As I look at the headlines on hockey news sites all over the internet a common theme keeps popping up. With the preseason about to begin, training camp battles heating up and while some UFA’s still remain unsigned, there is a great opportunity for some quality journalism. Alas, half of the headlines I see are regarding off ice activities. The Staal Brothers, Ray Emery, Mark Bell and Jay Bouwmeester are just some of the names currently in the news for the wrong reasons.
Until recently the NHL was known to be home to the “good guys” of sports, with athletes who are too humble for a good Chad Johnson like interview. Leagues like the NFL and the NBA are full of the “bad boys” who have tattoos, beat their wives and serve jail time. That is no longer the case, the media coverage has heightened and journalists will report on anything that is spicy and will get readers. Mark Bell has pulled a Mike Vick as the league has just suspended him indefinately. Jay Bouwmeester has done his best Leonard Little impression and been arrested for DUI. Ray Emery had a little road rage and Jordan Staal was caught for underage drinking (oh my god!!!!!).
While I am doing nothing to help the cause by writing about it, all of these incidents have sent a message out to the players that people are watching their every move. Even Ray Emery has acknowledged this by trading his Escalade in for something less flashy. I believe that true hockey fans have little consideration for off ice activities and care little for what type of alcohol Jordan Staal drank on the weekend or if Tie Domi is or isn’t schtupping Belinda Stronach.
The newspapers are obsessed with showing the negative, blogs like Good News In Sports are dedicated not to showing the latest steroid scandal or DUI, but for showing the goodness that comes out of sports. Some recent events buried in the back pages are the Carolina Hurricanes annual 5k fun run or Ducks defensemen Joe Dipenta bringing the Stanley Cup to the chidlren’s hospital. It would be a great change for sports instead of seeing Jay Bouwmeester trying to touch his nose with right hand in the newspaper, but Sidney Crosby delivering tickets to lucky Penguins fans
It could be just the off season, but once the season begins, it would be nice to get this bologna out of the papers.