Monday, August 10, 2009

Searching for Words. . .

Back last December, I wrote a post on Patrick Kane. Said that according to a recent Blackhawks broadcast Patrick Kane's mantra was:

-Be a good person.

-Take care of your family.

-Have fun.

I'm not going to lie. The news I got this morning made me sick. And the
feeling has followed me through the entire day with no signs of fading.

The news?

That a player I respected, a player I liked, and one of the handful of
players that I on this blog have used the word LOVE in reference to - well
today he became the lead character in a horrible story.

The worst of it - we don't know for sure what kind of genre this story
falls under.

Fiction or non-fiction.

In his short time with the NHL, I've always been quick to say good things about Kane because frankly, he did nothing to deem them untrue. More than that, he was the kind of player you wanted to root for.

Small. Young. Likeable. Talented. Very talented.

And he was...American.

I say that not because I root for players based on country of origin - I have made it clear here that, despite affinity for certain Czech players, I do not. It was just cool for me that he, in addition to all he was, happen to be American, because after the reign of Leetch, Richter, and Modano, the Americans I felt drawn to became fewer and far between.

So not only was it nice to have a young player be such a good story. It was just a little bonus to know that he was American too.

Now, this morning it came to light that the story he was writing may have changed - changed from a feel good tale of a young hockey player with promise, to an ill-inducing story of a player that may have to watch it all disappear.

Granted none of us have what I would call solid facts, and I outright refuse, until more information comes to light, to crucify a player I have grown so fond of. A lot in the reports seem odd and I am sure none of us know the whole story.

Only three people were in the cab yesterday morning. And, it seems perhaps likely that only one was sober. So we may never know.

But until we do get more information, I am not going to judge. They are, at this point, all merely allegations of potential crimes.

However, for sake of the reading communnity, let's say the story is true or
even partially true.

It's not the underage drinking that bothers me, because I'm know he is not the first nor will he be the last.

It's not the argument over 20 cents, because even though that's what everyone seems to be throwing around - that is such an insignificant part of the story. Seriously - substitute $2.00. Does that really make it better?

No, it's the violence that bothers me, the seemingly unnecessary violent acts. And it's the overall sad fact that it happened at all.

Again, if it did indeed go down the way described.

Then, of course, it's the sad realization for me and for countless others that the young, golden Blackhawk has a chip in his seemingly perfect perfection.

I'll be honest here; if the allegations are true, I do hope he is punished as is deemed fit.

But more importantly, I hope that everything is righted as much as it possibly can be.

I think we've all had moments of stupidity, at least one moment we can look back on with a measure of regret. A moment we look back and say - that was not my proudest.

Look, I had mine recently enough and I'm much older than Patrick Kane is.

I'm not defending - him or me. A bad moment, one slip in judgement - they all have consequences. And try as you might, you can't take them back.

I hope that if the alleged is true that this was an isolated incident. It'd be harder for me to argue for him if it was not. But I can argue we all have a moment, perhaps not as disturbing as this, but a moment nonetheless that we did something out of character. In Kane's case what has been a moral and upstanding character, as much as we have seen him.

Of course, I hope more than anything that it isn't true at all. That it was a misunderstanding blown way out of proportion.

A young kid's rise to the top merely slowed by one mis-step, and not a young kid's rise haulted completely by a fall.

So, again, until we all get all the facts straight, and until this becomes crimes instead of alleged, I am going to sit tight. I'm going to sit tight and try to make the sick feeling I have had all day go away.

I'm going to try to believe the smart, young, and talented kid whose mantra was -

-Be a good person.

-Take care of your family.

-Have fun.

I'm going to try hard to believe he still exists.


Luke said...

Hi Kels.

This is an interesting and very unfortunate situation. I agree with you that not a lot can be said before all the facts are presented.

While not wanting to speculate too much I think there are two possibilities. Today the taxi drivers lawyer is quoted as saying "it's blown out of proportion" I really want to believe that is true.

As a teenager I did my fair share of stupid things. Certainly not my proudest moments. Many of them leave me wishing I still knew the people involved and could apologise to them. To somehow make up for it in some small way. (I'd like to say for the record none of mine involved violence or crime, but they were stupid) I think we all do. It's part of 'growing up' It must be an awful lot harder having to 'grow up' under that kind of spotlight. I really hope this is something that can be resolved with an apology/act of charity/good deed.

But, if this turns out to be as messy as it looks, I completely agree with your comments. $0.20 is not the issue, $2.00 or $20.00 would not be the issue. I'd argue $2000.00 would not be enough to make money the issue here.

I can not imagine a situation where a strong and fit young guy should feel it's necessary to raise his fists, let alone use them, to someone as defenseless as a 62 year old taxi driver. It is completely inexcusable.

I'm going to disregard any legal penalty. I really don't know a lot about the workings of a legal system. But what is a reasonable NHL penalty?

If Avery running his mouth off (I'll not repeat it) damages the league enough to get 6 games. What does beating an old man, old enough to be your grantfather get?


kels said...

Hey Luke. Sorry it took a few days. I'm not as diligent about checking during the "off-season." Hope you've ben well.

The immediate reaction has waned slightly in the last week, but certainly it's still something I wish had never happened.

There's been such talk lately in the States about punishments and off-field crimes, mostly with NFL players.

Even in spite of that, it's still hard for me to gauge where a suitable punishment would lie.

He acted stupidly, and one would hope, again, it was a one-time error in judgement and a step out of character. But it he did do this - regardless of the one time thing - there has to be some anger managment counseling at the very least. Suspension? How long? It's hard to say.

The NHL usually does not suspend on top of legal action, to memory, in a case like this, but it is hard to judge.

You point out Avery's six games. In short, I never agreed with that. He never "hurt" anybody in the sense of physical harm. He never put anyone in danger. He just acted like the moron he can sometimes be. No one is denying that much.

Physical violence, one would think, would warrant more of a punishment than running one's mouth.

I really don't know here, Luke. I just get the feeling that if he did anything - if - that unless it was proved to be so horrible and so much worse than we are hearing even now, I don't even know if they suspend him.

Remember, Kane is a golden child. Avery is a villian.