Fans of the Saint Louis Blues should be very, very afraid. The Blues will be playing at home tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. They've had a pretty good start to their season (they're 4-1 right now). But Sarah Palin will be dropping the ceremonial puck at the start of this game, just as she did October 11 in Philadelphia at the Flyers' opener. The Flyers lost that game to New York. And they've lost every game they've played since then. Fans in Philadelphia are already calling it "Sarah's Curse."
Palin may or may not have a deleterious effect on a team's performance after appearing in their barn. But as far as I'm concerned, she has no business being there except as a fan. As Adam Proteau observed on his blog for The Hockey News, hockey shouldn't be used as a political backdrop. And, like Adam, I'd be saying the same thing if it were Joe Biden or Barack Obama dropping the ceremonial puck:
Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider makes it very difficult to root for his team. And I’m the guy who picked them to win the Eastern Conference this season.
Listen, I don’t give a tinker’s damn if he supports Sarah Palin on his own time. Stars owner Tom Hicks did just that, and that’s well within his rights. But for Snider to foist his views on his fan base the way he did Saturday night, to openly bang the drum of politicians while they’re still running for office, to associate the NHL with one particular ideology, is beyond nauseating and will go down in history as a black mark on his ownership for the rest of time.
Even as a business decision, it makes no sense. Does Snider and the NHL wish to completely alienate the millions of people who think the current Republican ticket is an affront to the intelligence level of women and voters? And what about his and the league’s employees who aren’t for creationism in schools or endless war or the erosion of the constitution or forcing rape victims to pay for their rape kits?
I wonder if Proteau will write a similar column excoriating Blues owner Dave Checketts? He should. And throw Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, a brickbat or two as well. Anybody that wants to can buy a ticket (assuming one's available) and watch a hockey game from the arena. But politicians, at least when the campaign is still ongoing, have no business being associated with hockey (or any other sport) in any other way.