Saturday’s wih Sully – On Perfection

I guess I should say something about last night’s game. Maybe acknowledge its existence, somehow. It is difficult for me though, because worse than losing to the Chicago Blackhawks we lost to them on the night they honoured Cheli’s Chili founder Chris Tselios. And the worst part about that is that pricks like this in Chicago are actually happy to spoil a former captain of theirs commemorative evening. Andrew had a post on this subject,causing me to vomit into a trashcan, and all I’ll say about this is that it’s really beyond senseless to make your point kicking it off with a photo of Chelios in a Red Wings uniform shaking the hand of Bob Probert in a Blackhawks jersey. It defeats the point entirely, a complete backfire of McNeil’s usage of illustrations. Probie also played for both teams and, like Chelios, was very proud of his tenure with each and enjoyed his time. We lost an icon, both cities did, when Probert died, and if Chicago wants to thank Chelios for his service to the city and the franchise then Chicago fans had better remember it as well. But I guess it’s tough to do that when none of the current fans have supported the team for more than four or five years. 

Anyway, I didn’t watch the game and I likely won’t watch the DVR of it. I was busy watching Tron: Legacy in 3D and the effects blew my mind. I mean, I’m not normally a fan of movies shot entirely in front of a blue screen but how else do you get Olivia Wilde into pants that tight?

Back to what I really want to talk about.

Nicklas Lidstrom, in case you didn’t know, is code named The Perfect Human. Not because he’s really good at hockey, either, but because the man is flawless in his existence as a human being. Relentlessly without a single element to which we may relate. I may hate him for that but he’s the Captain of my hockey team and does a damn fine job representing the City of Detroit and Detroit sports, so I’ll defer my anger.

His game on Wednesday night was something we’ve seen again and again from him and yet, have never actually seen from him. He netted his first ever hat trick (if you’re from Colorado/Phoenix: that’s when a player scores three goals in a single game. Yep, it has to be the same player). Was anyone else as shocked as I was to learn he’d never broken that barrier? Datsyuk, who has played in less than half the total games as Nick, has done it more, so I guess he earns more of the attention for “most 2-goal games without getting a hat trick.” Other dickbags on that list? Shane Doan and Corey Perry (if you count own-goals).

So what makes the man perfect, exactly? I know the standard Uncle Babbles answer: “He’s really, really good. A hard worker and competes every single night.” No, that’s not what we love about him. What really makes the man a character straight out of a super-hero story? Which redeeming, good-nature qualities make him the sort of man who would absolutely ruin Watchmen for all readers if he were one of them?

For starters, Nick has played for the same team since he was drafted in 1971 and is not shy about telling reporters that he didn’t consider playing anywhere else when his last contract expired, that he “always wants to be a Red Wing.” It’s like when a friend who’s way cooler than you are tells you he always wants to be your friend. Makes you feel good enough to buy him a shot…then another…then another and you barf on his shoe and he only gets mildly upset, because he’s such a cool guy!

Nick is also never in the media for any retarded reason. Think of the fun pro-athletes have…Non-consensual sex with a younger woman. “Accidental discharge” of a “firearm” at a nightclub in NYC. Fight with a bouncer in a strip club. Driving drunk and killing a pedestrian. Non-consensual sex with a younger woman. Abandoning the wife and kids. Bringing unregistered firearms to practice in the trunk of your car. Slaying dogs like your on some sort of anti-pet Crusade. Pulling a weapon an a teammate in the locker room. Sex with like 20 porn stars behind your wife’s back. Narcotics and alcohol abuse. And of course, non-consensual sex with a younger woman. The list goes on…

Point is, athletes are bad role models. Most of them anyway. But with Detroit Hockey, you really don’t get that (outside of Todd Bertuzzi’s ritualistic flaying of human children). One of the reasons is because of our Owners, another is everyone else in the front office; but there’s also a person in that locker room leading by example. Nick Lidstrom has no interest in making a fool of himself and I’m pretty sure his idea of a good time is something like staying at home with the wife and kids and schooling the younger ones on the teachings of Boethius, or giving a lecture on String Theory, or some crap.

In other words, I’d like all Red Wings fans to take a moment and realise how fortunate we are. There would be no booing if Detroit honoured Chelios, nor would we be up in arms over a Red Wing turned Blackhawk, like Bob Probert. And what separates us from the fanbases like those of Chicago and Colorado? Maybe because we’re led by Perfection. Or maybe we’re just not retarded. But for the purpose of this treatise, let’s stick to The Perfect Human being our Leader.