August 18, 2008

Why Mats Sundin is a Jackass

Sean is on a much-needed vacation at the moment in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. In his place are a bevy of all-star bloggers from around the Internets.

Reasonable Doubt from Melt Your Face-Off will close up the afternoon for you.

Hi, I'm Reasonable Doubt. You may remember me from such internet ventures as a part of the Deadspin Commentariat, The NHL Closer, my work on Melt Your Face-Off, or perhaps I kept a few of you out of prison at one point or another. Today I'd like to talk to you about a plague that is haunting our sport. A plague that threatens to rip the sport to shreds from the inside...or at least annoy the hell out of us for the rest of the season. I'd like to talk to you about a terror against Our Great Sport: Mats Sundin.

I'm all for testing the waters as a free agent, seeing where you can get the best deal, and do your best work, and play for the best fans, blah, blah, blah...but at some point, you go from "biding your time" to being an "attention whore". Mats Sundin crossed that line sometime around July 8th.

Perhaps it's just me. Maybe being in Tampa, I got far too much of the Favre debacle shoved down my throat by the local media, so I have a shorter fuse than usual with regard to this mess. But when Sean asked me to rant on a topic while he was getting a tan and apparently recovering from going ten rounds with 1990-era Mike Tyson, this was the first topic that popped into my rage-filled head.

Let's start with a mercifully quick recap:
  • February: Sundin refuses a trade with any other team, demanding to stay in Toronto. At the time, I didn't think this was as horrific an idea as others did. The guy's on the backside of his career and he didn't want to become one of "those guys" that goes to a different team for his last year or two and ruins his legacy. I can respect that, even if it wasn't in the Leafs long-term interest.
  • June: Sundin waffles between wanting to go to Montreal or New York, acting like Lenny in Of Mice and Men--"Which way do I go, George, which way do I go?"
  • July: Sundin gets offers from a number of teams, but like my ex-girlfriend, can't decide where he wants to go or what he wants to do. Puts off his decision a few weeks at a time. Rumors abound he'll decide on August 1st. The questions we all have would be answered!
  • August: Yeeeah, not so much. Sundin delays his decision again until "late August". Now he comes out and says he hasn't even begun thinking about teams...he's just thinking about whether or not he wants to play some more.
To this, I give a rousing "meh". Sundin was an epic player and an icon in Toronto. Now he's become a caricature. For the sake of his own legacy, he needs to bow out now and end this charade. Stay in Sweden and enjoy retirement. You're only embarrassing yourself at this point. Take $cott Neidermeyer with you, too.

If ESPN and Peter King didn't exist, we wouldn't give a crap about Favre and his never-ending saga. Sundin gives us an accurate depiction of just that same phenomenon. Fans love to cheer for legends that have been with the team since the dawn of time. But Sundin has gone so far above and beyond the time it should take to decide if, when, and where he wants to come back, he's turned into a character from "The Last Days of Disco". Weak, indecisive, and unemployed. And just like "The Last Days of Disco", I wouldn't be caught dead watching him.

Ballhype: hype it up!


wrap around curl said...

Anytime graph jam is used=win.

eyebleaf said...

i'll wait for sundin forever. he is the greatest toronto maple leaf, EVER. i think he's earned the right to take as long as he damn well pleases to make this decision. and whatever he does, i'm down with it. whatever makes mats happy.

The Puck Stops Here said...

The NHL needs good players. Throwing them away because they don't make decisions fast enough for you (why the hell do you matter in Sundin's decisions?) is beyond stupid.

Reasonable Doubt for a Reasonable Price said...

Put a sundress and a party hat on you and you two would make pretty little girls.