Sunday, May 13, 2012

Grow Up, Patrick Kane, and Stop Looking Like Morris Wanchuk

When pictures surfaced of a Madison frat house bender Chicago Blackhawk's player Patrick Kane went on last weekend, the initial response on talk radio and from most bloggists and even reporters was the classic "boys being boys." There were a few voices suggesting that maybe Kaner's time might better be spent hitting the weight room so he doesn't get his skinny ass bullied all over the ice again next year, but by and large most commentators defended it as just the harmless antics of a young star in his prime. In fact, Deadspin, who carried the story first, was criticized by many for trying to get mileage out of a non-story. But that non-story became a story later in the week when witnesses came forward to claim Kane had made an insufferable ass of himself (again), going so far as to choke one woman and spew anti-Semitic remarks before being asked to move along by police.

Kane does the walk of no shame in Madison.

But this wasn't the first time Kane has been involved in violent, disorderly behavior seemingly induced from his apparent penchant for black-out drinking. In August of 2009 Kane and his cousin beat up and robbed a cabdriver of twenty cents in an alcohol-fueled incident in Kane's home town of Buffalo. This incident was largely not accepted by Blackhawk fans or writers, most of which condemned the then twenty year old phenom's behavior, many wondering if he was right for Chicago. But scoring the winning goal in the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship bought Kane a whole lot of good faith in Chicago, and by most reports (or at least non-reports) he was behaving himself, even setting a good example for the young Blackhawk prospects. 


                                                                         Until last weekend.


So, the kid's getting boozed up and acting the fool, no big deal, really. Except that he's a little undersized and bad habits probably aren't going to do much to help him from getting pushed around on the ice. But once reports came out that he had wrapped both hands around a woman's throat until she screamed, then hurled anti-Semitic epithets into the ether, then was asked to leave by the Madison police it was clear there is more to this story, and Kane's unfortunate habit of seeming to assault people while drunk. In 2009 Kane plead guilty to the charge of noncriminal disorderly conduct in the assault against that cab driver, so he has a documented history of documented violence, at least off the ice. This writer would feel like a raving hypocrite after raising questions about Brandon Marshall's character if I didn't say I think Patrick Kane needs help. I don't think his behavior is normal, acceptable, or just a young man being a young man. I think it's the behavior of someone who is not in control of his anger. No word has been issued if charges will be filed in these incidents, but we now have a track record on Kane. We can no longer just say he's blowing off steam or just enjoying the carefree perks of being young, rich, and single. He seems to have a problem. 


And I think part of his problem is displayed in the previous two photographs. He feels no shame about being a drunken ass. He advertises the fact with a Tshirt I heard a whole lot of people say was funny and showed how fun-loving and unabashed Kane is about his persona as a hard-partying star. Probably all of us have overdone it. And I'm guessing most of us have woken up and wished we hadn't done some foolish thing the night before, but in Patrick Kane that sense of regret and shame seems to be missing. i think that's a rather serious problem. A problem I've seen catch up with a whole lot of people in life who felt bulletproof. 

Maybe nothing will come from these new charges of drunken violence against Kane. Maybe Patrick Kane will "grow up." I encourage the reader to scan their memory banks and think of people in their own lives who have gone through similar issues with alcohol and violence. I'm guessing there are a lot of bad endings to these stories, and maybe some stories of redemption and accepting responsibility. So, to all the writers, talk show hosts, callers, and bloggists who jumped on the early bandwagon to dismiss Kane's latest outburst as harmless, perhaps in the future you'll wait until you see the fallout of irresponsible behavior before you cover it up. Sports already gets enough of a black eye from stories of violence against women, drug abuse, and early demises brought on by acting the fool for anyone to turn a blind eye to a young man with a clear problem that needs to be addressed.

There have to be some rules in life. At least for reasonable people, and one of these would seem to be the fun ends when the police show up. People who continue after that have a problem.

Anyone else noticing that Patrick Kane bears a strong resemblance to Morris Wanchuck from Slap Shot, one of the great perverts in movie history?

How about now? Actor Brad Sullivan as an older version of The Kaner?


Why I was right about Brandon Marshall, too
                                                                                      










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