Checks & Balances
Hail the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2015-16 NHL Stanley Cup champions.
Led by their veteran superstar center – captain Sidney Crosby, in his 11th NHL campaign, a member of the Penguins’ 2008-09 title team and winner of this post-season’s MVP – Conn Smythe award, the Steel City skaters bested a plucky but over-matched San Jose Sharks club 4-2 to take Lord Stanley’s vessel for the 4th time in their near 50 year history (1967).
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (Dickens).” Viewing the forest for the trees, the image of an earlier face of the NHL in Crosby making his return to the big stage to hoist another Stanley Cup is just what the doctor ordered for a League feeling a bit nervy in aftermath of its blighted pre-season.
That’s when news of its defending champ Chicago Blackhawks’ star Pat Kane’s rape investigation broke, a sad state that might’ve played out with process due to all interested parties had the story not been enflamed by some in media who were captured by the due but heightened awareness (Rice – Palmer) turned lynch-mob mentality, people who to this day still stubbornly refuse to shoulder their self-righteous ropes.
Viewed up close, retirement appeared the prudent option a few years back when superstar Sidney sustained a concussion that sidelined him for a disconcertingly long period of play.
Two stories to book-end this NHL 2015-16 season, complete with lessons laid out for the learning, on competition, medicine, psychology (patience & resilience), legal process, journalistic integrity, etcetera.
Kudos to a vanquished but worthy opponent from San Jose and congratulations to NHL’s best team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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Absent even the slightest skepticism from what seems a captured media, mainstream and blogisphere alike, on the soundness of NHL’s decision to locate a team in Las Vegas, the hands-on gambling capital of the Milky Way galaxy, it necessitates that somebody explain how the NHL’s decision to expand its franchise pool to Vegas will quite possibly start a process whose end result is one where the key element of trust is completely absent from the professional games whose entertainment and investment values both depend on it.
Symbolism: There was a time when the gaming culture of Vegas downtown, not the general populace, worked a deterrent to owners even considering location in Nevada as Syndicate interests invested in the strip (50s & 60s). But even as a new culture of family, food & fun emerged (80s), overtaking the so-called sin element in revenue rake, gaming remains the indisputable image of Las Vegas.
So when one of the major pro leagues, all of them seemingly stacked with athletes who cheat like it’s a right or at least a duty they owe to, who else, themselves (PEDs), gets cozy with that prevailing image, as plutonic as it may be, it sends a message to players that a new standard of tolerance on gambling has evolved (See; FanDuel & DraftKings). And to that player whose ethics are, as “Johnny Caspar” would’ve termed it, “a little shaky,” it’s nearly an invite to rationalize and roll the dice (game fix).
The greed, arrogance, foolishness expressed by the NHL and its minions deluding themselves into belief it can effectively control the risk-to-fix by instruction and security measures, or that those measures are wholly necessary, a risk that if ever realized (shave points) and discovered will most certainly not be laundered in public as the Black Sox were in 1920 (bad for business)), is as greedy, arrogant & foolish as a Ruler (British Raj) in 1930 believing it can forever monopolize “making salt” like they might own & sell the air its subjects breath (See; Gandhi).
And don’t forget, there’s already been a major sport in Vegas, Jerry Tarkanian’s Runnin’ Rebels. Big stuff. Just a few bad apples but it only took that program, what, five years at the top before those bobbers took the “soak of the year?”
Photo Credit: S.Crosby, wc, 12.3.11, M.Miller; Crosby, 3.18.10, Dan4th-Nicholas; Stanley-Cup, wc, 1930; Las-Vegas, wc, 4.19.5, D.Vasquez; M.Gandhi, wc.cca, pre-1942; macroecono, wc.cca, lamcasinoroyal, 2011.
Posted: 6.16.16 @ 3:57pm EST: Copyright © 2016
Filed under: NHL
Tagged with: ahead of the curve, Black Sox, Charles Dickens, Checks & Balances, DraftKings, FanDuel, gambling, game-fixing, Gary Bettman, Hockey, Jerry Tarkanian, Las Vegas NHL, MacroSport, Mahatma Gandhi, making salt, Milky Way galaxy, Miller's Crossing, Mohandas Gandhi, NFL Johnny Caspar, NHL 2015-16, Patrick Kane, Pittsburgh Penguins, point-shaving, San Jose Sharks, Sidney Crosby, Stanley Cup 2016, symbolism, UNLV Runnin' Rebels