Single page view By Patrick Hruby
Page 2

"Everybody out there who calls us spoiled because we play a game, they can kiss my a--. I will say personally, to everybody who calls us spoiled, you guys are just jealous … we don't want you in the rink, we don't want you in the stadium, we don't want you to watch hockey."
Jeremy Roenick

Dear Mr. Roenick,
It is with deep sorrow and lasting regret that we respectfully decline your generous invitation. Pecking your posterior would be an honor. You were our favorite player in NHL '92 on the Sega Genesis.

George Soros
Would you buy baseball tickets from this man? Some Republicans wouldn't.

In addition, you have the "calling us spoiled" part exactly right. We do think the members of the NHLPA are spoiled, mostly because they persist in the delusion that hockey's market value is closer to the NBA's than to that of indoor lacrosse. As such, we briefly considered pressing our tuxedos and uncapping some Chap Stick so we could attend your buttocks-bussing soiree.

Unfortunately, our interest in hockey has declined to the point that any stirrings of jealousy – or, more accurately, pity – we once felt have been replaced by complete and total indifference.

Consequently, it is no longer in our mutual best interests for you to shave your rump, nor for us to smooch it.

Still, we wish you good luck in your ongoing effort to solicit a backside canoodle. We are confident it is for a good cause. Before you put down deposits on catering and live music, however, we feel we should warn you: There are others who share our profound apathy for hockey, and therefore may be equally unmoved by your magnanimous call for bottom osculation.

NFL fans, for instance, might have been drawn to the full-contact violence of your game, perhaps accepting hockey as an offseason football substitute. Regrettably, you and your brethren were too busy being not spoiled to take the ice; as a result, pigskin followers are now gearing up for training camp, their athletic appetites partially satiated by an exclusive NFL television network.

Roenick on Roenick
Roenick reacts to his comments ESPN Motion

Frei: Don't throw Roenick under the Zamboni

Ratto: J.R., Marketing genius

Speaking of which: Your sport once had its own de facto network, ESPN2. This station now shows poker, which generates higher ratings than hockey. How much higher? Put it this way: Yevgeny Kafelnikov quit tennis to play cards. And his former sport still has a television contract.

Anyway, that's two groups of people – football lovers and a nation of teenage Internet gambling addicts – who won't be giving your glutes a smack.

Perhaps you're wondering: What about basketball fans? Don't they like boring, low-scoring, clutch 'n' grab action? Yes. But not when it involves frozen water.

On one hand, basketball followers are familiar with brawls, players fleeing to Europe and Gary Bettman; on the other, basketball brawls end in arrests; players fleeing to Europe have names like Miles Simon; and the NBA got rid of Bettman years ago. Simply put, hoop heads have no common cause. No reason to care. No desire to plant one on your tokhes.



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