Honestly, I feel like half of the city of Detroit is waking up today with some kind of painful medical condition. That has to be the only way that this many people could be so upset about a one game suspension (or whatever it's being dubbed).
The way people are reacting to this, I thought Chris Pronger had swung his stick, knocked off Pavel Datsyuk's head and only got a one game suspension for it. That would be a reason to get upset.
Allow me to go all Allen Iverson up in this bitch for a minute.
It's one game. One game. Not losing your job. One game.
We ain't talkin about two games. We ain't talkin' about three games. We ain't even talkin' about TEN GAMES!
We talkin' 'bout one game.
Y'all didn't lose your jobs. Y'all didn't get hurt. Y'all aren't playing in one game. One. Game.
I really never thought there were so many people in Detroit who couldn't handle the slightest bit of adversity. Now, to be fair, there are still a ton of level headed people in Detroit. Actually, they're the majority. It's just the very, very loud minority that are making their voices heard at the moment.
The Detroit Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup four times since 1997. They have won the central division seven years in a row. They have won the President's Trophy four of the last six seasons.
The organization and the fans have always been a class act, as far as I'm concerned. Never have I heard any whining. Never have I heard any complaints when Datsyuk and Zetterberg don't get the attention they probably deserve.
And then Datsyuk and Lidstrom get suspended for... Wait for it... One game. One. Game.
Not only is it one game. Not only is that one game against the Columbus Blue Jackets who the Wings hold a 36-8-1-3 all-time record against. But Pavel Datsyuk said that "he probably wouldn't have played anyway."
So it pains me -- it really does -- when I hear all the whining coming from Detroit.
When folks like Wojnowski of the Detroit News complains that the league doesn't want to hype up the Red Wings, look at the facts. When Chris Osgood says the same, look at the facts.
What are the facts, you say?
The facts are that the league NEEDS the Red Wings. The other 29 teams NEED the Red Wings.
FACT: The Red Wings have the highest road attendance in the league. Don't think for a second that doesn't cross the minds of the other 29 teams when the Wings come to town. Don't think for a second that all those people are coming to the arenas across North America to root against the Wings.
FACT: The league needs to market it's stars and the Red Wings have stars. Yes, Ovechkin and Crosby get most of the attention. But the league suspended these two because it couldn't market ANY of the Wings' players at their biggest sponsor event of the season. Don't like it? Sorry, that's the price of admission to be an NHL club. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to take care of your responsibilities like a big boy.
But man, the main reason I wrote this is because some people are simply going off the deep end. And for what? A one game suspension.
Yes, I understand that unlike the All-Star Game, this game counts.
Yes, I understand that you feel slighted because Crosby gets the hype.
And yes, you're falling victim to what a handful of folks in Washington have -- that just because the media hypes up Crosby till folks are blue in the face it means you have to take it as a personal shot at your players.
Here's a message for the folks in Detroit, Washington and everywhere else in the league.
Stop worrying about what is said about Sidney Crosby in the media. Stop taking every compliment he gets, every accolade, every commercial as a personal insult. In fact, if it pisses you off this much, use it as motivation. Rise above the hype instead of trying to fight it. Fighting it only makes you look jealous of the attention.
But sometimes, in the places you would least expect it, people go crazy. In this case, it's of the overboard-message-board-troll-ish kind of crazy.
"Due to the Cap that Gary created, and the suspension that he levied because two respected players got injured and decided to skip his corporate kiss-ass fest? Detroit will play a regular season game that actually means something in the standings with an incomplete roster. "Let's remember that the commish works for the owners. Let's remember that this is a cap that the owners wanted and got Bettman to implement. If the Red Wings didn't like it, they should have spoken on that four years ago. Oh, and Gary never made the Wings spend to within $250,000 of the cap ceiling.
"Forfeit the frigging game. Forfeit it because it’s unnecessarily unsafe. This isn’t a case of two forwards getting hurt in the midst of a game. It’s a situation where the league knowingly placed ten other skaters at jeopardy by keeping two players out of the lineup without any possibility of replacement. Intent to injure. Hell. The Wings could legitimately sue the league. "
Sue the league. Do it. Please. I could use a good laugh.
But for all the complaining, the groaning, the moaning there's still one point to be made.
This is a one game suspension because the league wanted to market the Wings' players. That's what the All-Star Game is. One big marketing and fund raising opportunity.
I just hope folks calm down. Really, I do. Even if you don't agree with me please, calm down. I don't want World War III to start if the Wings are ever on the recieving end of a bad call like this:
You can ask the folks in Buffalo how that compares to a one game suspension. Seriously, ask them. It would be hilarious.