Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Bitch is Back

Sean Avery is back in the NHL. You might remember Avery from such ahole moves as calling Martin Brodeur a fatso, completing a "summer internship" at Vogue, or labelling Elisha Cuthbert his sloppy seconds in front of a media scrum.

After calling out players who dated/are dating his ex, the hockey community agreed that Avery should be permanently banned from the league.

Well, that lifetime ban is over. It lasted an entire three months. The NY Rangers claimed the hockey world’s resident asshole off waivers yesterday. Way to stick to it, boys.

Here are my thoughts on Sean Avery. I'm in the minority, but I am ecstatic over his return. I think he's the best thing to happen to the NHL in years. He may be a total douche, but at least he's an interesting douche.

Face it Canadian hockey fans, while we live and breathe the sport up north, few people in the states could give a flying fuck about the NHL. It is the least popular of the major sports leagues. 1.3 million people watched the Stanley Cup finals last year. That's a pitiful number, considering a show like Two and a Half men draws about 15 million eyeballs every week.

All things considered, anything Avery does to grab some headlines is fine with me.

Sports leagues tell stories. Every good story needs a villain. Sean Avery is the most complete villain the NHL has seen. There isn't a likeable bone in his body. Everyone loves to hate him because he consistently pisses people off. As far as I can tell, Avery doesn't possess any redeeming qualities. It's perfectly acceptable to cheer when he gets injured. He plays the role of villain well, a necessary evil in the world of sports.

All of the other successful (read, popular) sports leagues have heroes and villains. The other leagues have done a better job of marketing their players by playing up their loud personalities. The NHL doesn't do this. In hockey, individuality is shunned.

All leagues have players you absolutely despise. Don't tell me this doesn't make the games more interesting. Look at A Rod. Even before the steroid scandal, people hated his fucking guts. They can't stand the guy, but they watch him closely. Fans follow his story lines. They know what he does with his personal life. Alex Rodridguez, world class douchebag, doubles as an actual celebrity.

Aside from villainry, there are other ways for athletes to get attention. The NBA, NFL and MLB have athletes featured in the tabloids, whether the players like it or not. Tom Brady, Jeter, Beckham… they are truly famous outside of their sport. This is because they fuck celebrities. It always helps.

The NHL has one bonafide star in Sean Avery, and look at how many celebrities he's dated (answer, more than two). Proof of his starpower? His summer internship at Vogue has been adapted to a screenplay and will translate to film in the future. Love him or hate him, everyone knows who he is. I read about the sloppy seconds scandal in the Doha newspaper. It actually stretched that far.

Can the same be said for Sidney Crosby? Do random Americans, with their heads up their their NFL asses even know what team Sid the Kid plays for? Maybe. Maybe not.

You never read about the "world's best hockey player" off of the sports pages. This is not a good thing. Though a fantastic hockey player, Crosby is so totally fucking BORING off the ice. Before he was even drafted, Crosby was touted as the NHL’s saving grace. He was destined to rescue the league from international obscurity.

Look man, you can’t be world famous on talent alone these days. The cult of celebrity is too powerful. You need star power, charisma and a good publicist to be noticed in a market saturated with fame whores, coke heads and total sluts. Gretzky was the best player ever, but he also hosted SNL for fuck’s sake. His wedding to Janet Jones made international headlines. He was a star.

I don't know who, if anyone, Crosby is dating. I change the station when I watch a Crosby interview because he's been so thoroughly media trained, he doesn't say anything interesting, ever. I miss the Sidney Crosby who, as a rookie, was a cocky little bastard who told older players what to do and whose arrogance shined through on camera. That Sidney Crosby is long gone, snuffed out by the NHL marketing machine, producing gentlemen and good sportsmen (BOOORING).

Can you imagine Sid the Kid on SNL like Gretzky? No, you can't. Crosby is as entertaining as a corn flake.

Crosby had an opportunity to up the NHL's star quality and in my opinion, he blew it. This depresses me. I had such high hopes for him. Why oh whyyy can't he date an Olsen twin or something? It would be so great. Sidney Crosby shirtless. Somehow still boring.

If I were running the league, I would fucking force the best players to go out and get with the first celebrity ass available to them. Not interested in hooking up with Megan Fox, Ovechkin? Fuck you! It's in your contract.

At least this way, ladies who don’t watch sports will know the names of our star players. You think I knew who Reggie Bush was before he dated Kim Kardashian? Hells no. Or even Tony Romo with Carrie Underwood/Jessica Simpson? Uh uh. How about Tony Parker and Eva Longoria? No clue.

I sure as hell know who they are now.

This is why I love Sean Avery. He fucking went out and banged an Olsen twin. And then he cheated on her and slagged her to the press. He's awful. People hate him. I love it. He gets our pathetic little league some attention every once in a while.

You think people aren’t going to tune in to the New Jersey / Rangers game when Avery meets Brodeur this month?? Of course they’ll watch. There is intrigue, there is excitement. Avery brings the ratings. He plays a crucial role in helping the NHL survive. Just don't tell him I said that.

Kudos to Sean Avery, Mike Fisher, Sergei Federov, Mike Comrie, Jarret Stoll, Dion Phaneuf, Jose Theodore and any other NHLers who make headlines by shacking up with d-list celebrities. Kudos to you.

Thank you Jarret Stoll, for getting with super cougar Rachael Hunter. Thank you for doing a photo shoot frolicking on the beach shirtless for Hello! Magazine. I am proud that you're a total fame whore. The NHL thanks you.

Thank you Mike Comrie for inexplicably landing Hillary Duff even though you are in no way attractive. Thank you for attending film premieres and partying in New York clubs. The NHL thanks you.

Thank you, Elisha Cuthbert for loving hockey players. You are a patriotic Canadian. If I were famous, I would do the exact same thing. Granted, I would pick hotter players than Phaneuf and Avery, but whatever. Do your thing, girl. The NHL thanks you.

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