Not Capturing the Spirit of the Thing
With back-to-back games against the Manitoba Moose looming, the Hershey Bears woke up Friday morning in Winnipeg to sub-zero temperatures with 20mph winds and sports reporter Gary Lawless questioning the organization's class in the city's newspaper. If you read the article (and I feel weird giving them more pageviews), Mr. Lawless states his belief that the Bears have disgraced their reputation by wearing patches on their shoulders of their defeated foes (the Moose and Texas Stars) in the last two Calder Cup championships. He calls them lowbrow and bush league for the move and elicits reactions by Moose head coach Claude Noel and captain Nolan Baumgartner. As a final sendoff, he also calls them gutless if they don't wear the jerseys for the weekend's games.
|Photo courtesy JustSports Photography|
The Bears have worn special commemorative sweaters celebrating their back-to-back Calder Cup championships only twice this season. Both times at home and both times they were auctioned off with the proceeds going towards charity. Mr. Lawless' article would have you believe the patches are on their jerseys all season in an attempt by Hershey to "rub it in the face of the team(s) that lost." That's not even close to the truth.
Far be it for me (a lowly blogger) to tell a newspaper journalist how to do his job, but given his status as a credentialed member of the media shouldn't he have reached out to any number of parties to get his facts straight? I'm sure anyone at the AHL, in the Moose front office, or Bears' GM Doug Yingst would have been able to set him straight or at least shed some light on his misconceptions and falsities. But instead he chose to go to print with only his lazy research and misinformed opinion.
If Mr. Lawless had done his job properly and still concluded he had an issue with Hershey sporting these patches for two games this season, I would have no problem with him expressing those views. I wouldn't agree, but I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Instead of unfairly labeling the Bears, Mr. Lawless is the one who deserves to be called names like "unprofessional," "shoddy," and even the Reg Dunlop-approved "bush league."