How silly can things get? Seems there is no limit
By Tony Gallagher, The Province
August 25, 2011
It's one thing to pour bubbly into the Stanley Cup just after your team has won it, as Tomas Kaberle is doing, but it's quite another to run up a bar bill of more than $156,000 at a nightclub, as the Bruins reportedly did.
Photograph by: Getty Images Files, The Province
When on vacation one tries to forget about the world of sport and focus on other matters so as to retain some semblance of sanity, but occasionally some things are so alarming they stand out.
For starters, is there anything quite so absurd as a brawl in a Western Lacrosse Association game like the one which took place last week between the New Westminster Salmonbellies and Langley?
Are these guys really that stupid? Do they ever sit down to figure out the risk-reward balance sheet of playing lacrosse or playing any game at a level where there is going to be a temptation to start a brawl in which somebody could get seriously injured over an amateur title that nobody cares about? Seriously, the only thing funnier about the video from last week's total deviation from sanity was how few people were in the stands to actually watch the thing.
And let's be clear, there is way more chance of being seriously injured in something like this where athletes' feet are firmly planted on a floor than there is in hockey fights, which themselves have been proven to be increasingly dangerous. Yet here they were, guys who are professionals by day, taking the most absurd risks to both themselves and the long-term well-being of their families over a game that nobody cares about. Seriously folks, one punch and somebody's life and the lives of their loved ones could get very seriously altered. Over what? A WLA title? You cannot be serious.
It's been funny enough over the years to watch CFL players take the risks they do for as little money as some of them make, but surely this is a new low point in people thinking things through.
Then there was the news that the Halifax Mooseheads were playing an exhibition game with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Aug. 20. Excuse me, but is there no end to the greed of these junior hockey operators?
Not only do they get the services of these young hockey players for under minimum wage, but now they're starting them playing games 11 days before the start of September?
Is there no break for child labour? What time did training camp begin if the exhibition games are already starting at that date?
And people wonder why players like Cody Hodgson, Sidney Crosby and legions of others have health concerns in their early 20s.
Seriously, at what point will this insanity stop? The schedule for a solid professional prospect at the age of 18 or 19 now is nothing short of laughable, hockey 12 months of the year with a blizzard of conflicting demands raining on their time and body.
The Vancouver Giants, at least, are aware of this and do everything they can to mitigate some of these problems, particularly with respect to education, living conditions and training facilities while staying competitive in the Western Hockey League. But in the East it appears to be getting totally out of control. If anyone ever needed a Players Association, it's the junior hockey players of today.
And finally, how about the partying of the Boston Bruins? Granted there may be some sour grapes from here, and if it were the Vancouver Canucks running up lavish bills for Stanley Cup celebratory parties there might be a whole different tone from this city. But seriously, an alleged $156,679.74 U.S. bar tab apparently run up at Shrine nightclub at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut shortly after returning to the Boston area after winning here?
The bill apparently included a 30-litre 'Midas' bottle of champagne which cost them $100,000, one of only six in existence according to reports of those present, with the rest of the bill run up on Jager bombs, three bottles of Captain Morgan at $300 per and nine bottles of something called Goose MG at around $600 per. Presumably the rest was beer, wine and water.
You really don't want to think of the thousands of ways that most of that money might have been better spent that night while still leaving plenty for the lads to have a very, very good time.
© Copyright (c) The Province