God Bless Sean Avery. The man is a living, breathing PSA.
Sean Avery is like Little Jimmy from those short films we were forced to watch in school. You remember Jimmy – pudgy kid, eager as hell, but truthfully a little daft. We’d always be warning him, “Jimmy, don’t touch that bare wire,” but we all knew Jimmy just couldn’t help himself.
Of course he’d always end up touching that bare wire, get himself slightly charred, wind up in intensive care - yet somehow appear miraculously unscathed the following week, this time attempting to determine if jamming shards of glass into an eye socket leaves any sort of lasting ill effects.
Sean is Jimmy and Jimmy is Sean. Pretty much every time Mr. Avery touches the ice he teaches somebody something they didn’t know. I, for one, certainly wasn’t schooled in the finer points of swinging your stick like a spastic lumberjack in the presence of an opponent (or a non-lumberjack).
Evidently this type of conduct is detrimental to the character of the game. This opinion is shared so deeply by the Collective Lords who run the sport, they instituted an anti-swingy-thingy rule at lighting (not Lightning, which is considerably slower) speed, in Avery’s honor. (Next on the agenda: doing something about those Coyotes).
What’s also interesting about this incident is the way it has polarized hockey’s fan base. On one side we have Rangers’ fans, Libertarians, flag-wavers (who like his technique) and Sean’s Mom. On the other, pretty much everyone involved in the game over the age of 40 and Martin Brodeur’s optometrist.
Some will argue Mr. Avery’s right to swing whatever he wants at whomever he wants, simply because there’s nothing (or was nothing) that says he can’t. Interesting to have Avery as a beacon for civil liberties, which is akin to having a weasel start a petition to increase free-range chicken production.
Many, however, feel his actions were unsportsmanlike, offensive and particularly distracting (to at least one popcorn vendor who reportedly pitched nine bagfuls into the glass before realizing (a) Sean wasn’t hungry (b) Brodeur is no longer permitted to run a tab).
These traditionalists believe waving a stick in that fashion is a blatant act of taunting. As an alternative they would suggest either following through and actually connecting with the meat on someone’s skull or putting the stick down and resorting to the more-conventional mixture of simple hatred and vulgar profanity.
Where this issue goes from here remains to be seen. The new rule, as stated:
“An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender’s face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play.”
Hmmm… doesn’t say anything about stick-waving at 90° to the goalie, or facing him and performing Riverdance instead…
Uh-oh. Jimmy, I mean Sean, watch out for that light socket!
The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Thursday only on thehockeynews.com. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.
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