Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why Can't Athletes be People Too?

Phoenix Coyotes winger Paul Bissonnette recently made an appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM station on the Scott Ferrell show. He did what any good guest on the Howard Stern Network should do – he talked about getting laid. Yes that’s right sex. With women. God forbid.

As I was driving home tonight I heard Ferrell losing his mind. Now I turned it on in the middle of his rant but from what I can tell after Bissonnette’s honest, refreshing and entertaining interview irate listeners started emailing the Coyotes franchise complaining they were offended.

Can I just take a moment to touch on the fact that if you are listening to the Howard Stern Station and you are offended by words like sex, pussy and tits – you are clearly an idiot. Now let’s also briefly mention that if you spend 20 or 30 minutes of your life composing an email of complaint instead of taking 1 second of your life to put yourself out of your own misery and change the channel you are a self-loathing, miserable, douche.

Now to the real heart of the matter - Paul Bissonnette should not get grief for his interview. Not from the Coyotes or the NHL or fans of hockey. He's not a liability to the league he’s an asset!

Bissonette’s on twitter and, unlike 90% of the other NHLers on there, he’s not afraid to use it. Biznasty2point0, as he goes by, has over 45,000 followers. Ryan Kesler, a forward with the number one team in the league only has 21,000. Michael Grabner a scoring machine and hottest rookie in the league right now has 7,000.

So why does a 4th liner on a bankrupt team in the desert have more followers than NHL poster boys? Because he’s honest and interesting. I started following Biz on twitter because people kept retweeting his tweets and they were funny. I was pleasantly surprised he was an NHL player. And I’m willing to bet there’s a good number of his followers that are discovering the NHL because of Biznasty’s twitter. So you should thank him, Bettman.

How many more cocktail waitresses does Tiger Woods have to bang before we realize that professional athletes who make millions a year are doing exactly what ANY of us would do with that money, talent and fame – enjoying it.

It’s so ridiculous to me that there are still people out there that expect athletes to be these immaculate versions of human beings.

Remember when Tiger Woods cheating hit the media? Remember how he handle it with rehearsed, vague, inoffensive and insincere statements? Remember when David Letterman was caught cheating? Remember how he just went on the air and admitted he’d done it, it was a screw up and his wife was pissed? Did you know David Letterman’s ratings shot up after that?

Clearly people appreciate honesty & candor. So I can't be the only one who realizes that if we not only allowed these celebrities and athletes to be normal human beings but also embraced them for it, we'd all be better off.

The NHL loves Sid the Kid as the face of the sport not just because he’s the best player in the world but because of this squeaky clean public persona. It’s the one part of him I don’t like. I mean, not that I’d kick him out of bed for it or anything, but Sidney’s scripted, bland interviews are not nearly as engaging as Biznasty waxing poetic about girls in yoga pants.

I’m sure Sidney Crosby is an actual human being when the cameras are off. I’m sure he sleeps with women and gets drunk and does all the things that any 20-something male with a giant paycheck and a very pretty face should do. But I appreciate Paul Bissonnette for not being afraid to publicly be what we all know (but won't admit) professional athletes are – women-loving, partying, opinionated, normal people.

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