Fusspot rants, embarrassing photos of yourself and general correspondence go here: universalnicks@gmail.com

...because we're having a Me Mom and Morgentaler moment.

Sure, the regular season has started, but a lot of the talk has focused on players not hitting the ice -- case in point, Mike Fisher. No. 12 was recently thrust into the spotlight, due to the fact that his 6-million dollar groin (or "groan", as Rome would say) is acting up again. Fisher did not play in either game versus Pittsburgh in Sweden, and questions abound regarding the centre's off-season conditioning and overall durability.

It's a very curious thing to see fans suddenly question and criticize Mike Fisher. I say that because, well...privately, I've been doing it for years. To me, Mike Fisher is like There's Something About Mary. Remember when that movie came out? It was a fairly unassuming flick when it hit the theatres, but everyone seemingly went nuts over it. At the time, my friends were driving me crazy, telling me to go check it out. Here's what happened:

Friends: "So? What did you think? Wasn't it the best thing ever?"

Me: (looking at ground)

Friends: "Well?"

Me: "Uh...well...I don't get what the big deal is. I don't get it."

Friends: "WHAT?!? Best. Thing. Ever. What's wrong with you?"

Me: (getting defensive) "I dunno...I guess some parts of it were all right...I just don't understand why everyone loves it so much."

Friends: "Blaaargh!!! Rage...RAAAAAGE!"

Things get a bit hazy at this point. I think someone took off one of their Vans and threw it at me.

Eventually I just began to lie and said I liked it, because I was tired of having people freak out on me.

And that's what it's like to be a non-fan of Mike Fisher -- at least until recently. I had to to express my feelings covertly, during whispered conversations at the Starbucks on Hazeldean. I had to smile and nod my head in silent agreement when everyone insisted he should be the next captain of the team. I had to pretend to understand why every woman (and Don Cherry, apparently) fawns over his blue eyes and chiseled cheekbones.

I didn't get it. I never did. And now I'm mad at myself for not speaking up, because people are finally beginning to see things the way I always have.

Fisher was the one player I couldn't bring myself to properly torch in the column, and it made me bloody crazy. I'd pace in my office, willing myself to openly question his worth. He has yet to break the 50-point plateau, and he's 28 years old. Barring a miracle, it seems pretty obvious that he's peaked. The Senators paid him like a second-line centre (his front-loaded, 5-year, $21-million contract kicks in this season), but he's not capable of playing that role. A lot of that money is paying for the intangibles that No. 12 offers..and that's where the problem lies.

The good guy image. The heart. The grit. The never-say-die mentality. Sens fans have been flat-out obsessed with the qualities Fisher brings to the table, and that's what makes it so freaking hard to get on his case. Don't believe me? Consider this: In the four years that the column ran, I got flack from the Sens front office about my off-the-cuff criticism of one player. Guess who that player was? They never defended anyone else...and frankly, I leveled my guns at pretty much everyone on that team (including Daniel Alfredsson).

Here's the thing: I understand that he's a valuable player from a defensive standpoint. I respect his willingness to play hard. I get that he's a good person. I get that part, okay?

But he's not a deity, and he's not a second-line centre that will ever be worth 6-million dollars. He may not even be a captain -- that spare "A" was obviously emblazoned on Heatley's chest for a reason.

News flash: It's Mike Fisher. Stop looking for something that isn't there. He's physically fragile, offensively limited and his career has nowhere to go but down. Thank God people are finally beginning to understand that.


Here's an interesting tidbit from the HFBoards: Fans who attended pre-season games reported that the Sens were coming onto the ice to Europe's The Final Countdown as opposed to the traditional team theme song. When questioned, the team claimed that it was just a pre-season switch-up, but that the regular theme would be "used less frequently" (again, this is according to the board). If this is true, someone from the Sens audio department should have their head examined. The theme resonates with pure cheesy goodness that can't be replaced with an overused 80's anthem. Furthermore, it's tradition -- something that this relatively young franchise doesn't have a lot of. It's original, it's fabulous and it should be used during every home game. End of story.

More later.