December 1, 2016

It is what it is, even if I don't agree with it


Almost two whole minutes dedicated to Mark Barberio's mustache...and then someone actually cared enough to bother putting it on YouTube and Twitter.

Nothing against Mark - unless he's holding me against him, but that's another story entirely - but this is ridiculous. This is exactly why people outside of Montreal consider the media that follow the Canadiens to be something of a joke.

Seriously? Talking about any guy's mustache for almost two entire minutes? Isn't there soomething better to discuss, like injuries and whatnot? And I know it wasn't a slow news day in the NHL, either.

They are the most gossipy media of all of the NHL. Toronto doesn't even come close. And as someone who has always hated people knowing my business from growing up in a small town, it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

It's one thing to report on a sport, and the people whose jobs are to work within that sport. But it's entirely another to report about personal things. Like Carey Price and his wife last season, where they didn't have control over their own personal information about their pregnancy.

There are some media types that I respect, but honestly, there aren't that many and they tend to be more bloggers rather than traditional media. There's an air of sleaze about the whole media scene because of those who can't leave unnecessary personal information out of their reporting. I don't think the team itself is any better or worse than any other NHL team in that regard, but the media is easily the worst about that stuff.

And the fans, too, are part of the problem. Hockey such an institution there, and the fan base is so fanatic (no pun intended), that they can't separate out the sport from the reality TV-type stuff. If there wasn't a demand for that kind of "reporting", then they wouldn't do it, after all.

Not only do players need a thick skin to play there, but so do their girlfriends and wives to live with them. Frankly, I'm almost surprised that the media doesn't get on the significant others more than they do. I'm sure their fans do, and are probably pretty harsh about it - I just try to avoid that side of stuff with any and all teams. I know when I'm better off not doing Google searches for stuff that I mostly don't want to know about, anyways.

If I were involved in that, I'd have to live in a gated community where there was strict limited access, and I probably wouldn't go out much except to games and get groceries. Not that I'd mind all that much about hanging out at home all day, but still. No one needs to be following me around with a camera, but I'd never quite be sure that they wouldn't be, considering.

If the media were just doing their jobs, and covering the team and its sport - even excessively - that'd be one thing. But some of this stuff crosses a line. Mustaches might seem harmless enough, but it's still talking about personal choices that have nothing to do with his actual job. It's not about hockey, but about him, and that's a bit over the top to me.

Now, granted, I might be more straight-laced about this sort of thing than some, but it just doesn't seem at all appropriate to me.

I mean, I was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning media for six or eight years, depending on how you want to define that, and there were plenty of lines that I wouldn't have crossed no matter how much someone paid me to. I firmly believe that all people have a right to their privacy, and I tried my best to respect that with my writing. Stick to hockey, unless the player or coach brings up another topic, and it's all okay.

Manufacturing stories out of personal information that wasn't volunteered to get website hits and / or to fill air time isn't right, and I don't support that sort of behavior - not even in the things I choose to read online.

To be clear, I don't hate the Canadiens - I never have. I just don't agree with the casual discrimination that the team's coaching staff / front office and its fans have historically and currently promoted, and I certainly don't respect how gossipy their hockey media is. I see what could be a great place to play that's ruined by people being petty. And maybe that's just how they are there, I don't know, but I've never been able take the hockey scene there - the team, the media, and the fans - very seriously.