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11-21-2011, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyBurd View Post
I don't know what standards you are talking about. There are a set of reasonable standards by which we judge all hockey careers. It's not a sliding scale. He had a fantastic hockey career. It's not something that is open for debate. 1000 points. 4 time all star. All Star MVP. A Gold Medal. A Bronze Medal. Stanley Cup that he was an integral component of. 100 post season points. So I'm not going to indulge in a ridiculous discussion that says THAT is not a fantastic career because bla bla bla.

He's a disappointment to you. So it defines him to you. Because of these mythical standards that have been concocted by people that sit in couches and judge people all day long and can't separate talent level from all the other components required to achieve in this sport. And it's always easy to say a guy is lazy... when you're sitting on a couch watching him. Doesn't make it true. Not even remotely. All players have better seasons and worse seasons. Brad Richards gets crazy praise for his big seasons that are "scattered thought his career". Because people misinterpret what it takes to succeed.

People are born with talents that sometimes manifest themselves more visually than others. These people are then labeled as people that should achieve such and such. Nothing else is taken into account as something you are born with. They may not have the stamina, will power, capacity for certain physical strengths, aptitude for certain components of the game, etc, etc. etc. But because they visually appear to be able to do anything they want to do and because they are able (and willing) to elevate their game at certain times and under certain circumstances (as ALL players do), they are demonized for not being able to sustain that permanently (which only a minute few could for various reasons). Very a simplistic way of judging athletes. Similar to how we judge people. Very simplistic. Very common. Very lazy. Very unreasonable.

I'm basing that on the articles written locally on that very subject over the years when he was a young Ranger. I'm basing that on the droves of little kids that poured into the Garden wearing Kovalev jerseys. A phenomenon I have never witnessed for any other Rangers player over the years. Not even Messier, Leetch, Graves, Richter, etc. I'm basing that on the droves of little kids that go to Kovalev signings. Again, I've never witnessed anything like that at any of the other signings. I'm basing that on what I have witnessed with kids that I knew in the neighborhood and in the Russian community. He was immense in driving in those fans. Absolutely immense. I'm basing that on common sense... His style (that you use to unrealistically raise your level of standards by which you judge him) is the most kid and casual fan friendly style that there is. That's just a fact. And nobody did it in a more exaggerated way than he did. He dipsy doodled and dangled all over the offensive zone for entire shifts at a time. Drove many adult fans crazy. Kids loved it.
Beautiful post.

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