The Stanley Cup Playoffs are an invitation for general sports columnists to crack their knuckles and write about a sport that they (a) don’t follow all that closely or (b) completely loathe but are forced to cover.
Bill Simonson is host of “The Huge Show," which is a sports radio program heard throughout Michigan, and he's in the former category, apparently. He's a Detroit Red Wings fan that’s none too pleased with the 2-game suspension handed to Justin Abdelkader. So he decided to write a preposterous, inaccurate column for Mlive.com that really needs to be read to be believed.
As a public service, here are the five dumbest statements from the dumbest Red Wings column you’ll read this postseason:
1. There’s no such person as Tori Lydman
I mean, there might be, but she certainly doesn’t play for the Anaheim Ducks and she certainly wasn’t on the receiving end of an Abdelkader head shot. That was Toni Lydman, an NHL defenseman since 2000. But don't worry, it's only the lede paragraph.
2. “My conspiracy side says the league would love a team such as the Ducks, from the second-largest media market in America, to have a deep run in the playoffs.”
Wait, a conspiratorial Red Wings fan? The hell?
It’s understandable that the NHL would fix games or coddle one team over another to get the Los Angeles market in the Cup Final, what with the disappointing ratings last season and the Ducks having participated in one of the lowest rated Cup Finals of all time in 2007 and Chicago alive in the same bracket. Oh wait no it isn’t at all ...
3. "The Red Wings — like most teams from Detroit — get no national media love or attention from the NHL."
Leaving aside the “most teams from Detroit” thing, the notion that the Detroit Red Wings don’t get any national media attention is hilarious, given that no less than three national hockey writers – our own Nick Cotsonika, Kevin Allen of USA Today and Craig Custance of ESPN – are based in Detroit.
As for attention from the NHL … yes, if only the League would think about Detroit once in a while.
Like realigning the Wings to the Eastern Conference.
Or putting Detroit in a second Winter Classic before most teams have played even one.
You know, the little things that show you care.
4. The notion that Detroit hockey fans can’t name five star players outside of the Red Wings.
Let’s give the benefit of the doubt that most of Michigan has heard of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Let’s assume many Wings fans have watched a game against the Blackhawks, and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. I know this is asking a lot, but we’re going to go ahead and assume that a Detroit fan can name one more [expletive] star playing in the League not wearing the Winged Wheel. Doesn't this guy know how absolutely terrible he makes his fellow fans look with that statement?
5. “Bettman is by far the worst leader of a sports league to ever walk this earth.”
Currently? An argument can be made. Ever? XFL commissioner Dick Butkus disagrees…
The comments on the story seems rather positive, which is what happens when you turn the NHL and Bettman into a beer-filled piñata. Some of the author’s populist rancor against the League will find a favorable audience in other segments of the NHL.
But evoking the woe-is-us act for the Red Wings undercuts all of it. They appeared 11 times on NBC networks this regular season, which is more than every team save for the Penguins. They are hosting a Winter Classic. Pavel Datsyuk is treated like a hockey god.
This is high-quality trolling, for sure, but it’s also embarrassing for the fan base. Do Red Wings fans really want a myopic conspiracy theorist who doesn’t believe they can name five players in the league outside of Detroit as their flag-bearer?