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The question I am most often asked by the readers is, "Why don't you slag your own?" Unfortunately, "your own" seems to cover the gamut for Ottawans -- from the Sun to the Citizen, from the Team 1200 to Sportnet and beyond...basically if they're media, I'm somehow intrinsically linked to them. That's a lot of nonsensical responsibility for a weekly freelance sportswriter.

That being said, I did have a strong reaction to the two columns in the Sun on Friday and Saturday. The first questioned the healing period required for Dominik Hasek's adductor injury, and the second claimed a secondary source indicated that Hasek's injury will keep him out for the rest of the season.

(Aside -- At this point, I would like to strongly suggest that you stop and read both columns in their entirety.)

I don't spend any time interviewing the Senators or members of the front office by choice, so I haven't been subjected to the same regurgitated answers in respect to Hasek's injury. Regardless, I am well aware that the media has grown increasingly tired with the vague timelines they have been given, specifically the one for Ottawa's No. 1 goaltender.

And so, for whatever reason, be it frustration, boredom due to a slow news week, or plain marketing strategy, the Sun charged ahead with its 48-hour assault on Hasek -- tweaking his nose, questioning his willingness to rejoin the team at such a crucial period, and insisting above all that they knew the truth about the injury.

The truth being that Hasek was not going to return for the rest of the season.

Here's what I don't understand: If you're going to go balls-out on the offensive, then why aren't you being specific? Here's the quote: "Is the Dominator done? A source closely connected to individuals within the Senators organization yesterday said yes, Dominik Hasek's season is over, that it's already been determined the star goalie will not be coming back from the strained adductor muscle he suffered at the Olympics."

"Season"? What "season"? Regular or playoffs? Was I foolish to assume that based on the hesitant nature in which Hasek was working out, that he wasn't going to return before the first round? Wasn't that a foregone conclusion? The team remains in first place -- why would they rush him back? And if this is what Brennan meant when he said "season", why wasn't Marcus Allen's name in the byline?

The entire gutsy nature of the column becomes completely irrelevant when you note that there are no specifics -- that all the bases are covered.

Furthermore, if it truthfully does mean that Hasek won't be playing in the playoffs (and again, we're forced to assume because Brennan wasn't specific), then why would Hasek still be working out? Why wouldn't he return to the Czech Republic? Why wouldn't he have surgery if it were required? Why the charade?

I don't understand this sort of sensationalistic behaviour. It serves no purpose. If there was a motive -- say, for example, to anger Hasek into proving a local sportswriter wrong, then that's irresponsible. As a neophyte, I have respect for all writers at the Sun -- that being said, there is a caste system within this business. It takes a certain echelon of media to call out a probable Hall-of-Famer and a garner a legitimate response beyond the prototypical, "It doesn't bother me." For the record, that was Hasek's response on the Team 1200 last night.

If there were no specific details regarding Hasek's availability for either the regular season or the playoffs, then this column should have remained as an opinion piece. But it didn't. And now, due to some sensationalistic sourcing, you have a city up in arms. Mission accomplished? Indeed -- for the Sun's marketing staff.

6 responses to "Question the answers"

  1. Sorry, I fucked up!

    Don Brennan

  2. Don's a Leaf fan? I thought April Fool's was yesterday.

    P.S. I would just like to point out the irony of a commentator being the first person to drop a curse word on my blog.

    The Universal Cynic

  3. "sensationalistic behaviour"?

    Is that just as punny as I read it to be?

    And I don't know who in the world would say you don't slag your own when you've criticized the CFL and the 'Gades at any chance you get (and did a darn good job of doing it). Or is "your own" just limited to the Senators beat?


  4. Are you dense, Michael? "(Her) own" means other journalists. Or in this case, her colleagues at the paper she works for.

    Nice try at "catching" her there, Ex-Lax.

    Pointing out that she's slammed a team in the past is like saying mechanics overhaul engines. It's her JOB to do that.

    Unless her name is Bruce Garrioch, in which case she'd only write good things about her team. Heh.



  5. I'm afraid Argus is right, Michael. The local press, media...I'm associated with all of them. One of the common letters I get is, "If you're going to rip Bob Cole, why don't you pile on your boy (Team 1200's) Gord Wilson? He said x,y and z during the last game."

    Duly noted, good readers. But I'm not going near that with a ten foot pole. Furthermore, he's not "my boy". He's Patricia Boal's "boy".

    The Universal Cynic

  6. Speaking of Garrioch, had a laugh, reading in your fine paper over the weekend, that he's just discovered Yzerman is contemplating retirement at the seasons end. Maybe it's the quaalude diet, but it seems to me it's been a foregone conclusion to anyone that follows the game that Stevie Y signed his last contract back in October. Garrioch's gotten worse than Al Strachan at breaking non-news or fabricating rumours. It's like he can't tell them apart anymore. Will anyone nudge that overrated "writter" with a ten foot pole!

    Don Brennan