It's about time. That's the only way I can sum this up.
Here's a big thank you to both Eric and Jordan Staal, who have proven that hockey players are indeed, athletes.
I bet you were like me, and were beginning to think that it was not even possible. Hockey players getting arrested? No way! Before today, I think we were all pretty certain that there would be at least 10 more Pacman Jones arrests and a handful more exposés on corrupt referees before an NHL player got into trouble.
As we all know, you can't really call yourself a sport until some one gets arrested (or in the case of baseball, everyone does drugs and looks the other way), and now we can safely say that hockey is a sport. We've known for a while that the NBA, NFL and MLB were true sports. Their millionaires have dog fights, beat the crap out of their own fans, and shoot themselves in the butt. Hockey players? Until now, everyone thought they were the sporting world's version of those really straight edge kids you knew in high school. Serious hockey fans did not have any doubt as to their sport's inclusion in this illustrious group. Starting today, the general public can feel the same way.
Thank you, Staal brothers. You did what we though no other Caucasian, Canadian, hockey loving males could do. Granted, disorderly conduct on the side of a highway isn't the effort we were hoping for, but it's a start. From here, you can work your way up to beating up people while you're drunk and some kick ass night club scuffles. Maybe someday, you can reach the higher levels of athlete trouble makers, like those who get in gun fights at night clubs or, dare I say, start your own underground dog fighting league. Although, maybe your idea of fun would be to simply have the dogs beat each other with hockey sticks. That really does sound entertaining, and who knows, it would probably get better ratings than the NHL.
If you need the full scoop on what happened, the News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) can fill you in. I thought the following paragraphs were especially amusing;
"After leaving the property, the group gathered on Highway 61 and began harassing passing motorists," the Sheriff's office said, at which point 14 members of the group were arrested at approximately 4 a.m.
"I have no doubt there were probably a couple kids lipping off or something like that," Curran [Eric Staal's agent] said. "Frankly, that goes with the territory. You get that many a group of kids together, somebody is going to say something stupid."
God damn. There were kids lipping off?! Shit. Get those assholes in jail right this minute. We can't have any of that around these parts now can we?
Like I said guys, this could be a stepping stone for the entire sport. After all, the value of a league is determined by how many arrests it's athletes can amass in a given year.UPDATE: The FanHouse has their hands on the press release from the sheriff's department. The highlight? The cops threatened the gang with deportation. Sweet!