December 19, 2005, - 12:11 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Tonight, the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team going to February’s Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, will be announced. The 23 names on the team will be announced just before the Dallas Stars-Minnesota Wild game on the Outdoor Life Network.
And there are two “men” who badly want to be among those names, but shouldn’t be–Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick. It will likely be the last shot for both, and denying them would be well-deserved karma.
It’s been over 25 years since the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team defeated the Communist Soviet Union in the semi-finals of the Winter Olympic Games. Since there was no Olympic Games, this year, the real 25th anniversary celebration will probably take place at the February 2006 Games (there was a commemoration at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake).
Chelios–who tried, but failed to make the 1980 Team–never belonged on the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. But, unfortunately, he has served as the U.S. Team’s captain in at least two Olympics. Chelios is a punk, who threatened the life of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman during the NHL strike in the mid-’90s and, as Captain of the 1998 Olympic team, broke furniture and trashed the dorms where his team was staying in Nagano.
That should have barred Chelios forever from future Olympics, but didn’t. If ever there was a good argument to return to the class-act amateur players, like the ones who won in 1980, the spoiled, ingrate (but not Gold Medalist) Chelios is it. So is his friend and co-conspirator in the dorm and furniture trashing, Brett Hull, who retired earlier this year.
Chelios should take a cue from Hull, and at age 43 (senior citizenship in hockey), retire. We’re tired of hearing Chelios whine and threaten. In addition to his threat on Bettman in the ’90s, Chelios attacked Bettman again during last year’s NHL lockout (which showed Bettman knew what he was doing–the players lost big), and is now attacking the new NHL Players Association leadership.
Chris Chelios doesn’t compare to guys like my friend, Mark Wells, who returned from the 1980 Olympics with a Gold Medal, but no pro hockey career. For years after, he slaved nights as a night shift manager for Ram’s Horn 24-hour Restaurants. To hear that Chelios has a chance, yet again, to dishonor what Mark and the 1980 Olympians did in Lake Placid is sad news.
Ditto for Jeremy Roenick. In June, Roenick attacked hockey fans incessantly–you know, the fans who pay his exorbitant, overvalued salary. He said fans who say NHL players are spoiled can “kiss my ass” and added, “screw you.”
How very Olympic.
Roenick said if fans don’t realize how hard Roenick and the other spoiled NHL millionaire crybabies are working to make the game of pro hockey better, “then don’t come.” This was during the NHL lockout when fans, indeed, were not coming to any games. There weren’t any because Roenick, Chelios, and company were holding out for even more millions.
Roenick told fans, “We don’t want you at the rink, we don’t want you in the stadium, we don’t want you to watch hockey. . . . Everybody out there who calls us spoiled because we play a game – they can kiss my ass. . . . I will say personally, personally, to everybody who calls us spoiled, you guys are just jealous, and screw you guys.”
Not exactly the kind of guy we need representing America.
And here’s what Roenick told the L.A. Times about his prospects on making the team: “I better be [on it]. 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.”
This jerk doesn’t belong on Team USA or NBC.
Please, USA Hockey, don’t put these overgrown babies, Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick, on the next U.S. Olympic Team.
Tags: America, Brett Hull, Captain, Chris Chelios, co-conspirator, commentator, Commissioner, Dallas Stars, Debbie Schlussel Tonight, Gary Bettman, hockey, Italy, Jeremy Roenick, manager for Ram, Mark Wells, Minnesota Wild, NBC, NHL, NHL Commissioner, NHL Players Association, night shift manager, Olympic, Olympic Games, Olympics, Ram, Salt Lake, Soviet Union, the 1980 Olympics, the winter Olympic Games, Turin, United States, Winter Olympic Games