JR’s not a TOTAL ass…

15Dec06

Jeremy Roenick‘s getting a lot of bad press lately, and rightfully so. I mean, I don’t care who you are — you could be the a hockey god cloned from the genes of Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr, that still doesn’t mean that you walk out on your team to go have a beer. Somehow, this “unwritten rule” that every other NHL player seems to have known and respected went over JR’s head. Right, Jeremy — I’m sure you were being 100% sincere when you said you were shocked that going to grab dinner during a game would upset anyone.

For the record, JR quickly changed courses and blamed the media for his exit, claiming that he didn’t want to stir up a media ruckus by being a healthy scratch. And then he went ape-snot and started cussing the crap out of the media. That’s a “way to be” right there if I’ve ever seen one.

Still, in what is currently JR’s last game ever played, I did see a little gesture that exemplified the non-jackass side of Roenick. I was at the Sharks/Yotes game back on Monday night, just watching the warmups by the side of the Coyotes bench. Three kids and their mom stood in front of me, mesmerized by seeing pro players up close (well, two of the kids were mesmerized, one of them didn’t seem to care). About halfway through warmups, JR skates to the blueline where we are standing, looks around and picks up a puck.

Rather than chuck the puck at Shane Doan for not scoring or Ladislav Nagy for being inconsistent or every Coyotes goaltender for sucking balls, he tapped the glass in front of where the kids stood to get their attention. He then slid the puck in the small opening between the glass partitions at the place where the benches cut into the seats. The two kids who actually cared were pretty elated, and I think the mom was kind of confused as to what was going on. A few seconds later, JR’s stick taps the glass again and he passes a second puck through so that the two kids don’t have to beat the crap out of each other for the first one.

The cool thing was these kids weren’t holding up any signs begging asking for stuff or begging for autographs. They were just down there watching warm-ups, taking in something you don’t see every day — NHL players up close and personal. As the visitor, I thought that was pretty cool that JR would do that, especially without being prompted. That’s the way to grow the game and win over young fans. It’s just too bad JR didn’t put as much thoughtfulness into other areas of what he says and does.

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2 Responses to “JR’s not a TOTAL ass…”

  1. 2 Anonymous

    I don’t get J.R. sometimes, but I don’t think I ever will. I’m glad he still knows what is important about the game – the fans, especially the kids who attends the games.

    The day after J.R. debacle, the leaders of the team were interviewed and featured on the pre-game show about Roenick’s antics and they were pretty much bemused by the whole spectacle. They didn’t understand what the big deal was.

    Perception is almost all of reality though, and leaving the game was just inexplicable, which at first didn’t go over well with the management.

    At any rate, everyone vented and the case seems closed for now.

    I just wonder what would have happened if the Coyotes lost against the Blue Jackets?


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