By Jack Mandaville I want to make a few of my...
Douche of the Week – Ron Maclean
Doesn’t everyone read the Rhino Den? In the annals of American literary accomplishments, we have Stephen Crane, Stephen King, Steven Pressfield (that’s a lot of Stephen’s), Mad Magazine, Reader’s Digest and ….the Rhino Den! So I guess it is just a base assumption that I have that whatever is written on the Rhino Den, is read as well. But you know what they say about assumptions, they make and ass out of you, and ….Ron Maclean. Within that framework, I have to ask this question: Mr. Maclean, didn’t I just write about this?!? In fact, I believe my exact words were…
“Listen, I have the utmost respect for athletes who put it all on the line, who approach every down like it is the game-winning play, contest every basket, run down every wide receiver, continue on after getting hacked, cross-checked, or forearmed. I got it; they are studs, no doubt. But they are not Soldiers. They do not truly put their lives on the line, let alone in defense of home and country. They do not leave weeping widows, orphans, parents who have to bury their children. Their injuries are concussions, broken ankles, jammed fingers, ruined shoulders. A Soldier’s injuries include loss of eyesight, missing limbs, chronic migraines and PTSD, horrific deformities and death.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the opportunity to re-package something I’ve already written and re-publish to the masses, but do I really need to?
Lest I lose a faithful reader who is unaware of your transgressions, let me fill in the Ranger Den faithful first.
Ron Maclean, color commentator for the New York Rangers, recently made this absurd comment during the pre-game warm-ups for the Rangers game against the Washington Capitals:
“You can’t help but be struck by the players and the way they’ve played these games. They are like police officers, they are like firefighters. You can’t fight fire with ego. The pain these men have faced, the price they keep on paying, the hearts they keep on lifting.”
Then, faced with criticism on all fronts, he “clarified” his remarks with this:
“We never know if we’ll have that spirit. The bravery, the resilience. As I made clear, the hockey games in no way compare. However Sports has proven a worthy training ground in nurturing the qualities which beget that spirit. To say he plays like a firefighter or a policeman would instantly conjure the traits an athlete most desires, especially in New York and Washington…”
Uh, yeah. No duh Jackass! But just because someone “conjures the traits” you so desire, the qualities of character you would wish to emulate, does not mean that you also posses them! Yes, firefighters and police officers have many qualities to be emulated, admired, and praised. That does not, however, give you the right to compare athletes with them. I admire the writing style, research, and thoroughness of Steven Pressfield and Michael Crichton. Two men that I think embody everything it is to be a successful writer. Therefore, according to your logic, I can compare myself favorably with them? Yeah, that’s awesome! Right where I want to be…wait a minute, this isn’t too bad. I kind of like this formulaic approach to self betterment. Okay, I think that George Clooney and Daniel Craig are handsome and rugged. Presto! Let me look in the mirror….suspenseful interlude….Wow! Look how handsome I am now!. Okay, this is great! Let’s see, Lionel Messi…check. Usain Bolt…check. Georges St-Pierre….check.
I can’t imagine the embarrassment that Maclean has caused for those Rangers and Capitals hockey players, innocent pawns in Maclean’s campaign of stupidity and doucheration. His inability to grasp the basic truth of selfless service astounds me. Comparing professional athletes with First Responders and Military personnel should be a common sense no-no, but it continues to prevail, continues to happen all the time. Mr. Maclean, you blew it with your initial statement, then bungled it even further with your clarification. Let your one way ticket to Douchebagistan serve as an example to all others in professional sports that the “sacrifice, pain, and price to pay” for a professional athlete is NOT the same as that of a police officer, firefighter, or American warrior. Don’t compare it. If you wish to mention the sacrifice of our heroes on 9/11, do it with reverence, do it with humility, do it with thanksgiving, and for the love of God, keep it out of your color commentary.