OK- While my thoughts about Maxim Magazine are well documented, I think that their most recent outrage is worth discussing, especially in light of my problems with the people responsible for marketing the game of hockey in America. My views on this were articulated recently by a morose Flyers fan who plays on my beer league ice hockey team.
"They just don't get hockey," he said.
We had been rained out of our second game a few weeks ago, (We play in a killer outdoor rink at the North End of Central Park) and had decided to meet up at a midtown watering hole to, shall we say, increase team morale. Naturally, the conversation shifted to NHL hockey, and the fact that on a Monday night, how every TV in the bar was tuned to the football game; not one was on the Ranger game. I mean, sure, I get it that the NFL is big in this country, and Monday Night Football is an institution, but the fact is, if you are in a hometown bar, the hometown team should be on the TV. At least one of them. To a casual sports fan in this country, hockey doesn't exist, and in my mind, that's the fault of the marketing. My teammate took another sip and shook his head- "I mean, the things they value, the parts of the game that are great- they just don't get it."
To see a red hot example of this, take a gander at Maxim Magazine's recent slideshow Hockey's Toughest Bastards , which was emailed to me from Ben. I'm pretty sure he knew I'd flip out when I read it, and he loves to bait me.
While there are people on that list who are noble choices, their choice for number one was so asinine that I screamed aloud at my computer screen. I'll take a break and allow you to read the list. I guarantee you, you won't guess who number one is.
Spoilers after the break.
#1 MARIO LEMIEUX
The toughest bastard in hockey?!!
And how about this: "Tough Guy Cred: He beat cancer."
So, what exactly do these dickheads think Saku Koivu beat, bird flu?
I mean, Jesus.
And while I understand that these lists are created to start controversy, that's just ignorance. I mean, if they would have picked Messier (who went #2) I guess I could have lived with it, but still, the stated "tough guy cred" is making the prediction of winning game 6 against the Devils? Great leadership, yes. Tough guy behavior, no. How about bringing up the fact that Messier shattered a guy's jaw with one punch? How about the time he cross checked Doug Gilmour in the face and changed the flow of a playoff series? That's the kind of controversy I expect. But to put Mario Lemieux on that list at all, not to mention at number one, shows that "they just don't get it."
Kevin Paul DuPont had some decent views in this week's Globe on how to improve the game as well.
By the way, I love DuPont, but that dude hates Joe Thornton. He was the columnist who called for Big Joe to give up the "C" after not talking to the media during his last big Bruin playoff collapse, and he makes the point this week about how Marc Savard is doing better than Big Joe so far this season, on a Points per game basis. I'd be interested in breaking down that comparison a little closer with some different stats- Hey Forechecker are you listening?
UPDATE! Nov. 27 4:22 PM: HE WAS LISTENING!
Oh, and just for fun, maybe some of the real hockey fans out there could leave a comment with their suggestion of a better number one on Maxim's little list. I can think of four right off the top of my head, none of which are mentioned. That list is to hockey knowledge what Maxim is to pornography.
Close, but far from getting the job done.