I've been a hockey fan for the better part of my life. When I was a child, I HATED hockey and slowly grew to love it. This is mostly due to the fact that my dad would take me to see Ottawa 67's hockey games when I was young. Spending time with my dad somehow grew my love for the sport.
I would cut out every picture / article from newpapers and magazines on both the 67's and the Montreal Canadiens (before the Sens came back in 1992). I would have posters all over my room. I LOVED everything about hockey. Yes, there was a short amount of time in my teens when it was all about the cute boys - but even back then, I LOVED the game of hockey.
I'm 40 now and all *ahem* grown up *ahem* At some point, reality sets in and the hero-worship tends to disappear.
They become human again instead of these heroes that you once looked up to.
What I want to understand is how adults in today's world seem to expect so much more out of these people than they would ever expect out of themselves. They want perfection. If a player makes a bad pass - trade him. If a player doesn't stop the puck - Oh he's done, should've kept the other guy. If a player has a few bad games - He should retire or get rid of him. My personal favourite - He makes way too much money, get rid of him. There is no room for error. It always seems to be all or nothing.
Come on people, these guys are human beings. Just like you and I, they have good days and bad days. They make good and bad decisions. There are a few big differences.
1) Most of our decisions aren't made in split seconds, you have time to weigh the pros and cons, even in our work environments. These hockey players on the other hand do not have THAT much time when they're on the ice during a hockey game.
2) They are being watched and judged by millions of people every time they step on to the ice. How would you like it if that was what you had to deal with on a daily basis?
Sure, they CHOSE to play hockey and they make a ton more money than most of us, but that doesn't make them any different than you and I where it counts. They have responsibilities, families, bills to pay and hey - they have feelings and emotions too. Sometimes outside influences can and will affect their performance on the ice.
Watching so-called fans of a team/player suddenly start attacking these people personally, or in ways that are entirely uncalled for, boggles my mind. Sure, you want to criticize their play on the ice or their hockey decisions? That's fair. Go ahead, do what you want...but keep in mind that they have family members and friends on the internet as well who might read these things. There are ways of critiquing that don't involve personal insults to them or their loved ones.
Think about it when you post...how would you feel if this was said about a member of your family and you came across it on the internet? Or how about someone says that about you and your child finds it on the internet? Don't you think constant negativity can have an effect on someone too?
Everyone wants hockey players to be on social media - twitter etc…but when you read what some people post to them, it’s a wonder any of them even try it. I can't really blame the ones that stay away from it. This is how you're trying to encourage them to join in on the "fun"? They should just ignore the negativity you say? Do you really think that can work all the time?
Even if you "Hate" a player, there are ways of making your feelings known other than attacking them.
I complain when a hockey player makes a bad play - but I also understand that my view of the game is WAY different than theirs. I'm perched up in the rafters and see the ice as a whole, or I’m sitting at home watching the game on TV. I may see things they don't and they certainly see things I don't. I, in my infinite wisdom, will defer to them since they're the ones that have been playing the game their entire lives.
You will never see me attack them or their friends/family personally...no matter how I feel about the player in question. There is no point and quite frankly, I was raised much better than that.
They're HUMAN BEINGS. Just because you're jealous that they were able to follow their dream playing a sport that they LOVE and made it professionally, and are likely making more money than you'll ever see in your life, doesn't give you the right to treat them so badly. You cannot expect perfection out of them no matter how much money they may be making. You cannot expect them to turn their feelings off because you think they owe you something.
Criticize their play all you want - stop making personal attacks on them. Start treating them like you would someone you know. Have compassion for things they may be going through off or on the ice. Try to be more realistic in your expectations.
What gives YOU the right to judge them - or discuss certain things on internet message boards. When did privacy suddenly stop being a right?
I know a lot of you won't understand what I'm trying to say or agree with me - but it is what I think.
Ok - off my soapbox and back to hockey.
GO SENS GO!! Keep the streak alive!!!
Julie / @Flip_4