While Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo have been putting up eerily identical numbers for a while now, it’s no secret to Canuck fans that one of the major differences between the two netminders is that Schneider is an ace with it comes to media dealings. Where Luongo resorts to ill-timed gallows humour and can occasionally get himself into trouble by misspeaking or underplaying his sarcasm (not to mention making some genuinely creepy faces), Schneider is well- and soft-spoken, and he makes his points clearly and intelligently.
That in mind, I was ecstatic when I heard that Luongo had made the exceedingly wise choice to plead the fifth when asked about Tim Thomas’s decision to opt out of the Boston Bruins’ White House visit, and I was pleased as punch when I learned that Schneider, on the other hand, had not.
Sure enough, Frecklesnoot had some intelligent things to say (and if you want an example of how correct he came, consider that the Globe’s Eric Wilbur also gnashed his teeth and agreed with the Canuck backup). So what did he say? From the Province:
“I’m not that religious but if I had the chance to meet the Pope, it’d be pretty cool,” Schneider said.
“I don’t believe in everything the Catholic church does, but I’d still show up to the Vatican and say Hi to the Pope.”
“I have no problem with his personal beliefs, but (Thomas) can suck it up for an hour, say ‘Hi’ and be with the team, and avoid all of this.
“Respect the (Presidency). He plays for Team USA and he has no problem making millions of dollars in the USA but he can’t go say Hi to the President? “You get a lot of benefits living in the US and he should have little bit of respect for that.
First things first: I don’t agree with criticizing Thomas for this decision because of the politics behind it. Personally, I think he’s wrong, and if you want to get even more personal, I think the Tea Party to which he’s alleged to have allegiance is little more than a group of people upset that the American constitution allows for ethnic presidents. But Thomas has every right to be wrong, just as I have every right to insinuate that that segment of the political spectrum has some very prejudiced undertones.
In short, Thomas’s politics are his business, and anyone upset that he stayed at home because he leans way right needs to grow up.
However, just as criticizing Thomas’s decision because of his politics is immature, so is skipping out on the special day because of those politics. It’s the equivalent of boycotting your sister’s wedding because the groom votes Green. Thing is, regardless of who’s in the White House, the Stanley Cup winners’ invitation to the mansion is an apolitical and ceremonial team honour.
And in case it wasn’t clear that personal opinions don’t really factor into this honour, consider that, despite living in the area, Barack Obama’s never even been to a Washington Capitals game. Obama cares as little for hockey as Tim Thomas cares for him. Unfortunately, only one of those two men was willing to feign interest out of respect to the Boston Bruins.Tags: Boston Bruins, Cory Schneider, Funny Bob, Luongo, politics, Tim Thomas