Someday, they’ll love Marty again. Just not yet

by Gary Shelton on November 25, 2014 · 3 comments

in general

For all time, his face would be frozen in triumph.

His mouth would be open, caught in mid-celebration. His eyes would be on fire. His arms would be raised, the way they were so often. For accuracy’s sake, there would be a trickle of blood running down his forehead.

This is what the statue of Marty St. Louis was going to look like.

In a perfect world, the statue would be erected next year, maybe the year after. Just after his jersey was hung in the rafters.

Instead, St. Louis is a member of the New York Rangers, an identification that many Lightning fans still are unable to reconcile. He was here, and then he was there. He was ours, and then he was theirs. Even now, even months later, even after the Lightning made a decent enough trade once it was forced to do so, it still stings.

Tonight, he comes back.

Are the fans prepared to love him again yet?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

scott myers November 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

None of the pertinent facts have changed since I wrote this on 3/6/2014.
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Subject: Keeping eyes on the prize – Tampa Bay Lightning not so much…

There are 30 teams in the NHL. All things being equal, that means that each NHL team will win one Stanley Cup once every 30 years. But all things are not equal. Of the 20 NHL championships that have been played since the Tampa Bay Lightning were born in 1992-1993, just 13 different teams have raised the trophy. At that rate, it will take 46 years for each team to win at least once. But it will actually take longer than that. Note that 6 teams have never been to a Stanley Cup final, and 6 other teams, who have been, have never won. So there are 12 teams out of 30 who have never won a Stanley Cup. To win a Stanley Cup is a rare or non-existent event for all but a few teams.

Now consider the TB Lightning’s situation three quarters through the NHL 2013-2014 season – firmly in playoff contention, and their best player – Stammer – returning to the lineup tonight. There should be cause for great optimism regarding the prospects of the team to be able to go deep into post-season play. The last thing you would expect to happen is for this opportunity to be intentionally jeopardized by one player, that player being the team captain – Martin St. Louis.

Now I understand that one sometimes has to work for someone he/she does not like, respect, etc. In my 44 year career, just once did I have to take the extreme action of resigning my position because I despised my boss AND hated the new job he forced on me unilaterally. In Marty’s case, last I heard, he still loved to play hockey. He has chosen not to share with us how and why he arrived at his decision to demand the trade to the NY Rangers. That is his choice, but I think his legacy is permanently stained. What professional teams and players continually fail to realize, is that they do have a responsibility to the taxpaying fans. $86 million of public money helped fund the Tampa Bay Times. We have been told repeatedly, that there is huge value in having major league teams in one’s community and the ultimate goal is to win the league championship – the Stanley Cup in this case. When a single player voluntarily seriously jeopardizes this rare opportunity, it can be seen only as a selfish action.

Marty St. Louis sends the message, again, loud and clear, that taxpayers and fans matter not at all, except of course for all the money they transfer to the leagues/teams/players.

Thanks for listening.

Reply

Howard Powders November 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm

The lesson here is for fans NOT to get emotionally attached to the individual players.
They will abandon you, and never look back, usually in the pursuit of greater monetary gain.

I’m not blaming them. The career of the professional athlete is short, sometimes CRUELLY short. They should make as much money as they can while they still have their God-given, rare marketable skills.

But fans need to recognize professional sports is a business. Those athletes do not come from your city even though they represent it, and they do not care about you.

Howard Powders
Sun City Center, Fl.

Reply

Leib4th November 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

I won’t be in attendance tonight, but I do hope all that are cheer for Marty.

Reply

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