John Scott has done some bad things on the ice before. This remains a fact that many around the league and around the media tend to forget. Scott has been suspended before for his terrible actions. He was the laughing stock of the entire league, a distinction that many media members don’t take lightly. When you are the whipping boy of writers, they will constantly use you as the example of what is wrong with the NHL. So how the hell did John Scott become the apple of everyone’s eye?
When you yourself are the object of scorn, how do you repair that image? By having another entity be even worse than yourself. In steps the National Hockey League. But where did it all start?
It started when a couple of media members brought it up via a podcast. Jeff Marek and Greg Wyshynski will pass credit off to the the listeners but they were the ring leaders of this whole operation. Whether they came up with the idea out of no ill will is up for debate but nonetheless they started a campaign that was nothing short of amazing.
Obviously this did not go over well with the NHL and resulted in a trade of Scott away from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens in a three team trade that also involved the Nashville Predators. Bob McKenzie of TSN pointed out that the trade smelled rather fishy and that was all that was needed for the fans to turn on the NHL.
If the league would have just allowed this or even tried to support it, this wouldn’t have been the continuous problem they kept running into. Many likened the vote to voting the president of the chess club in as prom king, a little bit of fun but that was all it would have been. The NHL stepping in and not allowing the fans to have their fun is when this all started to get out of their control. You let this be and none of the other parts of it would have come to light. Did the NHL intentionally muck this all up so they could draw this many eyes to the sport? It is a question many have posed but looking at the league and things they have messed up before, I can’t believe they knew this was going to turn into a nationwide phenomena.
John Scott isn’t a very good hockey player, that isn’t to say that he isn’t a capable hockey player but he is a borderline NHLer at best. He is the last of a dying breed in the NHL, as being an enforcer in this league isn’t what it used to be. Scott knows that, the league knows that and that is why the league tried to stay away from Scott for so long. They want to get away from the fighting stigma and what better way to give the fighting era a swan song than having Scott be the biggest celebrity this All Star weekend.
Scott is a smart guy, he knows that this weekend may be the end for him as a National Hockey League player. He could have taken this as an insult of some sort but he decided to take it and use it as a platform for himself as a player. Not only did he do that, but he did it while having fun and it is a part of sports that we tend to forget exists. This is a game, this is supposed to be fun, so why do we try to make it anything but?
While Scott may not be the shining example of the league, he did show a side that we all need to embrace. Joy is a natural part of everyone’s life and that is why people in Nashville got caught in John Scott fever. They wanted to see a person really enjoy themselves. Scott gets to play a game for a living and he wasn’t going to take a moment for granted this past weekend. This was an organic moment that came from an NHL screw up, and we won’t have anything like this for quite sometime. So revel in it while you still can before the league switches back to it’s no fun operation.
John Scott was a shooting star last night, let’s hope that this story never fades away, we need that constant reminder that sports can in fact be fun.
Thanks for everything, John Scott.