Thursday, July 21, 2011

How Conrad Black Made Me Change My Tune on Hockey

I have to admit to paying a lot of attention to Conrad Black. His trial intrigued, fascinated and annoyed me. I do read his column every week; when he is on his game he is a ridiculously talented writer. And I found myself following the back and forth between John Moore and Mr. Black.

The one thing that sticks out with the end result of this trial is how much Mr. Black refuses to acknowledge the reality of the situation he's in.

When Black writes things like "In a mind-bending exercise of suppressing, distorting, and fabricating evidence, the Circuit Court revived two of the counts," he comes across as thinking he's still to be vindicated on these charges. When Black states that ...there is practically no chance that even an American court would have convicted on the two remaining counts if they had not been embedded in 15 other counts that eventually all failed at different stages of the proceedings, he comes across as a conspiracy theorist who has deluded himself into thinking that he is the victim in this situation.

It's frustrating to read Black when he continues on about his conviction. I found myself wishing him to continue to write about the U.S. penal system and its failures (in his view). On this he is just as passionate, but it seems much more productive use of his immeasurable writing skills. But it also got me to think about myself and my own railing on about the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup victory.

I have been frustrated by how the sports media has glossed over something that I found incredibly odd and discomforting - that the Bruins benefitted from favourable refereeing in each game 7 they played during the playoffs. While I realize that linking this to Colin Campbell (father of Bruins' player Gregory Campbell) is basically taking a giant leap into the crazy conspiracy theory area, it would be nice if somebody acknowledged that the refereeing actually changed in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals and game six to game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals and it benefitted the Bruins, who were a much stronger team at even strength than on special teams. I've brought this up at times with friends to the point where I'm basically repeating myself. And that's not productive for anybody.

So here's my solemn vow: when I talk about the inconsistency of refereeing in the playoffs, I will not take any shots at the Boston Bruins benefitting multiple times from this. Further, I will only talk about the inconsistencies within the series, not in the greater terms of the playoffs.

I know I am not as skilled a writer as Conrad Black. I hope that someday I will have one-thousandth of his writing talent. But until that day arrives, I'll settle for having a skill he seems to lack: being able to move past things in order to work towards a greater good.

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Blogger Mike said...

Penal ... giggle.

9:13 AM  

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