My Thoughts on John Scott’s Player’s Tribune Editorial

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(Warning: The following article contains profanity, and has been labeled by the editor as NSFW.)

 

As I sat at the tail end of class close to lunch time scrolling through my Twitter feed, I stumbled across another Puck Daddy article about John Scott. This time it was a little article kind of talking about and summing up the Montreal Canadien enforcer’s piece from The Player’s Tribune. Well, trying really hard not to spoil anything until I actually had The Player’s Tribune piece opened up (I’m usually really bad about not spoiling anything for myself), I tapped the link that came with the article and read through it.

Now, before I share my thoughts with you on what John Scott said, let me just say that I honestly didn’t give a sh*t about the All-Star fan voting. Seriously, I didn’t give a sh*t, because my thought process was just “oh, hey, fan voting; people can vote for whoever they want to”, y’know? And I was talking to a friend on Twitter about this too after reading his editorial about this subject on his sports blog. He brought up a good point about some players deserving to go to the All-Star Game more than others, and y’know what? That’s true. However, I’m just one person. So even if I did just go ahead and vote for Arizona’s Max Domi or Shane Doan or whoever else was available aside from John Scott, it wouldn’t have mattered because again, I’m just one person.

Onto the editorial, I know I said it once in my other article shaming the NHL for the orchestrated trade, but I’ll definitely for absolutely f—ing sure say it again. Shame on the NHL. Shame on the NHL for trying to belittle Scott. Shame on them for trying to f— with us fans, the sport, and his family, and last but not least, shame on them for trying to use his kids as bait to try to get him out of the All-Star Game. I mean, who the f— does that? What kind of a f—ing League is so goddamned irresponsible for their actions they even try to take it back and pretend it never even f—ing happened? Oh, I know! The National Hockey League. Of course, I’m sure the League won’t reach NFL levels of incompetence, but it’s definitely up there.

Those of you who haven’t read John Scott’s editorial on The Player’s Tribune yet need to read it. It’s called “A Guy Like Me”, and he did a phenomenal job at telling his story and separating himself from the League. I almost had tears at the end. It’s an amazing read. And hell, honestly not only does it highlight himself, but — and I’m sure this is an aftereffect of it — brings to life the issue of how the NHL treats its players, and undoubtedly there have been players who were changed for the worst. It’s not even just the controversial fighting aspect of it anymore. It’s the NHL PR and how they’ve done damage control, and it’s becoming more and more apparent especially with this latest incident with Scott that they have done a TERRIBLE job. Just terrible.

Let’s put this all into perspective and forget about the business side for a minute. A lot of times when we watch hockey, we see a boy’s or a men’s game, depending on what level we’re watching. Of course, now girls and women are trying to make a name for themselves in this sport, but for now I’m just going to focus on how we always talk about it being a “men’s game”. Yeah, we acknowledge they’re tough athletes. We always love to see a player or two dropping the gloves. We love seeing the physical side, but we also love the scoring and strategic aspect of it.

Well, what do you do if you’re John Scott and really have little to no hockey skills whatsoever? You try to make the most of what you do have, and despite all the crap that we’ve given him as a hockey player, he does a really nice job of acknowledging it in his editorial.

What we often don’t realize when watching hockey is that inside of every hockey player is a human that’s just trying to do his job. I mean, you’ve got to make a living somehow. Hockey’s a sport, but… again, unfortunately we do have to also acknowledge it as a business, and a painful one at that. But when it’s not painful, the players are out there doing what they love doing, and that’s playing hockey. It’s a sport they’ve watched and played from childhood, for most starting from when they used to skate out in their backyards. It’s a beautiful sport. It’s a family sport that women are also now taking a part of in certainly Leagues, most notably and recently the CWHL, or Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Back to hockey being a business, in John’s case, you could definitely argue a case of severe workplace malpractice by the League, and you definitely should. You don’t just announce a fan vote and toss every player in the League only to realize you f—ed up when it’s too late, and decide to use Scott’s kids as bait. You just don’t. That’s beyond f—ed up.

Now, after this All-Star Game, the League is going to be taking a closer look at the entire process to see where they could improve on. But this incident is going to leave a HUGE black mark on their already tainted reputation. I mean, let’s face it. They’ve already lost fans from previous lockouts, and it won’t surprise me if they lose a few or even a couple more next year and then into the next CBA lockout. The NHL in general just does a very poor job at conducting business and pleasing its fans and players, and ladies and gentlemen, this latest debacle is — as Bill from the video game The Last of Us would say — Exhibit A, B, C, all the way to f—ing Z. Congratulations to the Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens organizations, as well as Gary Bettman and everyone else who took part in the executive decision to pull the trigger. You’ve successfully managed to really piss off a lot of your fans, and even though in the end John Scott IS going to Nashville for the All-Star Break, I hope you’re all happy with what you’ve done.

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