Tuesday, October 13, 2009
One More and, I hope, Last Shot at the Whiner
So intriguing that until the details of his league-record - there he goes again! - salary , there was no mention much less criticism of the Grating One in all the chicaneries swirling about the hapless Phoenix Coyotes. The ill fate of this perennial loser of the desert, was attributed to everything from a poorly located stadium to an intrinsic lack of fan base to global warming with never a mention of the G-man and his ill-matched insatiable monetary hunger and mediocre (at best) coaching skills.
Usually when any professional team comes up with middling to poor seasons year after year, muttering about the man behind the bench starts up and grows in volume until general management kicks the bum out. Of course, when the bum in question happens to have a financial and management interest in the failing team, it's a tad more difficult. And so, despite four years of missing the playoffs and utter silence - forget about trying to help in any way - about the various controversies over the team's fate amidst the Basillie-Bettman battle, Gretzky is heard from only and about when there's a chance that he won't get the full $8.5 million he's been patiently waiting for at the nigh-empty Phoenix trough. Now there's news that matters.
The hesitation one sees on sports pages to even now call a spade a spade and the Wayner a whiner, makes me wonder if the writers there are still semi-consciously afraid that even a fair, well-researched verbal "body-check" on Gretzky might summon forth the ghost of the one of the bully-boys, like Dave Semenko, who, shall we say, facilitated those record-setting years on the Oilers.
Okay if Wayne will now promise to do something useful with his remaining years - such as fishing off the dock at his cottage - and stay far from hockey in every way, I shall commit to him and my faithful readers, that I have spake his name for the last time.