Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Suspension of Sean Avery

Many of you already know how I feel about Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery. After all, his nickname on this site is IFHSA™, which stands for "I F*#@!ing Hate Sean Avery." So it may come as a shock to you that I think his indefinite suspension for a "detrimental" comment he made to the media is out-FREAKING-rageous. It makes a complete mockery of the NHL's disciplinary system.

Why is it that Avery received such a severe penalty while guys like Jarrko Ruutu, Ryan Hollweg, Mike Mottau, Hollweg (yet AGAIN), Thomas Pock, Chris Pronger, and Steve Downie, and Jesse Boulerice (just to name a few) receive slaps on their wrists in comparison of the punishments to their offenses?

I'm not sure when being rude became a more serious offense than causing bodily harm, but I think something is SERIOUSLY wrong with that logic. Downie, for example, sent Dean McAmmond to the hospital following an incredibly vicious hit to the head. (But for the grace of God, that hit could have very well sent McAmmond to a wheelchair.) Yet Downie, a repeat offender who, after one incident in the minors was required to get professional counselling, received only a 20 game suspension instead of an automatic ironclad lifelong ban. Downie got another chance in the NHL. (Just a few days ago, he was recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning.) On the other hand, while calling an ex-girlfriend "sloppy seconds" is quite disgusting, the only people that Avery really "hurt" with his comments (actress Elisha Cuthbert and model Rachel Hunter) can go home to their mansions and find comfort in their millions of dollars and the adoration from their legions of fans.

Sure, Avery is an ass. I think we all knew that already, and I thought it was common knowledge that anything he has to say should always be taken with a grain of salt. Were his comments crude? Of course! Were they "detrimental" to the NHL? No more so than anything he's ever said in the past. Remember that in the past couple of years he (allegedly) called Georges Laraque "a monkey" and he commented on the hit from Denis Gauthier on Jeremy Roenick that gave Roenick a concussion saying, "I think it was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not back anything up." So if a player can be punished for saying something offensive, why wasn't Avery suspended for either of those comments? Is calling an ex-girlfriend something vulgar worse than racism? Apparently the NHL thinks so.

Okay, maybe you could argue the fact that this is an "even up" suspension, that perhaps the suspension is a result of the culmination of his body of work (much like when Martin Scorsese won the Oscar for The Departed). But that's a pretty weak argument because it's quite ridiculous to think that an indefinite suspension is going to teach Avery a lesson. If anything, this whole thing just feeds into his "bad boy" persona. Every major news outlet is carrying this story today, so Avery is getting exactly what he has always craved: national attention.

The most effective punishment for a guy like Avery is to simply ignore him. But thanks to the indefinite suspension, we'll likely be hearing from this idiot - indefinitely.

Many, many thanks to all 86 Friends of The Show who e-mailed me to tell me about IFHSA™'s suspension! And big thanks to DayWalk3r for sending in the video of the interview. :)

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