Sunday, February 13, 2005

Time to Take Out the Trash

There's an old saying that "there is a rotten apple every bushel". Nowhere is this more evident that in athletics. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders baseball team went 20-134, the NHL's Washington Capitals won just 8 games while losing 67 in 1974, and who could forget the winless Tampa Bay Bucs of 1976.

With the exception of the Spiders franchise, most organizations used their resources to rebound and become respectable teams. At Pinhead Nation, your superiors have patience for many things. Slow fast food drive-thru employees with BU degrees, animal husbanding Maine fans, and of course mentally imbalanced West Virginia folks who possess genetic mutations that only a night in the rack with one's sister can produce.

The one thing the people you wish you were simply cannot tolerate is absolute futility. I had a house servant look up "futility" recently in the dictionary and according to Webster's, futility is defined as:

"The quality of having no useful result; uselessness.
Lack of importance or purpose; the Merrimack College hockey program"

Merrimack College is a small college in Andover, Massachusetts that is synonymous with losing. Since 1989, the weak sister of Hockey East has produced nothing but pathetic play and overall embarrassment. They play their hockey in a rink that youth hockey players laugh at, and academically, Merrimack College lags far behind Philips-Andover, a high school that shares the same hometown.

For sixteen years, Hockey East, arguably the best conference in the nation, has carried this sorry team that has never even cracked the .500 mark. They are the hockey equivilent of having a retarded brother that your parents force you to take with you wherever you go. While Hockey East has sent a team to the NCAA championship game every year since 1997, the Merrimack Warriors play the role of the "Washington Generals" while America's Team and others annually play the role of the "Harlem Globetrotters".

While teams in Hockey East continue to recruit the world's best collegiate hockey players, Merrimack is left with also-rans who only play hockey because it was part of their court-ordered probation. At Merrimack, they have a motto: "if you can't beat them, hurt them".

Schools like Boston College, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have a long storied tradition of producing some of the most potent goal scorers in NCAA history. Merrimack's history is one of producing thugs, goons, and cheap shot artists. When you're program is college hockey's "nadir of the universe", the only way to compete is to injure your opponents' better players to even the playing field.

Earlier this year in a game vs. Kenmore Community College, Merrimack forward and future felon Jeremy Wilson destroyed Terrier goaltender John Curry. Curry, average at best, had his shoulder separated late in the third period of a game by Wilson, who, with the result of the contest long settled, was only on the ice to hurt the opposition. This is the Merrimack way.

This past weekend, Merrimack scumbag Jordan Black threw a cheap shot at America's Team defenseman Andrew Alberts that shelved the BC star for the next four to six weeks. This is the Merrimack way.

Ironically, the worst recent on-ice injury happened to a Merrimack player, so you'd think the program would be senstive to shy away from injuries, not go out of their way to create them. The incident I mention, of course, is the serious head injury to goaltender Joe Exter in a game against BC a few years ago.

Exter, dove head first into an on-coming Patrick Eaves, who was chasing the puck late in the third period of a playoff game. After the goaltender hit Eaves, he suffered a serious head injury and almost died on the ice at Conte Forum. Eaves was punished by Hockey East's incompetent comissioner Joe Bertagna and was labelled a 'dirty player' by a Merrimack team that invented the cheap shot.

Blaming Eaves for hurting Exter was the hockey equivilent of jumping into a lake and blaming the water for getting wet. Did he think diving head first into a player's knees who was skating 20 miles per hour was, what, a good idea?

The moral of this entire story? Merrimack needs to go. How can Hockey East justify having a program like Merrimack as part of it's "family"? They are a hapless loser with no tradition that takes the ice nightly looking to injure the competiton to give it a chance for victory.

Next season, the University of Vermont joins Hockey East and the conference missed a golden opportunity to dismiss Merrimack. Does coach Serino at MC have pictures of Joe Bertagna? Why else would Bertagna support membership to a program that is as welcoming as a fart in a car?

The Big East, a joke in itself, had the good sense to bounce Temple once it became clear they couldn't compete in the tough waters of its football conference. Although Temple never resorted to cheap tactics like Merrimack does, they were bounced for a horrible on-field record.

Considering Merrimack, who has averaged less than 15 totals wins per year since 1989 and is currently 1-17-1 in Hockey East this year while averaging almost 20 penalty minutes per game, isn't it time for them to go, too?

When I was a lad growing up on my parent's estate, father would take me fox hunting from time to time on our vast grounds. Sadly, our trusty hound eventually became old and no longer could participate on the hunt. Eventually, he was put to sleep.

Any good veterinarian knows when it's time for a pet to be put of its misery. How much longer will it take until Hockey East realizes this "dog", having no redeeming purpose, needs to be put down, too?

Collar Up.

- DW


At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with "farts in the car"?
And give credit to for the Cleveland Spiders info.


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