Day 2 of MATT COOKE WATCH...obviously.
The Post-Gazette's Ron Cook decided to channel his inner Bob Smizik to express his hate of pretty much everyone. Doesn't matter if you're a Carolina player/coach/supporter or a Penguins player/coach/supporter...Cook wants you to know that YOU are a hypocrite.
Smizik called every Pens fan who wanted to boo Marian Hossa a knucklehead. Because, you know, fans aren't supposed to get worked up about a player ditching the Pens for the team that beat them in the Stanley Cup Finals. Cook now wants you to know that defending Matt Cooke's hit on Erik Cole is way hypocritical, so you should stop doing that right now.
Some of his logic is FLAWLESS. There was one time back in the early 90s that Ulf Samuelsson hit someone in the leg. So God help you if you're calling for no punishment for Cooke. From Ronny:
"In the early 1990s when the Penguins were winning Stanley Cups, defenseman Ulf Samuelsson was a cult hero here. He also was an openly filthy player. "The referees have their line," he once said of hockey rules. "I try to go right up to it, but, occasionally, I step over it."
One of those times was during the '91 playoffs when Samuelsson put a highly questionable leg-on-leg lick on Boston forward Cam Neely, prompting Neely to say he had no respect for Samuelsson.
A good, clean, hard hockey play, Penguins fans called it.
Jack Lambert on skates, they called Samuelsson with great respect and admiration.
But if Neely had hit Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr or -- heaven forbid -- Mario Lemieux like that ...
It is worth saying one more time:
NEELY NEVER HIT JAGR OR MARIO, SO QUIT IT WITH THE HYPOTHETICALS! I can't stand when people throw out hypotheticals to justify a point. Cook just drew up an imaginary scenario and told us exactly how we as fans would've reacted to it. Never mind that there'd have been some context as to how this fake hit would've taken place, but Ron just KNOWS the nature of Pittsburgh hockey fans.
Now, remember my logic from yesterday regarding Ovie/Gonchar as it relates to Cooke/Cole:
"And now it's up to the league. They set a shaky standard by not suspending a star player like Ovechkin during arguably the league's biggest playoff series in years. Now, they're left with either upholding their decision on Ovechkin by giving Cooke a pass, or suspending Matt and showing the fans that they have a gross double standard when it comes to protecting their superstars."
We're not absolving Cooke's hit on Cole. Noone is saying that Cooke has a clean record. But if the league (the real hypocrites) lets a star player off the hook and lowers the boom on some small-bit agitator in the very next series, then why don't the fans have the right to call foul?
I have no problem with Cook criticizing Carolina coach Paul Maurice, the NHL and even some of the players. But to rip on the hometown fans in the spirit of Smizik's "booing Hossa" article from last year is just despicable. What do these idiot writers want the fans to do...sit at the games with our hands under our butts while we politely golf clap and whisper compliments about the opposition? The fans are the ones packing the arena night in and night out, the fans are the ones buying up all the merch they can get their hands on...but none of that gives us the right to voice our opinions.
Until Ron Cook mans up and realizes that there's more hypocrisy in his circle of old, out-of-touch sportswriters berating fans for acting like, well, fans, then he has no room to criticize those of us that actually show passion towards the team.
There's a guy that wears an Ulf jersey to our Penguins bar up here in NYC...I guess I'll punch him in the face for you next time I see him, Ron. The nerve of that fan...