The postmortem ramblings of “The Collapse” keep on rolling in. This time, on the Mike Wise Show and subsequently transcribed on the D.C. Sports Bog. Now, we have hockey dumb, media types ranting on “the life”.
First I have to admit, I don’t listen to terrestrial radio anymore and the Wise rant apparently happened the day after Game 7.
With that out of the way, how can a sports columnist like Mike Wise comment on “the life” when he never lived it?
Did his parents spend thousands of dollars for ice time and equipment to play hockey when he was a kid? Did they drive him to the rink before and after school for practices and games? Did Wise leave his family and friends in high school to go play juniors? Did he spend half of his teenage life and early twenties riding a charter bus for the slim chance that a scout might notice him at the next rink? Mike Wise has no clue what “the life” is.
Do hockey players have fun off the ice? Yes, they do. Even at the most elite levels, they go out and socialize. It is the reward for toiling day after day, month after month for that next shift, goal, and win. It is actually what draws most players to “the life”.
In my almost 20 years experience playing the game, hockey players live by the work as hard as you play mantra. They go to their work outs, practices, and games to lay it all out on the ice. They know that they put in their 100% for the team and their buddies did the same. Then, it’s time to celebrate, win or lose.
Wise said the Capitals young leaders would do well to curb some of their off ice activities and focus on winning the Cup. Here are some quotes.
Some of the things Alex Ovechkin does, and some of the things his teammates do — some of his younger, knuckle-headed teammates — are not about winning hockey games. And until you win a Stanley Cup, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself, fellas.
And maybe I’m jealous because I don’t have the money to do it any more, or I never had the game….Chasing tail won you a Presidents’ Trophy. Yay yay!
If he actually talked to the players, I think he would change his tune. He would find out that the rigors of the season and the pressure of knowing they have a chance to be a champion, necessitates the players getting away from hockey.
Remember, hockey is a career for these guys. When you are at work and you are stressed about that next deadline, what do you do? Do you drive yourself insane by devoting 100% of your life to it? Of course not. You work as hard as you can and do things to relieve the stress in between. Most of the people I work with socialize outside of work. Usually, this takes place at backyard barbecues with family and friends or the occasional happy hour. My co-workers and I are pretty successful as a team. Why the double standard for folks whose job title just happens to be, hockey player?
So, to Mike Wise, I recommend learning what “the life” is before commenting on it and trying to use it as a reason the Washington Capitals were dismissed in the first round by Montreal. Since Nicklas Backstrom’s Gongshow t-shirt caused such a stir on breakdown day, Wise should start there for an education on what it means to play hockey that matters while trying to make a career out of it.
“Wheel, Snipe, Party” boys.