I have to laugh at Rosie Dimanno's column in this morning's Toronto Star. Somehow it just doesn't fit.
Rosie likes to the leave the impression she's tough broad who can stand back from any situation and call it for what it is. She's a man's woman so to speak.
Well that sure as hell went out the window in todays's column. Her fawning of Mats Sundin borders on sickening and adds to what nauseates me about professional sports.
For the past week, the city has been gripped with the anticipation of Sundin's return to the ACC and how the crowd would react. It's all that mattered to some people.
Well now we know. It was generally positive as Sundin received an extended standing ovation about six minutes into the game after a short "thank you Mats" video was shown on the scoreboard.
Rosie describes it this way. "Bless that crowd for not holding it against him. For, rather, giving Sundin one of the sweetest tributes in the history of the franchise - a two-minute standing O that did, indeed, bring tears to the big Swede's eyes."
She goes on about a whole bunch of other stuff, including Sundin not measuring up to comparisons of Darryl, Dougie and Wendel and ironically blaming "self absorbed media cranks."
It drips with athlete worship, something, as I've stated on this blog many times, I'm not comfortable with because when you get right down to it, they don't deserve it when compared to so many other contributors to our society.
Granted, it's difficult to give a standing ovation to a brain surgeon who has just saved a child's life because he doesn't get to stand in front of a crowd of 20 thousand people and wave his scalpel.
However, last night something very telling happened at the game that really made it hit home for me.
Thanks to my good friend Darren, I got to attend last night's game following a fine steak diinner at Barbarian's. It started with martini's, and ended with cappuccinos. In between was a fine bottle of wine and a magnificent Caesar salad.
Anyway, the Sundin worship took place about six minutes into the first period and the place went nuts for the guy. A hockey player. A hockey player who last spring, screwed the very fans who were cheering him last night.
Then, a few minutes into the second period another announcement was made.
They call it "Luke's Troops." At every Leaf game from now until the end of the season, Leaf defenseman Luke Schenn hosts a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in choice seats.
Last night they introduced a soldier who had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan and they put his picture up on the big screen just like they did Sundin.
But he didn't receive a standing ovation. He received an ovation, but way more people didn't stand than did stand. I stood for the guy, and so did Darren, but most of the people around us didn't.
No, they reserve their standing ovations for hockey players. Not young men who go overseas and risk their lives for our day to day safety.
That my friends, just like Rosie's column, is misdirected love.
And so is this. When the three stars were announced Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph had decided to make Sundin the first star.
Sorry, prior to scoring that goal in the shootout he was hardly noticeable.