Monday, December 5, 2011

An Open Letter To Dion Phaneuf

Dear Dion,
You are lucky in the fact that you are among the relatively chosen few that are able to earn insane amounts of money playing a child's game. You work only several months out of the year (it would be more, but your team can't make the playoffs), you travel on private jets and you stay in five star accommodations. Yes, you are away from home and I'm sure the traveling gets tiresome, but ask a worker on a paving crew which life he would rather deal with, and I'm guessing he will say its yours.
You are able to date Hollywood actresses (sloppy seconds not withstanding) and hockey players are well known for their abilities to pick up women wherever they go. If you want, you can probably have a different woman in your bed each night.
You play for a team in Canada that has an absolutely rabid fan base, even though the on-ice team of the last few years has been weak. You are in the hockey headquarters of the world, playing for an Original Six franchise that has a long, storied and proud history.
If I were a fan of the Leafs or a fellow teammate, I would be absolutely ashamed to have you as my captain.
To play in Toronto is to be judged against all past players. These were men that didn't make the money, didn't travel the way in which you do and had to literally go home and work on the farm when the season was over. As is the case with Boston, the names of the old-time greats still adorn multiple trophies and legendary stories abound.
My shame would come from the fact that you do not lead. The captain in the sport of hockey must lead his team when times are both good and bad. He must have broad shoulders to carry the weight and step up when issues need dealing with. At times, he must strap his team to his back and say, "Let's go boys. Follow me." After the Bruins spent over two minutes in your zone in a five-on-five situation, where were you? Where were you with a thundering hit or the asschewing from the bench or the rush up the ice to try and get your team back into it? If you had been leading soldiers on D-Day, your men would have been shot to shit on the beach, waiting for you to issue an order or take command of the situation as German machine gun fire continued to decimate your ranks.
You were invisible until with about three minutes left in the third period, with a Bruins victory all but a certainty, when you took a run at Tyler Seguin.
I am happy to the very center of my core that the Bruins don't have one player anything like you. Even David Krejci, who appears to be disinterested in the game at times, has more heart than you.
If I were Brian Burke, I would have guys like Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark stage an intervention. These two guys knew what it took to be a captain and lead a team. You couldn't find two players with more different playing styles, but they both inspired their team with their efforts. Maybe a little wall to wall counseling behind the Air Canada Center would do you some good. I'm guessing it wouldn't. The rumors out of Calgary were that you were a diva, and you gained the nickname "Neon Dion". After a monster rookie season in which you destroyed everything on the ice, and had me thinking that you would look good in black and gold, you have totally dropped off of the radar as an effective player. Like Komisarek, who apparently has never recovered from the beating that Milan Lucic gave him when he was in Montreal, you have lost the ability to control a game with your physical tempo.
Instead, you will most likely choose to sit on the bench, hiding your eyes behind your visor, thinking about how soon it will be before the team, the management and the fans have had enough of your ability to remain aloof as your team continues to struggle and ships you out of town.
Bruins versus Pens tonight. Matt Cooke's in town. Yeahhhhh, boyyyyyy.
Go B's.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice letter Sheriff! Couldn't be any more right!

Long live Dougie and Clark...