I Blame The Media


It is more popular than Tebowing  and only the cool kids are doing it.  It’s called “whining squared” and it is something the NHL does not need. 

After a rivalry game last Sunday, the Penguins and Flyers were sent into a heated war of words; in which both teams are whining about the other teams whining, both teams complaining about the others team being dirty.  It seems that this vicious circle has no end as well.

 John Tortorella and Sidney Crosby went off to the media recently about a knee on knee hit as well as comments made by John Tortorella.  By now most of you have seen the comments, consisting of Torts calling Crosby and Malkin “whining stars” and “those ‘expletive’ stars”.  The result was a twenty thousand dollar fine and the fall out is fans everywhere joining in.

The NHL playoffs are the greatest few months in all of sports and yet the media feels the need to add to it, when in fact they are taking away.  Do I care what the assistant coach of the Philadelphia Flyers thinks of Crosby and Malkin? The answer is no, because it is superfluous.  Bringing in the “feelings” of coaches makes it too personal and takes away from great play.  I want to watch hockey and read why the game went the way it did, see what the “pros” thought of certain plays, players, and tactics.  I really do not need to hear anything about the whining of this player or that one, but this is the new trend in the media.

Ask anyone what the game was like Sunday, there might be one other person to tell you that it consisted of over 65 hits, over 65 shots, and fantastic goaltending at times.  However, the media has focused entirely on the petty aspect.  The soap opera portion needs to end now.

I do not agree with the fine to John Tortorella and I think Peter Laviolette was fined about five thousand dollars too much. I think the NHL is sending mixed messages and it seems that most fans believe this to be the work of the Penguins.  The trend of whining about others whining is only slightly more popular to Penguin hating’, as some have called it.  This happens every season right before the playoffs.   Last season it was Vancouver, the year before was Philly, and the year before that was Washington.  Fans need one team to hate, to scrutinize, to excuse from reality.  It legitimizes losses and wins that you can’t explain and it is used as a sort of defensive device.  Many are suspect to this including myself.

The whining must stop, from all. If you could not tell, I am standing up for no one, as everyone is to blame. The media needs to let the game tell the story and report responsibly.  It starts with me, which is why I will not address this issue any farther. Thank you, best of luck to your teams in the playoffs, and enjoy what is truly the best time of the year.

“Tomorrow the Penguins will play the flyers for the last time before a huge opening round playoff series.  For the most part, the excellent coverage of the TCL Flyers will provide complete analysis and game overview, but I will try to get my opinion in as well.”


lauriejaques's picture

Hey Chuck

I agree with a lot of what you're saying here. I have found a lot of my twitter and FB friends who are not Penguins fans automatically think I agree with the fines, which is not the case at all, especially those on John Tortorella. To me they were no more offensive or inflammatory than anything else that has been said over this season and seasons past by a coach after losing an emotional game. It certainly did us no favours with the accusations of bias and unsurprisingly insults ('gutless', 'arrogant'), which now I and other Penguins fans have just kind of self-deprecatingly took on because hey, hockey is fun and awesome and full of jabs at each other that can be friendly when you roll with it. We can't get too prideful that we can't take a poke or two.

I certainly don't expect the calls of bias to change - Penguins are a divisive organisation. Their easy media access make them open to new fans, and it also leaves them open to lazy, go-to hatred from people who don't like teams with (I will admit, sometimes over-)exposure.

Lav, however, is a fine I agree with. The guy smashed a stick against glass, with the end of it landing in the players bench, potentially injuring a player, coach, or even a fan if it had gone high enough. He completely lost control over a clean hit, and I think he deserved the amount of fine he did.

Another thing is, I don't entirely mind the media circus. I agree a lot of it IS the media causing the circus as you said, but I don't mind it. I watch hockey for the entertainment, for the dramas and the rivalries and the feelings and the passions that are behind each of those amazing plays and incredible athletes and coaches. Some things are completely, completely stupid and ridiculous and non-story, but if a lot of people understood more how the media works (as a journalism student, I assure you the first thing you do when someone says something about someone else, the immediate follow is finding out how that person feels about it), there would be less fan furore over it, less link clicks, and the story would die on its own.

Having said that, the Flyers/Penguins matchup is going to probably make me eat my words. Good luck to everyone, and lets hope no injuries - no matter what I scream in the passion of the moment. Hey, I'm a hockey fan.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

Well thank you for the read and the comment.

I will say, that the media has been great throughout the years. More productive and gaining in professionalism, however, this is a rivalry that really doesn't need this front and center blame game. To some it is fun, but to me it takes away from the game.

Once again thanks for the read and the comment. Lets Go Pens