If you’re an NHL fan and haven’t been Patrick Star-ing the last few months (living under a rock for those not familiar with SpongeBob), you know what has transpired with the All-Star Game and John Scott. If you need to get caught up, might I suggest reading this article that Scott wrote for the Players’ Tribune. It was a wonderfully written piece which details what he went through not only with this process, but his entire career. It really opened my eyes and made me fairly emotional at the end. Well done, John.
I’m not going to act like I’m a huge John Scott fan or even pretend I didn’t hate the fact he got voted to Captain the Pacific Division in the All-Star Game. Sure I probably take things like that too seriously, but that’s just how deeply I care about sports; I even care about the meaningless things that shouldn’t really matter. So when it was announced Scott was voted in, I was pretty annoyed. Even Scott admitted himself he’s not an All-Star. Why should he be there taking the place of someone who has earned the right to go and deserves it?
Then the next day came and I really didn’t care anymore. I had gotten over it. It wasn’t going to affect my life one way or another. Everyone seemed happy, so good for him. Let him and his family enjoy themselves.
Not so fast. On January 15th, John Scott was traded to the Montreal Canadiens and then immediately sent down to their AHL team. He was now ineligible for the All-Star Game, and no matter how much anybody denied it, that was the clear motive for the move. As Scott told in his article, this trade uprooted his family – his two girls and pregnant wife. Now I really cared.
Are you kidding me??? Making him get traded just so he couldn’t participate in a meaningless exhibition game? Did nobody in the NHL office or Coyotes organization stop and realize the horrible ramifications this would have? Not only did they negatively impact his family, but they made themselves look like the bad guys. All they had to do was embrace the fact John Scott was going to the All-Star Game and do nothing about it. Instead they made the sitation 100 times worse!
After all the outrage about the trade, the NHL woke up and decided to let Scott participate in the game and festivities after all. Now Scott and his family will hopefully have a wonderful time in Nashville with the rest of the NHL All-Stars.
Throughout this whole ordeal, I went from someone who thought Scott had no business being an All-Star to someone who thinks he completely deserves to be there. He was voted in. Rules are rules. You can’t just change the rules when things don’t go your way (looking at you NHL).
Hopefully this wakes up all the major sports and makes them realize fan voting needs to be tweaked. I understand fan voting will never, ever go away. The leagues want fans to participate, which is great, but measures need to be put in place to avoid situations like what has happened to John Scott. Maybe don’t make the entire league be available to be voted for. Perhaps you need to meet certain thresholds with games played, points, etc. to be eligible for the ballot. Something needs to change.
Kick some ass John, just not literally.