February 1, 2006, - 4:33 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Oy! Why did the USA Hockey choose overgrown baby Chris Chelios captain of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team?
It certainly can’t be because of age. He may be 44, but he acts like a 4-year-old kid. His past behavior–also as captain of the team–included breaking furniture and damaging rooms at the Olympic dorms. We objected to Chelios even being picked for the team, based on his blatant unsportsmanlike behavior.
But making him captain, yet again, is just ludicrous. We can’t wait ’til he retires from hockey–long overdue. And we say: Bring back amateur hockey players to the Olympics. We liked it much better that way.
Here’s a recap our objections to Cheli (as he likes to be known):
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.
Tags: Brett Hull, Captain, Chris Chelios, co-conspirator, Commissioner, Gary Bettman, hockey, manager for Ram, Mark Wells, NHL, NHL Commissioner, NHL Players Association, night shift manager, Olympic, Olympics, Ram, the 1980 Olympics, the Olympic, the Olympics, United States