Uploaded on Nov 22, 2006
Dec.22.06 **TO GO OR NOT TO GO**
At last check Rory Fitzpatrick was 2nd in all-star voting among Western Conference defencemen, meaning if the voting ended today, Rory would be headed to Dallas. That is, if he wanted to. And let me tell you, he has pretty much decided he will go if he gets voted in.
There is no question this whole situation is going to be the subject of great debate over the next week or so. Half the people I talk to say he should go, while the other half are dead set against it. Now I can see both sides of the story, but I say, what the hell, go for it.
First off, it's a great story. Rory is a 6th defenceman with no points who wouldn't have been the 100th person on the all-star ballot and yet enough people have given him the write-in votes to vault ahead of the likes of Chris Pronger and Nik Lidstrom. So what if the "Vote For Rory" campaign started out as a lark. It's caught fire and people are having a blast trying to get him into the game.
Secondly, don't give me any crap about making a mockery out of the game. Who really cares about the NHL all-star game anyway? It doesn't mean anything. Most of the players that play in it would rather be in Hawaii for the break.
And I'm not buying the argument that it's taking away a spot from someone who truly deserves to be there. All the defencemen that are obvious choices will be chosen. So Rory is going to go ahead of one guy from a pool of about 10. If it came down to just the voting and Rory got in ahead of the eighth guy on the list -- then yes, it wouldn't be right. But we don't know who the player would be anyway.
Will Rory be a bit of a sideshow? Hell ya! But that's the story. You don't think the players will welcome him into the room and have a good chuckle over it? Of course they will. And once the initial Rory story is done, then all the other deserving players will get their press too.
In fact I'm guessing you'll get a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise watch the game, tune in just to see Rory introduced. I know I will if he's there. And I can't say I'd watch it otherwise.
It's giving the NHL a little pub in the States which is something it desperately needs. Yesterday Fitzpatrick's face was on the cover of the USA Today's Sports section. This week he'll be in Sports Illustrated. Do you think either of these publications would be mentioning the NHL All-Star game if it wasn't for Fitzpatrick? I don't think so.
And if you say it makes the league look like a joke, take your head out of your rear. It's a fun story. A harmless story. And if Rory feels comfortable going, then he should go. Imagine the story he'll have for the rest of his life.
- DAN MURPHY
To Rory/friends/family,etc. - The NHL said to vote for our *favorite* players & that's what many of us did - in all sincerity...Thousands upon thousands of lunch pailer fans, from across the League (& beyond) support you as their working class hockey hero.
(visit the Slate site for the lowdown)
aw well - still a Fitz fan
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