Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Bill Simmons is entertainingly ignorant about hockey.

I really like Bill Simmons for his takes on the NFL, on sports and pop culture in general, and think his Grantland is one of the best reads online.

Unfortunately, he’s from Boston, and mostly a basketball as opposed to a hockey connoisseur, so he takes some uninformed stances on the NHL that often grates.

Including this one:
Bill SimmonsVerified account ‏@BillSimmons

The Sedin Twins are the worst. God I love sports-hating the hell out of those guys. And Burrows – you suck too.

Unfortunately, this comes on the heels of the juvenile Tyler Séguin and Jamie Benn comments, and the completely twisted narrative that the Canucks are the 'most hated team in hockey', mostly propagated by the Bruins army of apologists and cheerleaders. As if the dirty Bruins with Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference and Tim Thomas aren’t the dirtiest, the most worthy of being despised and censured.

Dave Pratt of TSN 1040 made the observation that the NHL pays lip service and inclusion with its “You Can Play” campaign, but the constant ridicule of the Sedins, and we could possibly include the booing of P.K. Subban in this phenomena, indicate that the league is actually an intolerant environment that targets anyone who steps out of some nebulous boundaries or conducts himself in any way that’s perceived odd or different.

And again, to focus on the Sedin brothers for ‘hate’ is so completely off-base. They’ve played at an elite level for over a decade now, patiently putting up with intimidation attempts by other teams, with no real support from the league hierarchy. They’re nothing except complete gentlemen who are very involved in their community and give generously of their time to charity endeavours.

Meanwhile, Brad Marchand gets a tut-tut from the league and the press and Bill Simmons, after years of being a complete jerk, dirty player, a fake and cheapshot artist.

Moments like these, I think back to Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla’s “Man Show”, and its “You Can’t Win Theatre”.

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