(This article was originally published by me as a guest author at the site called “Surly and Scribe”)
Iain MacIntyre, a Vancouver “reporter” wrote this in an article for The Vancouver Sun:
“This may sound petty and mean, but there is justice in the ongoing underperformance of good teams that fire successful coaches for inferior ones in the belief there’s nothing wrong with the players. So to the Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals, just lose baby. Terry Murray and Bruce Boudreau weren’t the problems. I’d cheer against the Anaheim Ducks, too, for firing Randy Carlyle, but Boudreau took over there, confusing my moral compass.” (linky-dinky)
My first impression when reading this guy’s article was that he was everything I wished Hammond would be. Knowledgeable and passionate, biased toward his team and somewhat insulated in a coccoon of self-gratification gained only through vicarious assumption of the player’s successes. In other words, the guy is a fan. A fan that can write and has the job of reporter, not a reporter that has the job and views it as such.
Then, I remembered he is from Vancouver. So he is an asshole. That’s where it starts, automatically. He is an asshole that writes. (Disposable pens? Nevermind…)
He further cements his status as a Vancouverite (my Canadian-to-American dictionary lists this term as an ostensibly polite snob who erratically devolves into being irrasacible and smug, is given to riots over sporting events, is drunk half the time when not fully unconscious, is incapable of admitting to or completely unaware of being the city hosting the single largest concentration of heroin addicts in the Northern Hemisphere (link), and is demonically possessed by an innate case of trophy-envy bolstered by the false belief that Vancouver should be the Montreal Canadiens of the West even though they have NEVER won the Cup) when he bastardizes the cliched Oakland-ism from Al Davis’ Raiders of “Just win, baby” by saying , “Just lose, baby.”
I guess this reporter can be forgiven for not knowing the difference between Oakland and Los Angeles; after all they are both cities, they’re both in the province of California, and they both had hockey teams within the past thousand years. And, that iconic phrase is also about as current as the checkered pants and plaid tam-o’-shanter I am certain the guy wears while sampling warm beer and discussing real estate prices on Grouse Mountain where the beautiful people go to, well, grouse. So, to take an antiquated phrase from another sport and another city and use it in a passing pissing reference seems appropriate in this case: the writer misses the easy ones, much like their token-Italian goalie.
To his point, that a good coach was fired when the players were responsibile, I say this: Marc Crawford. Terry Murray was brought in to replace Marc “The Skunk” Crawfish. And so was Alain Vigneault, when Crawford was fired from the Cansucks. Perhaps the reporter’s glee at seeing Crawford fired (which we shared, making me now feel a little dirty by association) was transferred to Vigneault and Murray, and justified an unreasonable fondness for anyone that had any part in making The Skunk slink away.
Maybe this fondness drives his decision that the lack of motivation, the lack of cohesion in play, the Near All Time Worst Goals Per Game Average, and the free-fall in the standings should all be laid on the backs of the players, and is something from which the Coach of said team could possibly be exempted from blame.
And, to say that Sutter is an inferior coach to Murray is just barely correct: lifetime points percentages are Murray at .557 and Sutter at .553, with W/L percentages of .495 to .465. Both took teams to Conference Championships, and I dare say that Sutter did it with much less talent in his Calgary group. Perhaps the “Calgary” ingredient is dominating the flavor of MacIntyre’s snobocracy soup.
The three main points in this little kernel of hacky-sack “journalism” are (1) The Kings deserve to lose because they fired the coach instead of the players (which is not naive, right?) (2) The Kings deserve to lose because they hired Sutter and Sutter is worse than Murray, and (3) He is going to root for the Kings to lose but not root for the Ducks to lose.
We should, of course, hate him for any of these ideas. Or perhaps we should trust this person’s insight into our team, based on the laser-sharp discernment he has so far displayed. Or perhaps not.