Boxing and hockey are No. 1 and 2, respectively, on my list of favorite sports. What I love most about both is the honor among competitors. They beat the heck out of each other for 12 rounds or a seven-game series and then shake hands or embrace afterward. Boxers and hockey players win with honor and lose with dignity.
Well, most of the time anyway.
In the ring, boxers almost always hug after the fight is over. Every once in a while, however, a combatant comes along who acts like a loser after losing.
That’s as ugly as it gets at the extreme end of the loser spectrum.
Unfortunately, hockey isn’t immune to the sore loser syndrome, either. Thankfully, though, no one has gone that far in the long tradition of the post-series handshake line.
Still, what Milan Lucic did after the Canadiens beat the Bruins in Game 7, even if you think it’s been blown out of proportion, was at best silly and at worst shameful.
That he tried to justify it afterward was just plain pathetic.
That he remained unrepentant days afterward was, well, feel free to discuss among yourselves.
Disappointment always comes with defeat, but shame shouldn’t come with being beaten if you’ve fought well. Athletes should never be bigger the games they play and the traditions that come with them, unless a tradition needs to be changed and this surely isn’t one of them.
But sometimes they try, and that’s when fans should call them on it. Judging by the response on Twitter, they most certainly did with Lucic.
Long after players are gone and forgotten, fans will still be cheering for their beloved teams and following their favorite sports. If Lucic continues to hold onto his post-series antics instead of accepting his post-season failures, then he’ll likely be the sucker who gets punched out of the playoffs prematurely, again, next season.
Ronnie Shuker is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. Follow him on Twitter at @THNRonnieShuker.
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