Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I'll just go ahead and make sure you get a copy of that memo...

I'm not sure what motivates someone to write a piece like Memo to Edmonton: It's Only a Game. Excerpt:
...misguided hockey nuts... madness... pathetic... pathetic... so many can find no better use for their charitable dollars? [...] silliness...

And, he concludes by bringing up MacT's deadly DUI in '84. It's somewhat remarkable to see that much crabbyness crammed into a couple hundred words.

I'm not sure what MacT's 22-year-old mistake has to do with anything, or what the better uses for charitable dollars are. But, I digress. What I really don't get about the piece (and you see others along this same theme every so often) is the "It's Only a Game" clucking.

Does Jamie Fitzpatrick actually think that Edmontonians are confused, and that hockey is no longer a game? I don't think so -- I think what he's saying is that this particular campaign doesn't suit his own tastes as a hockey fan. Let me illustrate with a fake conversation:
Co-worker of Wife: So what do you do with your spare time, Jamie?
Jamie Fitzpatrick: Well, I spend some of it writing about hockey at
Co-worker of Wife: Uh, you know hockey's only a game, right?

I'm really not sure what Jamie might say next here. But whatever it is would apply just as well to Oiler fans right now as it would to him in that awkward spot. (I think I'd go for "Uh, yes...").

Look, some people think face painting is stupid. Or, the Wave. Lots of times I'll go so far as to change what I'm wearing (into a Red jersey), in the privacy of my own home, to watch hockey. Did I get confused somewhere about the enduring importance of hockey games? You could find hundreds, or thousands, of season ticket-holders in every NHL city who would answer the question, "Do you read or write about your teams on weblogs or message boards?" with, "Nooo... I'm a fan, not a psycho."

People are diverse. All of us are going to look at other people's leisure time activities on occasion and think, "Seriously?". Fortunately, most of us aren't going to be as snotty about it as Fitzpatrick.

"It's only a game" is a bad faith attempt to win an argument by pretending there is a specific set of behaviours that are universally appropriate for real life but not for sports. There isn't. All there is, is taste. (If there was, I'd suggest that raising money for charity is on the Good side, even the Awareness element of the campaign is dubious...)


The fatal contradiction in your argument, of course, is your claim to conduct yourself with "taste" while wearing the red jersey.

Well, someone's gonna say, so I might as well be the first.... "just a game"?

Since when?

Read his bio, it gets even better! "With all due respect to players, coaches, managers and sportswriters, pro hockey's greatest asset is the fan. WITHOUT PASSIONATE FANS the NHL would be out of business pretty quick."


Thank goodness he told me it was just a game. I was about to lead a lynch mob to McGeough's house or file a lawsuit against him for causing me emotional distress.

I hate the snotty attitude that some people take towards sports. Yes, people care about them more than others. Get over yourself.

Hmm you guys are raising money for a charity. Oh you rascals!

I never said what kind of "taste"...

There's the thing, I suppose. If dude had written "Memo to Edmonton: Refs Make Mistakes", I'd have no objection whatsover (much like TB and The Hat did). I basically agree with that, as I wrote in my original take.

But arguing that I'm more mature than you because I care about X less than you do is really pretty silly.

That guy's just a dick. Did you get a load of that haircut? I forgot to thank him for keeping the story alive another day though.

Thanks Jaime.

He's asking Edmonton to let things go, then in the same breath brings up MacTavish's 22 year old past. Sounds like a class A hypocrite to me.

What an absolute sack of shit this guy is.

To bring up MacT's past, especially when he paid his debt, is sad. MacT would be the first to tell you he made a mistake and would warn others not to do as he has done.

This Fitzpatrick guy learned hockey from his dad and PeeWee coach, both of whom never taught him to point out others shortcomings.

Invite this prick to the road hockey game and I will be there to knock his pompous ass over the highest snowbank.

Another meat sack that wastes 02 and contributes to Global warming. I cannot for the life of me figure out the back lash of this little project. I don't have a Pay Pal account but will send a donation to the CNIB.
When someone changes the outcome of the game with a foolish misguided call the fans have to call them on it.
Anybody know the fate of the fan that tossed the drink underhanded at Mcgoo? Maybe we should try and help him out?

Reminds one of the expression, " knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing"

As to the ol' chestnut about it being just a game, it perhaps may be notable, that every culture develops sport/competition as soon as the tummies are full and the stockade is built. Now grousing about the time wasted on sport, that truly is the sign of decadance, but its the sport thats elemental not the faux moral high ground.

But arguing that I'm more mature than you because I care about X less than you do is really pretty silly.

But I'm still allowed to assert that you're a damn fool for caring less about the Oilers than the Flames, right?

Fallacy! Fallacy!

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