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This Week in Disrespect: National Hockey Leave us alone

February 29, 2012

There’s a saying: “There’s no such thing as bad press.”

Except, of course, when it’s oozing with blatant, stomach-turning disrespect.

We understand the theory. Sure, it’s always great to get your name out there, especially when it comes to Lowell hockey. We’ll be the first ones to volunteer that the lack of media coverage our beloved ‘Hawks receive is almost certainly the result of a vast, league wide conspiracy that rates slightly above the Magic Bullet Theory in the hierarchy of government cover-ups. So you might imagine that we were tinkled pink to learn of the NHL.com article being written about the Lowell hockey team (a worthy topic, for sure). You would, of course, be wrong. The fact of the matter is, we figured this wouldn’t end well.

Don’t get us wrong, we wanted to believe that NHL.com was approaching this article with the best of intentions. We hoped that they would assign a competent journalist who would take the River Hawks’ success story and weave a flowing tapestry of praise and acclaim that would bring tears to our eyes. Unfortunately, we know better. We figured, with our luck, that we would have better odds of a Texas-sized asteroid obliterating the Mullins Center while a sell-out crowd watches the Minutemen battle Vermont (a pipe dream, we know) than to see Lowell adequately praised.

Nevertheless, the article was written (poorly) by noted hack Bob Snow and published last Thursday on NHL.com. We were disgusted by the middle of the first paragraph and, in hindsight, wish we had followed our gut feeling and just given up there. Because it got a whole lot worse.

Mistake No. 1: “…since 1996 when Dwayne Roloson patrolled the River Hawks pipes. “

Really? Do you think he’s related to the Dwayne Rolson that graduated in 1994? If not, we certainly hope the NCAA looks into this sixth year of eligibility! Someone is going to have to answer to the management of the former Saint John’s Flames as to who, exactly, was playing goal for them in the ’95-96 and ’96-97 seasons. A doppelganger is the most logical conclusion we can come up with, but we’ve already said too much.

Mistake No. 2: “Joe Bucco; Zack Kamress; (Derek) Wallin”

Misspelling Buco’s and Kamrass’ last names, while considered inexcusable in our book, can almost be justified. It’s obvious the author’s employment is some sort of nod to the Americans With Disabilities Act, and we applaud the NHL for hiring those with challenges. But as to the made-up first names come from, we have no idea. The author even refers to Buco as “Steven,” his real first name, earlier in the article, but must have been chasing butterflies when it came down to the deadline. Look, we’re pretty sure the River Hawk players took this all in stride, not wanting to rock the boat and all, and that’s fine. We offer no such quarter. How this guy can call himself a journalist is unfathomable. Then again, the so-called reporters at the Lowell Sun do the same thing. Point taken.

Mistake No. 3: “…the historic city 45 miles north of Boston …”

By our estimation, 45 miles north of the city of Boston, Massachusetts would put one in the vicinity of Derry, NH. Same thing, right? We surmise that if we had been editing this steaming pile of garbage masquerading as a legitimate sports article, the overwhelming need to destroy it with fire aside, we’d have pointed out that the author probably meant 45 minutes north of Boston. Given the sheer number of mistakes this clown has already made, we’re going to go ahead and assume this, too, was a deliberate slap in the face.

Mistake No. 4 – (As a nod of respect to the great Jerry York, we feel the need to point out that our beloved Lowell River Hawks were not the only team to be slighted in this abomination.)

“March 24, 1984
BC beats Duluth in the fourth OT, 5-4, the longest championship game in NCAA history in Lake Placid”

You read that, Eagles fans? You actually have five NCAA Division 1 Hockey Championships! Huzzah! It’s almost like you weren’t waxed by Michigan State in the first round that year after all. The author, and we use that term in the loosest, Chaz-Scoggins-y sense of the word, is just embarrassing himself at this point. Jerry York is a damn icon in the sport of college hockey, and to sully his name and reputation with this level of fraudulent fact-checking is only redeemable by seppuku.

Mistake No. 5 – The York debacle brings us to our last point. The sidebar. In an article dedicated to Lowell, there is nary a picture of a River Hawk, Stormin’ Norm Bazin, the Tsongas Center, Rowdy the River Hawk or anything at all associated with Lowell hockey.

Are we saying Jerry York isn’t worthy of such an honor? Don’t be ridiculous, the man is class personified (unlike that lowlife Jack Parker, but we digress). With Lowell being the subject of the poorly-researched and pathetically-written article, you’d think a nice shot of, say, Scott Wilson putting the fear of God into another Hockey East netminder would have really brought the whole piece together. Nope. Nothing but a loose compilation of misspelled names and inaccurate “facts,” hastily thrown together in an unedited mess to resemble a legitimate story.

It just goes to show that when you want something done right, you do it yourself, and that’s why The Ice is Life is the only hockey writing about the Lowell River Hawks anyone will ever have to read. It’s nice when other news outlets try, in the way that it’s nice when your 4-year-old pretends to use your credit card around the house, but from now on, hockey media at large, why don’t you go ahead and stick to doing what you do best: slathering praise on some of the shabbier Hockey East teams, who deserve it not at all.

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