The second part of our conversation about “gangster athletes” involves a look at Sean Avery. This National Hockey League player is a notorious agitator, with a pedigree along the lines of former gnats Kenny Linesmen and Derek “Big Turk” Sanderson. He’s like a buzz-saw when he’s out on the ice, cruising around and stirring the pot, with little regard as to who he annoys. Sean doesn’t cause problems with a loaded gun; he is more notorious for shooting off his great-big-mouth!
A few years ago he harassed Martin Brodeur, the goalie for the New Jersey Devils, by blocking his sight lines and yapping in his face. Sometimes he’ll whack a player from behind and skate away, “Na,na,na,na,na.,na.na” style, using the rest of his team as a shield. And he’ll answer any question asked of him at a press conference, much to the chagrin of his coach and teammates. Mr. Avery is often within a whisker of a “whup-ass” beating, but always seems to escape unscathed.
You see hockey is a game where pummeling your opponent happens on a regular basis. It’s like the old line, “I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out!” Sean has been living on the edge of annihilation for a little too long.
So what does Mr. Avery do last week? Well he’s set to play the Calgary Flames, a team of tough-as-nails dudes, including the rough and ready Jerome Iginla, and off goes his mouth. Seems that Sean used to date movie star Alicia Cuthbert, who in turn now dates, Dion Phaneuf of, you guessed it –THE CALGARY FLAMES.
So what does Sean do on the eve of that big game, he publically accuses Phaneuf of “taking sloppy seconds” from him, which means he must be a big fan of Death Wish II.
You see Dion Phaneuf is one of the toughest kids in hockey and the type of player that takes no prisoners. Did I mention that his tag-team partner, Jerome, might also have an axe to grind? Ya, old Sean said he wasn’t much of a player and was “overrated” as a leader a few months back. So here we are in Calgary, home of the Stampede Rodeo, and we have two cowboys ready to bust this bronco to his knees.
Lucky for Sean that he was suspended for his remarks, but I can imagine what would have happened if he played. It would have been like a scene from Paul Newman’s original “Slapshot” movie. “Bring on the Hanson Brothers,” the fans would be screaming.
The scene would probably go something like this.
COACH: O.K. Avery, hit the ice!
AVERY: “Ah, I think I’ll pass on that coach! I’m getting a tooth ache, ya see! And I want to finish reading, ‘The Lord of the rings’!
COACH: (Lowering his voice) Hit the ice, jackass, or your ass will be grass!
AVERY: But, Coach?
COACH: Either take your lumps out there (points his finger toward centre ice) or you’re off to the minors and ridin’ the buses again!
Avery reluctantly jumps to the ice and immediately skates to hide behind his own net. His knees are shaking like two twigs in a windstorm. Of course, in comes Phaneuf from one side and Iginla from the other. They appear to be picking up speed, like freight trains coming over the crest of a hill. Ever seen smoke snortin’bulls in a cartoon – well, that’s them!
AVERY: (Squealing like a little girl) Hi, guys! Maybe we can go out for a beer after the game. I’m buying,eh! (CANADIAN ACCENT)
That’s just about the time Mr. Bigmouth becomes a slice of bologna that’s squished between two 200+ pound pieces of toast. You think hits in the NFL are hard! Well guess again, because these guys are coming in at about 35 miles per hour and sending their victim into the boards with bone crushing intensity. I can see Sean sliding down the boards like melting ice cream, gathering into a puddle of body fluids and sawdust.
Avery ended up with a six game suspension and a date with a therapist. Apparently he broke down in the Commissioner’s Office.
“Please, Mr. Bettman, don’t let them put me back out there. I don’t want this model-like face ground into hamburger. I’ve got clothes to design! Whaaaaa!”
Yes, Mr. Avery spent the past offseason working as an intern in the fashion industry in New York. Go figure?
I’m sure the next time he steps on the ice he’ll have to wear full body armor and a Kevlar vest. Hey, Plaxico Burress has some time on his hands and might just show up in skates.
Now that we’ve explored these two renegades, Avery and Burress, I’d like to take this BLOG one step further into a “WHAT IF?” scenario.
What if Plaxico Burress met up with Sean Avery in a New York club the day they were both facing the music in New York City? Hmmmmmm?
Give me a week or so and I’ll bring you that scene here in the Jimbobalouie BLOG space!.