Thursday Thoughts: Olympic sized failures all across the sports world

It’s another Thursday, which means it’s once again time for Thursday Thoughts. I’m thinking about lots of things this week, starting with maybe making ourNothing But Shenanigans Podcast bi-weekly for the summer. With everything opening up and the summer being time for more outdoor stuff going to an every other week schedule makes it so no one has to commit to a set weekly schedule when there are so many other things to do.

Another thing I’m thinking about is the Summer Olympics. They’re currently scheduled to start July 23, and because the International Olympic Committee decides if the Games go on and not local officials it’s a near certainty they will start on time. The IOC is so corrupt they almost make FIFA look legitimate, and since all the IOC cares about is money, there is almost no chance they will cancel the Games.

They’ll talk about how the Games must be played because of the athletes, and will do their best to ignore the raging COVID epidemic in Japan. Currently, only about three million people, or 2.5% of the Japanese population, are fully vaccinated. This does not bode well for fans at the Games, which because of the Japanese government closing their borders to foreigners, would only be citizens of Japan. On top of that, many of the cities that were going to help house the athletes have decided not to participate due to the potential spread of COVID.

I came across an article that really shows how poorly the IOC has done in guaranteeing the health and safety of the participating athletes. Take a look at the chart they show, and it’s mind-boggling these games are going on.

Well, it’s mind-boggling until you read this article from Reuters, which spells out the financials. And with NBC potentially losing promotional opportunities for some of their other entertainment products, which could equate to lower TV bids for upcoming games, the IOC needs the Games to go as planned because they’ll never be able to make up the losses, even with the current games being insured.

The gold the Olympic Games are about goes in people’s pockets, not around the necks of athletes.

Boston Teams This Week
(Some playoff schedules not set by post time)
Thursday
RED SOX @ Houston, 2pm
BRUINS @ NY Islanders, 7:30pm
Friday
RED SOX @ NY Yankees, 7pm
CANNONS vs Redwoods, 7pm
Saturday
RED SOX @ NY Yankees, 7pm
BRUINS @ NY Islanders, 7:15pm
Sunday
Waterdogs vs CANNONS, 1pm
RED SOX @ NY Yankees, 7pm
Monday
NY Islanders @ BRUINS, TBD
Tuesday
Houston @ RED SOX, 7pm
Wednesday
Houston @ RED SOX, 7pm
BRUINS @ NY Islanders, TBD (if nessessary)

Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Thursday Matt Tennyson goal (World Championships)

Thursday Brodie Reid goal

Friday Lane Scheidl goal

Saturday Matt Lane goal

Saturday Mikael Tam goal

Sunday Peter McNally goal

Sunday Barclay Goodrow

Tuesday Michael Pelech goal

Wednesday Nic Pierog goal

It’s time for the NHL to get serious about thugs
I’ve made no secret about it, I love hard-hitting hockey. I’m a huge fan of the hard-working, lunch-pail style player who just outworks and out-hustles opponents that are usually more talented than they are. Guys who just want it more than others, and use their physical nature to intimidate you and create space for themselves to make plays. No hockey team at any level can win without at least a couple of these types of players on their roster.

While I’m not a huge fan of staged fights, I understand that fighting needs to be part of the game. Sometimes a bit of justice needs to be handed out on the ice, and players understand that’s how things are done and accept it. In what will annoy some folks, I’m also for the instigator penalty, but as referees seemingly don’t know how to call that one correctly it’s gotten a bad wrap.

But despite all that, there’s no place for some of the thugs that litter pro hockey.

In just the past few days Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves has twice attempted to injure opponents. First, he checked Ryan Suter into the goal post from behind on Friday night in Vegas’ game seven win over the Minnesota Wild. Referees Gord Dwyer and Wes McCauley called just an interference minor despite having the option of giving Reaves a major “based on the degree of violence”. Looking at the video I’m left to wonder exactly what “degree of violence” would be needed for a major.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety somehow decided that cheap shot was not worthy of a suspension, but somehow also wasn’t a finable offense either. Earlier this season the New York Rangers called for George Parros, who runs the Department of Player Safety, to be fired. The fact that Parros decided no further discipline was needed puts another checkmark in the “he needs to go” column.

With Reaves not suspended for his hit on Suter, he was eligible to play in Vegas’ series opener against the Colorado Avalanche Sunday. That led to this altercation in which Reaves received a match penalty for intent to injure and a double minor for roughing.

As an aside, I can’t recall ever seeing a nine-minute power play before in an NHL game. I do remember seeing a ten-minute double major power play in a Worcester Sharks vs Providence Bruins playoff game. Riley Armstrong didn’t get suspended for that incident, mostly because referee Terry Koharski didn’t exactly get either call correct. And if you click the link, check out the P-Bruins line-up. Lots of big names in it.

With the match penalty, Reaves is now suspended pending review from, you guessed it, The NHL’s Department of Player Safety. The spotlight is now on them once again. For the umpteenth time, they have the ability to send a message that the actions of players like Ryan Reaves have no place in the game of hockey. But as always seems the case, the NHL never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

And I sense this time won’t be any different.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
Nothing But Shenanigans Podcast: The Shenanigans of Boston sports and cheap beer (podcast)
May in Worcester hockey history (210)
WooSox Rewind: Worcester reaches second place in Northeast Division with 4-2 week (210)
WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts can’t beat the rain or the Suns, go 1-1 for the week (210)

Not so big finish
Got something you loved (or hated) about the post? Or for an idea for a future column? Head on over to the 210Sports Facebook page and leave a comment. You could comment on this post too, but fair warning, the spam filter catches lots of stuff it shouldn’t and it might be weeks before I see your comment. While you’re there, give the page a like if you could.

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