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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My Thoughts on Wayne Gretzky

Leave the man alone.

He didn't do anything. Sure, maybe it's bad that he didn't know (or turned a blind eye) about his wife's obvious gambling problem and his buddy's extra-curricular activities. But, that does not define the man. Because he was caught amidst some people of poor charachter doesn't mean he is lacking in decency as well.

He tried to make a call and protect his wife. Wouldn't you? Also, it's been revealed that the call came immediately after Gretzy found out about it. And that was once it was released through the media. So the phone call doesn't lead to any witholding of information whatsoever. Funny how that little tidbit of information slipped through the first wave of reporting unnoticed. Man, do folks just love to tear a man down. Especially an icon. Sort of like watching a suicide jumper. The higher the building, the more exciting the prospective fall. "See Honey, I'm better than that guy. (kiss, kiss)."

Well, as the known facts currently stand, he's innocent, folks. Nieve? Definitely. But does that make him criminal? No, but I hope he has someone a little wiser watching his finances. And his wallet. And car keys. He certainly needs some work in the picking out friends department.

Knowing what I do about the Great One (which is very little), I think that he'll stand by his wife through this. She'll just have to do some "Don't Gamble", "Don't Be Bad (like me)" PSA's most likely. But, unlike most of the "media", I admit I have no idea. Maybe she's deep in it. Maybe this will work out to be quite the soap opera. However, my point being, let's not drag Number 99 through the mud just yet. As Dan Patrick would say, let's not throw Gretzky under the bus unless you know all the facts and are in the position to pass judgement.

Also, going back to last week on Dan's ESPN Radio show, why not make sports betting legal nationwide (not just in Vegas)? I mean, I've placed a legal bet or two in my lifetime and I don't feel all dirty inside for it. Is it really that bad? I mean, as long as one keeps it recreational, does it really harm anyone? I mean I wouldn't bet over $50 on anything, but that's my choice, and if some fool wants to do lay down thousands on a ballgame (or a coin-toss), and if there's a taker out there, who am I to stop it? Why is it only "OK" in Vegas?

In my book, Wayne is still Great. He's done nothing to show me any guilt. He's only tried to protect his wife and family, as any of us would do in his place. I wish him the best of luck and am proud of his strength through this ordeal and the passing of two close family members in the last few weeks. He's stronger than most.

Like you didn't know that already.

And reporters in Turin(o), if you're capable of decency, please focus on the Canadian athletes who've trained their lives for Olympic Dreams and not on what may or may not be going on with Gretzky's wife and friend back in Phoenix. You've had your day of fun, now get back to reporting on, you know, The Olympics.


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