Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sean Avery Rules. . .!

The article below provides quite a few wonderful laughs of enjoyment. Here is one of my favorites:

“And while my stick-handling on the ice keeps getting better and better, my tray-handling
leaves a bit to be desired.” – Sean Avery


Love him, hate him, like him, loathe him -- and for the record, I really think he is one person that certainly falls on the platform of must love or must hate, with no middle ground -- Sean Avery is a character. A character I happen to like. But, we’ll build on that later. First I’d like to comment on a few things from Sean’s article.

-I would think most people would want to have more passion in their lives. Passion for their jobs. Passion for their family. Passion for the sake of passion. Sean, in every avenue, apparently has that. He has passion for his job, while he’s playing it. And he has passion for fashion, which while many may not understand it, is still a passion. I’m a big fan of passion. Only mildly ironically, my one biggest passion in life is hockey. I don’t get to play hockey for a living like Sean does. Like the rest of us, I can only imagine how cool that must really be. But I’m passionate about the game, the sport, the people who play it, and those who talk about it. If Sean is passionate about fashion, let him be. Passion is passion. I think we can all agree there should be more of it.

-Sean believes that a designer’s creativity and success in the fashion world (ie: their Vogue cover on newsstands) might mirror a hockey players success on the ice and the joy of the fans who watch it (ie: round 1 this year when New York beat New Jersey). That type of comparison completely escapes my realm of comprehension. But quite honestly, I can’t argue what I can’t understand, so I’ll give it to him. For the record, Sean and I would never be able to have a conversation about fashion. Ever. Unless he was tearing me apart in critique. Today I’m wearing a shirt that I know for a fact is five years old (not seasons, which I’m taking are important in the fashion world, but years), and shoes which are probably at least three. Neither of which I’d assume were particularly fashionable in the first place. But I have never and will never care about such things. It’s comfortable, it looks nice, I wear it. I am not a slob, but I am not going to pretend that I either know or care about whether I am wearing something that is in fashion or in season. Or even color coordinated. I’d rather spend my money on hockey tickets. I’d rather spend my time watching hockey. It’s that simple. We all have our priorities. Being fashion conscious falls somewhere between keeping my checkbook balanced (for which I have no time) and playing Tiddlywinks (in which I have no interest).

-Hockey players are the best dressed athletes. No question. I remember even in high school our team wore suits on game days. If there is a way to make sixteen-year-old boys gain respectability and maturity in one single step – have them wear a suit. Hockey players, whether extremely good-looking or not, look a hell of a lot better in suits. It’s just one of the many givens in life. I’ve had the opportunity to see hockey players wearing street clothes, and while many of them are still very attractive in jeans and T-shirts, that unmistakable allure is gone. Someone once said, the suit makes the man. I don’t know if the suit can make any man, but…it is decided so that a hockey player looks damn fine in a suit.

- Is Sean Avery proof that you don’t have be to interested in what you do for a living to be good at it? Or is he the exception to the rule? I almost think it’s hilarious that as a professional athlete, Sean has no time for or interest in sports. He’s from Canada, but he’s made it perfectly clear on numerous occasions that he hates hockey obsessed Canadians. That he doesn’t pay attention to what the TV says. Won’t watch ESPN or TSN. Won’t pick up the local sports section or the most recent edition of The Hockey News. And I believe him. I don’t understand it, but I believe him. Think it’s strange? I do. Think he’s rude to make fun of those that are hockey obsessive (or a whole nation that is so)? I do too. Note to Sean: if we agree to let you love and embrace fashion (which I have already admitted that I do not understand), you should extend the same courtesy to those of us who love and embrace hockey. A sport you play. A sport we pay to watch you and others like you play. Got it? Good boy. Class dismissed.

-Sean’s story of beef stroganoff seriously cracked me up. Because I can see it, and, again, I believe it. For the record, when I read that, I thought of hockey camp and/or the college cafeteria where the glasses were too small and I had to carry like four to get a normal, grown-up sized amount of whatever I was drinking, and the act of trying to balance the tray, to find people to sit with, to maneuver between chairs and backpacks - it was just too much. I never had a Sean incident personally, but there was always that guy or girl who did, no?

-Now I’ve walked a fine line in this recap of Sean’s online article in not treading too much on Sean, the hockey player. And I’ll try my best to keep it so. But Sean mentioned the incident, yes the incident, which occurred in Game 3 of the Rangers/Devils opening round series of the NHL playoffs this year. He called his actions an “innovative technique.” And he’s completely, utterly, without doubt in a million years, right. It was innovative. It was creative. It was, I’ll admit, slightly moronic, but it was rather genius in its idiocy. Sean might have acted like an idiot, but don’t be mistaken - he is no idiot. And that’s really all I’m going to say about that. At least for now.

- I started off with saying I like Sean. I’m not even talking about Sean the hockey player - who I do like -, but Sean the hockey personality - who I definitely like. The players in the league sometimes (and I’ll stress sometimes) appear to outside world to be too cookie cutter. Too without passion. Too without personality. Too without a spark that differentiates them from the other 20-some athletes on their team, and from those others throughout the league. (Remember, this is a sport where players wear helmets and to those who don’t know their numbers, how they skate, how they shoot, and how they operate, they are nameless AND faceless players). Alex Ovechkin throws himself up into the glass after scoring. Some people look at him with distaste because why? Because it’s not a typical North American reaction to scoring? Because some people think it’s showing up the opponent? (And in an a blog about Sean Avery I’d be wrong to not admit that Sean, of all people, certainly knows what it means to show up an opponent after scoring. Most of the times he’s fine. Sometimes there is a line and sometimes he has indeed crossed it). Ovechkin, on the other hand, is not showing up an opponent. He’s showing he has a pulse!

**On a side note, I had never liked Jeremy Roenick. I thought he talked too much, which I guess he won’t deny. But I gained so much respect for him in the last few years, especially this past year. He stood up for not only Sean, but for hockey players in general and encouraged them to be more personable. To smile and laugh in their post game interviews. To show that they are fun individuals with something unique to give besides a love for the same game. Roenick has been that. And I might have mistaken his actions and intentions earlier in his career. But he is EXACTLY what the league needed and still does need.**

-Back to Ovechkin for a moment. That’s why I said the NHL should be all over the guy. For his unique personality. For his humble greatness. Sean Avery is not Alex Ovechkin, not in person and not in talent. He will never be. But, he is a personality. He is a character to write all characters. And the NHL -- instead of taking him and saying, ‘ha, this guy, this guy is something else. Something different, something fresh’ – they said, no. No! There is no place for uniqueness in this game. No place for personality. No place for creativity. Save that for the Super Skills Breakaway Competition! (ha, ha….ha?).

-Love him, hate him, like him, loathe him, Sean Avery is a character. He has ideas. He has creativity. He has a backbone and he has guts. I’m not saying the NHL should create a marketing campaign around him (although some other than me have indeed suggested it), but they shouldn’t go out of their way to squash his personality either.

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