Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boston Tea Partier

This is awesome, you guys! This is seriously awesome. You see, I was concerned about having to root against the Bruins, hanging out here at the top of the East, because I kinda like the Bruins. But now, it turns out star goalie Tim Thomas, previously known to us only as a yogi, is also a total dickwad, you guys! This is great news! It's hard to root against a dude who doesn't get his break as the starter until age 32, then puts on a show against an Olympic Gold Medal-winner to win the Cup at 37. But it's easy to root against a total dickwad!

In case you haven't heard, President Obama invited the Bruins to the White House, to congratulate them for winning the Stanley Cup. (To summarize: not only are they so good at a game that they get to play it for a living, they are so good at it that the fucking President invites them over to hang out, just because they're so good at it.) Tim Thomas, apparently one to thoroughly examine the mouths of even those horses he is given as gifts, chose not to go. Let me take you through my thought process, as it slowly, over the last 24 hours or so, went through all the levels on which that's shitty.

First, I read this piece by Greg Wyshynski (Puck Daddy), and I largely agreed with it. After all, while I don't agree with Thomas's insane, ignorant politics, I certainly support NHL players showing their actual personalities and making statements for what they believe in. However, while I don't want to demonize Thomas for standing up for his beliefs, I do want to demonize him for what those beliefs actually are.

Thomas, as it turns out, is Tea Party Crazy, which, as you know, falls somewhere between Tom Cruise Crazy and Time Cube Crazy on the continuum. While Wyshynski is right that we should absolutely stand behind an NHL player for making a political statement, he is also right that Thomas should expect it to "change his profile as an athlete." Well, consider it changed: he is now an under-informed, over-opinioned, anti-governance racist lunatic. Because that's what the Tea Party is, you see. If Avery's support of gay marriage makes him a "homo-lover" or whatever, then so be it: Thomas's support of the Tea Party makes him a member of an anti-intellectual movement that is dangerous to our nation, and I know where I put my loyalties.

But then I got to thinking that maybe Thomas snubbing the President is more than just the ignorant privileged lunatic's answer to Avery's defense of marriage equality. Because Thomas didn't come out and make some political statement; he refused to go to the White House when the President invited him. That is disrespectful. You don't champion yourself as a "True American" and disrespect the President. He's the President.

And then... Tim Thomas wasn't really invited to the White House, was he? The Boston Bruins were invited to the White House, as a team. In all team sports, but especially in hockey, everything is done as a team. You win and lose as a team. Weird, then, that Thomas took this public appearance of the Boston Bruins and handled it as an individual.

Ignore the fact that Thomas snubbed the President for a second; he snubbed his own teammates. Yesterday, everyone should have been talking about the Bruins' visit to the White House. Instead, everyone was talking about Thomas's non-visit. In declining to go stand with his teammates, Thomas took a day that should have been all about honoring his team and he made it all about him.

And then... Wyshynski brought up another interesting point: the Bruins probably could have prevented this. Yes, Thomas is to blame for putting himself and his antiquated, uninformed politics ahead of his team. But his organization is also to blame for not putting its foot down. This was a team appearance. Hockey teams make shit mandatory all the time: fuck, as we learned on 24/7, the Rangers had a damn Christmas party that was mandatory. The Bs could easily have made this appearance mandatory and told Thomas "this is about the team." Instead, they caved and let Thomas make it about himself.

And finally, Thomas's statement about his snub. Nothing apologizing to, or even mentioning, his team (obviously). It starts with the standard Tea Party bullshit: government has grown out of control, threatens the Rights and Liberties and Freedoms of True Americans, something deifying the Founding Fathers, etc. Fine, we knew this. But then he goes on to say "today I exercised my right [to]... not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party."

I didn't go to the White House because I think the government is bad. This was not about politics.

No, Tim, that's exactly what this was about. "Not about politics" would be the goddamn President inviting a hockey team to the White House because they won the Stanley Cup. Refusing to go because you don't like government is exactly "about politics." I don't think you know what "politics" means.

In conclusion, Tim Thomas is awful because:
== He is so Tea Party that he aspires to be a guest on Glenn Beck's show. The Tea Party is the worst.
== He snubbed an apolitical invitation from the President of the United States. Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he'd meet with Obama, so I can only assume Thomas hates America more than Ahmadinejad does.
== He selfishly put himself above his team, which only flies in baseball, basketball, and occasionally but not often football. In hockey, we hate that.
== Seriously, fuck Tim Thomas.


  1. I like your stuff, but I disagree here.

    1) Standing behind the president as he gives a speech is NOT apolitical. 2) If you can't see that there is widespread fraud and inequality in the political system, then you are crazy (like you claim the tea party is).

  2. Anon,

    Totally agree with you on #2. There is absolutely fraud and inequality in the political system, our system is totally broken. Disagree with the Tea Party that dismantling it is the solution, and can't help feeling like everything they say is tinged with some misguided racism, but that's not really the point. I agree, we've got major issues.

    Have to stand behind #1, though - I don't think inviting a team to congratulate them on a Cup win is a political move. If it is, that's another sign our system is broken: not everything the President does should be (considered?) "political."

  3. Glad we agree on #2. I also think that the Tea Party "solution" does not sound credible. (I also agree that a sense undercover racism seems to hang around them).

    However, Timmy made no reference to the tea party in his message. I feel like someone from Occupy Wall Street could have made the exact same statement.

    I guess that my point is that I think Tim is right in what he wrote. And I have a hard time criticizing someone who I think is telling the truth. I am much more critical of the liars and hypocrits (like "family values" Newt) in government.

    At the very least, Tim showed courage and toughness in standing for what he believed in and conveying it honestly. It was not an easy thing to do and something that all of us should hope to be able to do ourselves (even if it is unpopular). I fell like Tim acted like a man in that sense and that his teammates will respect that (again, even if they disagree).

  4. He should have lunch with James Harrison.