Rory Fitzpatrick going to the National Hockey League all-star game? As a starter, no less.
Sheesh! Next thing you know, Pat Quinn will be leading the post-game media scrum.
With apologies to Rory Fitzpatrick, who himself sounds a bit intrigued, if not surprised by the new-found swell of support, it just doesn't sit right.
On the other hand, it goes to show what can occur when dumb ol' fans are handed a blank ballot and left for a few moments to their own devices.
For the NHL, perhaps this is a case of be careful what you wish for, it might come true, this fan involvement idea. Sure, it provides the image an average has a chance to have his/her say on a small part of the game. It's just not the way the wanna-be-in-control-over-everything boss Gary Bettman would have imagined.
It's not that I've ever been a fan of fan voting for all-star games, largely due to the opportunity for fans to stuff ballot boxes and sway totals toward for their favourite hometown player(s) — some of whom are not necessarily having all-star type seasons. But at least it indicates what the average guy is thinking.
And, really, is it any worse than fans voting in a players who have been injured, or even retired, all season?
In this case, maybe the NHL should be reading into it all something along the lines of fan disenchantment. After all, the fans were the ones who suffered through the loss of an entire season as the owners and players' union dickered over a contract with little regard for the fans.
Then again, perhaps the Rory Fitzpatrick surge is simply a segment of the fan base telling the NHL to stick it, a little payback, if you will, to let the grand poobahs know what they think about past indiscretions.
In that case, sweet!
Give the fans the power to be part of the show and, in this case, determine the starting lineup in the league's mid-season spectacle and this is what you get.
At least they're having fun with the process. I fear the league is following the lead of its NFL and NBA counterparts in which the fun is being removed.