Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Around the Rinks: A (Fake) Letter to Gary Bettman

Dear Gary,

How are ya, pal? I hope everything is good over there at NHL headquarters!

New York is such a nice city. How about all that snow you guys got this year though? How many times did you have to shovel your driveway? Do you have a driveway? I still get Sidney to shovel mine…well, not lately (damn Winter Classic! And by that, I mean the game after the Winter Classic!). Oh, I saw you on TV the other night – was that a new suit? It looked good, and that was a really neat tie you were wearing. I’ll have to get the name of your tailor sometime!

Anyways, on behalf of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, I am just writing to tell you just what a great job you have been doing lately. Really, I mean it! Colin too, he’s really taking care of business! I like how his name isn’t pronounced like the other Colin’s I know – it really sets him apart, you know? It’s weird that his son’s name doesn’t have a cool pronunciation though. Maybe it skips a generation?

I can’t wait for the playoffs to start, how about you? Oh, by the way that reminds me: You guys really had a chance to send a clear and strong message that headshots are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport this week and you totally succeeded! I’ve always said that we, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. I’ll be honest – I thought Shero was pulling my leg last March when Cookie Monster got away with that hit on Savard! Boy, did we laugh. I bought a lottery ticket that night because I felt so lucky (I didn’t win though…).

You know, hockey is a tough, physical game and it always should be, but what happened on Sunday afternoon at our barn wasn’t hockey. Well, most of it was hockey, but that one part totally wasn’t hockey. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a 5-2 loss as well, because I was playing that game on NHL11 the night before and totally won. Ughhhhhh.

I’ve been thinking lately about if I even want to be an NHL owner anymore, but Gary, you are the wind beneath my wings buddy. You’re the cold side of my pillow and the maple syrup (the Quebec stuff!) on my Eggo in the morning. I can’t wait to see you at the meetings in June, maybe we can sit by each other!

Oh, by the way, I have a dentist appointment on the Tuesday, so I won’t be able to do that speech I was going to do. It’s totally okay though, that whole “fining the team” thing was kind of a stupid idea anyway.

Fine the team? What would that even do? I can be so silly sometimes! Now that I think about it, the current system where the offending player is punished is pretty good, as long as you actually punish the offending player! There’s no need to drag the owners into it!

Anyways, I’ll try texting you later on to make sure you got my letter. Do you still have the same number? I don’t think you got the last couple of texts I wrote you or the picture message I accidentally sent (which was probably for the best). It was probably just a bad connection when I sent it or something. I’ll keep trying!

Hope you enjoy the fruit basket (Shero said you liked grapes, but I pegged you as more of a strawberry guy).

Love,

Mario

PS – Do you like the picture I made of us? It’s like that movie with the politician and the penguin from Batman Returns. We should get it put on shirts for those meetings in June. I know a guy who does that kind of stuff! Think about it and get back to me!

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