Line Brawl: Tim Thomas Has His Thomas Paine Moment

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In all things, balance.Earlier this week, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas joined the list of athletes who refused their ceremonial visit to the White House. This is, for the most part, a collection of white athletes who have refused to visit Barack Obama, but certainly that's just a Dan Hampton-sized coincidence.

Thomas issued a Facebook statement, as Thomas Paine probably would have under similar circumstances, that began, "I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People." The (sic)'s are all in the original, and Thomas's truth-to-power moment continued for another few paragraphs. It didn't paint the goalie as someone you'd want to get stuck next to on a long bus ride, or really talk to under any circumstances, but it did seem worth talking about.

Dean Taylor: Do the Bruins officially offend everyone now?

Chris Collision: Well, mostly I'm just offended by his mealy-mouthed "I would have snubbed Congress or the Supreme Court" attempt at obfuscation. If you're going to go all hate-the-government in public, it's more than a little suspect when the role of "the government" is always played by, um, a Morgan Freeman type.

Dean: Fair enough, but also HE IS AN INDIVIDUAL, DAMN IT! Taking a stand for the Amurikan people.

Chris: The thing that's increasingly getting me is the fat-toddler-tantrum quality of it all. Failing to show up to work (team events count as work) and then writing a huffy, Spuriously Capitalized Facebook post? Fight that power, brougham.

Chris: But, then, the NHL is always the site of ineffective protest. Who among us didn't think Wilf Paiment was doomed to obscurity when he took up the mantle of NorCal and Oregon seccession into 'Jefferson?' Who rooted for Raffi Torres when he decried drone strikes as 'cowardly...hitting from behind?'

Chris: So, where do you think this ranks in the history of great NHL political statements? Off the top of my head, I put it well behind the subtle glory of Bobby Orr refusing to accept the Norris trophy and sending Sacheen Littlefeather to issue a statement in his stead. But I think Thomas edges the several times Maurice Richard floated running for office as the figurehead of the Kiss My Ass, Tabernac, Party.

Dean: Well, Richard's eloquent statement on the Quiet Revolution and throwing off the shackles of an elitist English minority that didn't understand Quebec's unique linguistic, cultural and religious identity lost some of its political oomph when he chose to make his statement with a Sher-wood to Hal Laycoe's skull. People tend to ignore the pathos of your people's plight when you're the one causing the fractures.

Chris: Hard to blame Richard, really—as long-time Gretzky hatchetman Marty McSorley used to say, "power, real power, comes from the end of a stick."

Chris: With any luck, the no-doubt deeply embattled and seriously Liberty-deprived millionaire goalie of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins won't have too many problems shaking off this controversy. I mean, he's got a nasty labor dispute coming up, where he'll have to defend his socialist hockey organization against a bunch of largely unfettered billionaire freedom-seekers.

Dean: The Bruins have a game against the Rangers?

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and I should add +1 (+2?) to Chris and Dean. Great to see some hockey at The C.

well, besides the hockey dope and that Kings' slump article staring me in the face

We're working on it, I promise. And Chris and Dean will (we hope) be back to discuss hockey-related issues of the day. Or at least we'll ask them back the next time a prominent goalie gets on some Savage Nation shit.

Savage Nation, Savage Love, Savage Garden, Savage Republic, Savatage, savate--whatever comes up, DT+CC will be down to talk it.

I remember when Tiger Williams took a stand against arctic drilling by clubbing a dozen baby seals to death in less time than a five minute major. These things never go well.

Those were California Seals, and they were clutching & grabbing a *lot*.