Saturday, January 30, 2016

You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don't Take

It's a shame the NHL, and their little troll of a leader, didn't heed the Great One's advice. Because they completely missed this shot.

John Scott. What a great story. A bruiser, A grinder. An enforcer. A stay at home defenceman who makes it all the way to the All-Star game. Every Canadian kid's dream. 

It was a lark from the beginning, everyone knows it. The fans voted in a guy who's got more teeth than points career point. And that's not saying much for a hockey player. (There's a reason the teams have dentists on call at every game.) It started out as a bit cruel joke, a big FU to the NHL for one reason or another,  but ended up as the best underdog story we've heard and a dog's age. 

It turns out John Scott is a really likeable guy. Humble, hardworking, understated, easy going. The kind of guy you like to have around. The kind of guy you like have a beer with once in a while. The kind of guy that people will side with when they find out a big corporation is pushing him around. The kind of guy that makes people jump on the internet to scream and yell about until the next thing comes along to draw their collective web ire. 

A smart organization would have embraced this debacle. A smart commissioner would have instructed his team to control the story. Immediately. Mould the message from the start. Don't ignore the fact that the voting was hijacked by the public and sent in a direction the league obviously didn't want. Roll with that punch. Open your stubby arms with a big gap-toothed grin and embrace the unexpected with grace and style. 

"Hey hockey fans, you voted him in, and we couldn't be happier. Could not have happened to a nicer guy. See kids, work hard, be team player and one day this could be you! #belikejohnscott We're so happy one of our unsung heroes is going to show us what he's made of. We can't wait to watch the game with you.  By the way, get your official NHL John Scott T-Shirts here."

But little men can't get egg on their face. They have to show the world who's on top. Even if it means stepping on someone. A little someone.  If it means crushing a guy's career, that's just business. But to do it in such a very classless, heartless, and stupidly public way? That's just sloppy. It's the information age Gary. The story will get out. I don't know if the story John Scott put out is thereal account of what happened, but I believe his story. It's a great story. And even if it isn't true, it doesn't matter. Because, John was smart enough to control the story.