Please stop voting Rory Fitzpatrick into the NHL all-star game

04Dec06

An movement among online voters to vote Vancouver Canucks defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick into the NHL all-star game has caught fire. I won’t link to any of the websites talking about this. You can find them yourselves. I don’t support it, and probably shouldn’t even be acknowledging it. It’s just stupid.

Obviously, it’s a joke. Fitzpatrick has zero points through 16 games. He’s a journeyman, not an all-star. But making him the focus of a joke campaign makes him the butt of the joke. It’s saying that the very idea of his being named an all-star is hilarious because he sucks. It’s disrespectful to him, although he’s handled it with grace in interviews as the voting has gotten more out of control.

Yes, I supported the campaign a few years ago to vote Mick Foley one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. (And I argued that people shouldn’t vote instead for Howard Stern personality Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf on the curious basis that he wasn’t even a real person. I don’t know why I believed this, but he won anyway, not that People acknowledged it.) But the 50 Most Beautiful People list is obviously an arbitrary, subjective puff piece anyway.

The all-star game, on the other hand, is supposed to recognize the best players in hockey. Does it in fact achieve this goal? Are there problems with how players are selected? Of course there are problems. There are problems with how the selections are made in just about any sport that has an all-star game. Known stars often get selected based on what they’ve done in the past rather than what they’re doing now, while unheralded players having far better seasons get ignored. Those who get off to mediocre starts but turn things around dramatically in the second half go unacknowledged. Players in the west get ignored by the media in the east, who go to bed too early to see them.

Some claim they”re voting to recognize a hardworking ham-and-egger instead of yet another skilled player, but that’s what golden hardhats are for, not all-star games. This Vote for Rory campaign was ostensibly designed to point out flaws in the balloting process, which currently allows fans to vote as many times as they want. Fine. Message sent. The NHL ought to clean up the balloting process. But instead of ensuring a one-person-one-vote system, it might be easier to simply take future voting away from the fans entirely for making a mockery of the whole thing. And the NHL’s just going to throw out the votes for Rory, and it’s right to do so because he’s clearly not an all-star and it’s unfair to take a spot away from a more deserving player, so don’t expect to see him in the game. Well done, everybody.

Living in Toronto as I do, it’s not that I mind seeing the Western Conference lose the all-star game because of a weak defence. But please don’t vote for Rory. This joke isn’t funny anymore.



8 Responses to “Please stop voting Rory Fitzpatrick into the NHL all-star game”

  1. 1 Martin

    The internet sports bloggers are only doing it so they can show everyone they can influence sports. They’re “The Underground” and they love it when mainstream media references them directly or indirectly. They are most likely going to succeed which means Rory will be in the game, or the NHL will disqualify the votes. Whatever happens the bloggers will win because they’ll get some sort of recognition in the media as the reason for why this happened which is what they wanted all along.

  2. You’re absolutely right.

  3. 3 Phil Calvert

    Yes, a curse upon blogs, those who run blogs and those who read blogs.

    Just to go off topic, has your friend Jay Pinkerton suffered some sort of horrible accident which has denied him the use of his fingers? I ask as he doesn’t seem to have updated his blog for a long time.

    Phil

  4. Jay tells me that he’s been very busy putting the latest issue of Cracked to bed and trying to gather material for the next one. Hopefully, he’ll be back to posting soon.

  5. 5 Justin

    A coworker showed up today wearing a t-shirt. At the top is the Canucks logo, and below it reads VOTE FOR PEDRO, with PEDRO crossed off and RORY printed underneath. How many “underground” jokes can one t-shirt contain? I propose a contest.

  6. I’ve seen that T-shirt. I’ve also noticed a recurring slogan to the effect that you should vote for Rory because he would vote for you. This kind of ascribing of false characteristics onto this apparently randomly chosen person reminds me of the fad for making outlandish claims about Chuck Norris that was tiresomely ubiquitous a few months ago.

    It’s an annoying kind of mediocre bandwagon humour enjoyed by people who fancy themselves wittier than they actually are. Similarly, I used to be known for wearing the occasional unusual T-shirt to the office, but when some guy in my office suggested I should have a “Vote for Pedro” shirt, I immediately rejected the idea for the simple reason that some guy in my office had suggested it and therefore there was no originality in the idea.

  7. I agree with everything Peter says. I’m really into things that are safe, predictable, and just. This whole Vote For Rory thing is an absolute disgrace. The whole thing is no doubt a massive PR stunt cooked up by his agent who is no doubt looking for a lucrative merchandising deal with Powerade, Sher-wood hockey sticks, or Canadian Tire. Rory Fitzpatrick should be kicked out of the NHL for this. Shame on you Rory Fitzpatrick. Shame on you.

  8. Don’t worry. If you wait long enough, Rory will be out of the NHL anyway and back to bouncing around the minor leagues as usual.

    Actually, Rory is probably the least to blame of anyone in this entire flap. (I am grateful for the chance to use the word “flap” to describe this kind of situation.) The poor embarrassed guy seems to wish the whole thing would just go away.


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