfair? Because of the difference between $100k and $1M?

There is a difference of expectations when someone is making a lot of money, regardless of occupation. Granted, they weren't getting paid at all to do this job, but my expectations would be high for a VP making $200 grand a year, too.

I thought Gretzky handled it all well, except for his talk about how much pressure these guys face. Maclean was sympathetic, but when they cut out to Brian Williams he went right after Gretzky. Everyone is under a lot of pressure at the Olympic games, from amateur athletes to other professional hockey players in other hockey crazed countries. The only difference is, a cross country skier from Revelstoke doesn't usually have an NHL contract to fall back on if they lose.

I would be more sympathetic to the Canadian hockey players if they at least made it to the medal round, or played their best and still lost.

That guy has written some of the stupidest hockey related articles i've ever read.

The only difference is, a cross country skier from Revelstoke doesn't usually have an NHL contract to fall back on if they lose.

And, two days later, we refer to her as "that cross country skiier, I can't remember her name, I think she was from Rolla...ah fuck it, let's watch hockey."

Meanwhile, people still mutter in dark tones about Bourque in the 1998 shootout, leaving Messier off the top and various other assorted hockey related fuckups. There's pressure on everyone else at the Olympics too but if they fuck up, we forget them in 48 hours. Not so with the hockey guys-how much do you think Pronger, Smyth, Iginla, Regehr, Bertuzzi, McCabe, and Heatley would prefer to be heading back to a US team for a while? Beckie Scott doesn't have quite the same problems.

I don't have a problem with being critical, even nastily so. Still, "You stunk" is a lot different than "You stunk, because you don't have any pride".

I'm not really clear on why Wetzel and his peeps believe NHLers represent their countries in the Olympics. If there was no pride in effort, or performance, then what? A bunch of guys hoping to increase their endorsement income?

And this isn't even to address the actual expectations: it was the goddamn majority guess that the USA would finish 4th in their pool and lose in the QF. And so they did, but with four 1-goal losses. They didn't embarass themselves, they just weren't quite good/lucky enough.

You can be a good sportswriter AND appreciate/ acknowledge the effort and committment of pro athletes. It's surprising that so many don't. Honest to God, I blame Rick Reilly, because he's smart, a hell of a writer, and 100% chickenshit with his targets.

Did anyone ever think Modano's criticisms of USA Hockey are valid? They did leave their players hanging to find their own way to the Games, and it all came off as horribly disorganized (and radically different than what Hockey Canada put together).

Too many Canadians are just skimming the Modano stories and writing him off as another disgruntled millionaire American player. That's not what's happening here.

Did anyone ever think Modano's criticisms of USA Hockey are valid?

Yeah, I agreed. It was piss poor timing because it sounds like he's just making excuses but apparently Team Canada organized the travel for the players and their families, got them hotels there and organized entertainment. I don't know for sure but I know the odd person at Hockey Canada and my guess is that they had at least one person specifically tasked to dealing with families over there. They know how to keep people happy.

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