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June 26, 2019
Roenick Is a Jackass
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
In a recent interview with the Mercury News, J.R. Wannabe Superstar uncorked this gem…
"I see too many kids going the wrong way," [Roenick] said. "They don't have the respect or the know-how to treat the sport — even Sidney Crosby. You see him bitching, whining and crying. He's supposed to be the poster boy of our league and yet every time he gets hit, he's grimacing and complaining to the referees. Veterans teach the kids the right way to play."
By now, everyone should realize I’m a card-carrying Kid Crosby apologist, except when it comes to curving his damn stick, but I’m not going to take issue with what was said. My problem is with who said it.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion… except Roenick on the matters of maturity and respecting the game. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black, if, you know, the pot was a self-centered, egotistical (sunshine).
During the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals, Roenick actually held a press conference where he sat on stage alongside Mike Keenan and wept like a schoolgirl because big bad Kevin Stevens wasn’t penalized for slashing his thumb. But that wasn’t bitching, whining, and crying. No, sir. That was respecting the game.
In 2004, Roenick, frustrated the stripes missed him getting clipped with a high-stick, went loopy, weaving a tapestry of obscenity that’s still hanging somewhere over Philadelphia. The hissy fit culminated with Roenick whipping a water bottle across the ice in the direction of the referee, earning him an unsportsmanlike conduct, a gross misconduct, and a one-game suspension. Hey, sometimes respecting the game hurts.
Yes, Roenick truly is a bastion of integrity. In 1998, he spearheaded the U.S. Olympic Team, leading them to a sixth-place finish and a gold-medal trashing of their hotel rooms. All told, ten chairs were broken, three fire extinguishers were emptied in three rooms, walls and beds were damaged, and a door was dented. Fellow creep Chris Chelios later cut a $3,000 check, but no one ever stepped up and took responsibility for the vandalism.
"The chairs and furniture that we had were definitely not made for NHL players,” Roenick said at the time. “The chairs would fall apart right there, just sitting on them. We went through nine chairs with five guys in the apartment. It was ridiculous."
But it wasn’t as ridiculous as drunken millionaires throwing six of those chairs and a fire extinguisher out the fifth-floor window to the courtyard below. A wonderful Olympic moment indeed. Do you believe in douchebags?
In 2006, Roenick again demonstrated his love for country and the sport of hockey when he bristled at rumors he wouldn’t be selected to Team USA.
"I better be [on it],” Roenick said. “It would be a travesty if I'm not . . . . [T]hey better hope that I don't get a job as a commentator on NBC or it'd be 'Go Canada' all the way, and I don't want that."
Classy guy that Roenick. Keep in mind, he was 36 years old and had six goals and 13 points in 32 games for the Los Angeles Kings. Thankfully, Team USA left his sorry ass home. The Olympic village furniture rejoiced.
When ESPN’s David Amber asked J.R. about his rough start to the 2005-06 season, Roenick owned it, promising to work harder and. . . . oh wait. No he didn’t.
“I struggled 'cause I couldn't get my skates sharpened the way I like,” Roenick said. “I wasn't confident in my footing. I wasn't confident in my feet. When you feel like you're going to fall down and you're off balance, you're going to struggle.”
That’s right. He couldn’t get his skates sharpened properly. Oh, the horror. And he wasn’t saying that’s why he had a bad shift or a bad period or even a bad night. No, he was blaming it for a terrible first-half of the season. In case you’re wondering, Roenick finished the campaign with three goals and nine points in his final 26 games. Damn those pesky skates.
Let’s not forget Roenick’s exemplary conduct during the lockout either. A magnificent spokesman for the uninformed, he proudly displayed his stupidity for all to see.
“If people are going to sit and chastise pro athletes for being cocky - for being suck asses - they need to look at one thing and that's the deal we're going to be signing in about three weeks," [Roenick] said. "Pro athletes are not cocky. Pro athletes care about the game. Everybody out there who calls us spoiled because we play a game - they can kiss my ass."
But wait. There’s more.
"I will say personally, personally, to everybody who calls us spoiled - you guys are just jealous... We're trying to get this thing back on the ice and make it better for the fans. If you don't realize that, then don't come. We don't want you in the rink, we don't want you in the stadium, we don't want you to watch hockey."
Roenick suffered. Sitting out a full season was a necessary step in protecting his beloved sport. He shared everyone’s pain. Almost.
Good ol' J.R. claimed to have a concussion so he could collect his $7.5-million salary during the work stoppage. It seemed odd, especially since Roenick played the final three games of Philly’s season-ending playoff series with Tampa Bay and passed all exit physicals. If Roenick didn’t have such incredible respect for the game, some might even question his motives.
And really, Roenick’s sterling character has been a hallmark throughout his career. In 2006, as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, Roenick was a healthy scratch for a game in Vancouver, so he did what any sage veteran would do: he bailed on his teammates, leaving the arena during the game to get something to eat.
"I was at the game for part of the game and then I went for dinner,” Roenick said. “I don't think there is anything wrong with going and having a nice dinner, having a beer and watching the hockey game. I don't know why everybody is trying to create a stir or create a controversy."
In all fairness, Roenick was only 36 at the time, so maybe no veterans had the chance to teach him the proper way to respect the game yet.
J.R. Delusional Superstar, please, do us all a favor and shut the (sunshine) up. And I know you can hear me, because you sure as hell don’t have any Stanley Cup rings in your ears.