Today, I am going to write another chapter in the war between the MSM and bloggers. And yes, we can call it a war (of words). It's at that point.
Now we've all seen the articles. MSM journalists blogger-bashing and calling us all losers who are typing in our underwear from somewhere in the depths of our parent's basement. Or that we're no talent hacks that should stick to being fans. That's all well and good by me. This is America and people are entitled to their opinions. And you know what, to a certain extent they're right. There are a lot of bloggers that are fans first (and they make no bones about it) and like anything else in life, there are bloggers in the minority that don't represent the majority. I think you get the point.
But what really bugs me is hypocrisy.
When the MSM preaches about how they've gone to J-school and are so much more important because of it, that's fine. When the MSM calls bloggers no talent hacks that reek of fan bias, that's fine. There's one problem with all that, though. You see, when you say those things, boy you had better back them up. Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is just a case of someone in the minority not representing the upstanding majority. Tell me if I wrong because, unlike many newspapers, BMR has a comments section after every article. Oh, excuse me, post. But majority, minority, whatever. If the MSM's rules are to single out one person and make them a poster child for the whole, then I think I should be allowed to play by those rules as well.
So today, we examine Mr. Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun. Why? Lately, with the hometown Sens facing the Pens in the playoffs, he has sounded more like a Senators fanboy or a crazed message boarder than an actual journalist.
Back on Tuesday, Mr. Brennan proposed -- and I kid you not -- that the Sens should go after Sidney Crosby and his injured right ankle. No, really. We've all seen the clips. Philadelphia unleashed a corps of goons on the NHL this year. Chris Pronger had a number of questionable elbows last spring. Then, of course, you can get into the McSorely and Bertuzzi debates. There have been a lot of plays in recent memory that led to serious injury and whether or not they were premeditated can be debated endlessly (or taken to court). For a journalist to not only endorse this behavior but to also ask for it? Is this some sort of sick joke? I sure hope it is.
The very banging and battering the Penguins wanted to avoid from the Flyers can serve as an equalizer in this series for the undermanned Senators. They just need to bring it. Schubert, Chris Neil, Martin Lapointe, Cody Bass, Shean Donovan, Mike Commodore and Anton Volchenkov will be key players for Ottawa.
Crosby's got a bad RIGHT ankle? How will it stand up to a two-hander? The Senators have to find out.
The Penguins obviously wanted Ottawa over the Broadstreet Bullies. The defending Eastern Conference champs should feel a great sense of disrespect. They should be insulted -- even more so than in being referred to as purse swingers -- and they should respond in kind.
As much as they will be looking for timely goaltending and scoring, the Senators need somebody to emerge as a modern-day Bobby Clarke. Maybe hockey historian Jason Spezza can explain to his teammates what the former Flyers captain did to Russian star Valeri Kharlamov when the latter had a bad ankle in the 1972 Summit Series.
It's playoff time. Anything goes.
Kharlamov, the USSR's star in that '72 Summit Series, took a slash to the ankle from Clarke and was unable to play in the final game of the series, which Canada won. Clarke, for what it's worth, was ordered by coach John Ferguson to take out Kharlamov's ankle. Clearly an upstanding example to follow.
If asking for players to go after an opposing star player's weak spot isn't the biggest case of homerism/being a fanboy/crazed message boarder -- whatever you want to call it -- then I don't know what to say. We all hear the rumors that this coached ordered his player to do this, and that team has a hit out on this guy, but to actually ask for and encourage this type of behavior is shameful. Especially from someone in a privileged position.
We all know the NHL is a violent sport. There is fighting. Injuries do occur. One thing the NHL is not is a sport where those sitting on the sidelines cry for blood. And this isn't even of a case of someone wanting to see a good fight. This is a case of someone wanting to see an opposing player injured. Look, I don't like Mark Messier. I don't like the Rangers. I've never hoped that any of them would get their jaw broken by a Chris Simon cheap shot. And for the record, I've never endorsed Chris Simon's on ice actions. They're despicable.
And if I need anyone to back me up on this, I can simply turn to another MSM outlet. ESPN actually took notice of Brennan's article, making it a topic of conversation on it's television show Around the Horn earlier this week. Yes ESPN, the American network that only pays attention to hockey when there's a big brawl or cheapshot, took notice of something a Canadian journalist had written. I couldn't believe it either. If you want to hear the podcast of it, click here and then skip ahead to the 14:00 mark of the 4/9 Episode of Around the Horn. Not surprisingly, even the journalists at ATH thought the column was a disgrace. The always divisive Mr. Jay Mariotti even said Mr. Brennan sounds like "a fan up in the stands." If the hockey novices at ESPN have a problem with it, then I rest my case.
At least I thought that's where I could rest my case. Thanks to Mr. Brennan, I've got a few more closing arguments. Mr. Brennan did us all a favor today, allowing us to dismiss him completely, with a response to his previously mentioned column. In his article summarizing Game One between the Sens and Pens last night, he put the icing on the cake, making himself look like a bully on an ego trip, all the while hiding up in the press box so he doesn't have to answer to Mr. Georges Laraque.
Seem to have created quite a media uproar with my win-at-all-costs way of thinking and suggestions that the Senators test Sidney Crosby's previously injured ankle by giving it a good whack, eh. We'll spare you details and instead focus on those we are all actually here to cover. Like 6-foot-3, 245-lb. Penguins enforcer Laraque, whom last week we heard Wild tough guy Derek Boogaard refer to as "freakishly strong." Big Georges, who was quoted as calling yours truly "stupid," had this gem yesterday when asked about Senators targeting Crosby's tender joint. "I thought Slapshot was a movie, not reality." And who didn't like that classic?Spare us the details? Sounds to me like Mr. Brennan doesn't want to defend himself and his words. But that's OK, we don't need any explanation. Like Slapshot, he's one big joke.