Interesting article in the Dallas Morning News yesterday about what makes the Stars’ organization so player-friendly and successful. Making the playoffs 12 times, winning the division seven times, making the conference finals four times, and winning the Stanley Cup once in 14 years since the move from Minnesota can, in one player’s view, be boiled down to one thing: no mean things are being said.
Turns out the reason Mike Ribeiro hated Montreal so much wasn’t because the media, fans, coaching staff and organization was putting undue pressure on him to perform at a high level on the ice. It was the fact that they made fun of the way he dressed.
He would be insulted and told that’s not how things work in the organization. And he always wondered, what’s the big deal?
When he was traded to the Stars, Ribeiro said he was delighted to find that while there are heavy performance demands, there also is the leeway to tread a path less traveled.
“I just really appreciate the fact that they let me be me,” Ribeiro said. “That makes you more comfortable. That makes you feel a part of the team more.”
That last part sounds an awful lot like something Clay Aiken said a little while ago, no?
Come on Mikey, you’re a hockey player. I’ve been to some games where fans say pretty nasty things about players, and somehow I didn’t picture them running home with tears in their eyes, sobbing into their pillows while their wives rubbed their backs and said, “Don’t you listen to what those mean fans say, honey.”
I mean, who gives a crap that anyone makes fun of the way you dress? When Ribeiro got traded out of Montreal, he was 25 years old. That’s how old I am now. I can honestly say that I haven’t pouted because someone made fun of my hat in quite some time. Other people’s comments shouldn’t make you play with less of an edge.
It also makes you want to do more for the team, he said. So when the coaches ask Ribeiro to grind in the corners, to play more defense, to work on his face-offs, he does just that.
I find it laughable that any player would not want to make himself better simply because someone said his pink shirt looked gay.
The relationship between a player and his organization shouldn’t be this feelings-driven. They’re not buying a puppy (in Ribeiro’s case, probably a bichon frise) together, the latter is paying the former millions of dollars to play a game.
Suck it up, Ribeiro.
P.S. Nice pants, loser.