(This post is part of a fundraiser for the ACLU and SPLC, two great causes that need our help in these, umm, trying political times. For a donation of $50 or more on Giving Tuesday, readers got me to write about whatever they wanted. So I wrote the nonsense below, which was requested by several people.)
A thing I didn’t remember but which doesn’t surprise me even a little is that Steve Ott once licked — or tried to lick — Jeff Halpern.
This isn’t necessarily because Ott is a gross weirdo, though obviously it’s not NOT because of that. But for sure there’s clear evidence that this is a thing which happened. Here’s video if you don’t remember this happening either:
I’m gonna say this: I don’t think Ott licks him. I think he tries, but doesn’t accomplish it. So close and yet so far.
But like, let’s get into the psychology of why Steve Ott — remember when Jack Edwards called him “Brave Steve?” — would even TRY to lick someone, right? Because if you’re trying to mess with someone and get into their head and so on, how is licking something you think to do, rather than, say, put your glove in his face without touching him, or making a big show of trying to get your stick under his skate blade while you wait for the draw? Just little annoying stuff. Maybe move your foot in front of his. You know, regular annoying pest stuff.
Licking, or attempted licking, has to be a sign of sociopathy. Because, as they point out in the video, Halpern and Ott — who is inexplicably still an NHL player — were teammates with Dallas prior to this incident which I do not remember and seems incredibly farfetched even though there’s video evidence to support that it definitely happened. I have to accept that. Even if I don’t want to. Which I do not.
So anyway, Steve Ott — who is objectively slimy as a hockey player even though I’m sure he’s so so nice in real life — is like “Hey I used to be friends with this guy. How will I mess with one of my friends? I know, I’ll try to lick his visor.” Who thinks like this? How do they do it? I cannot know the mind of a madman but it seems to me that there can only be a deranged logic here which for the sake of decorum and indeed my own sanity must not be explored.
So I refuse to write an oral history, or even a made-up oral history, of this transpiring. It is gross and bad, so of course Steve Ott is involved. To try to glean some kind of logic from it tilting at windmills. I do not accept the challenge.
The only person whose reaction in all this that I can even try to approximate is Halpern’s. Because I know what my personal reaction would be if my friend tried to lick an article of my clothing. I would say, “What’s wrong with you dude? Get away from me.”
This is the only reasonable reaction to any human being — let alone Steve Ott — trying to lick your visor. Revulsion. Perhaps even a dimmed view of humanity as a whole. Definitely something to do with rethinking your friendship in the first place.
And by the way, that’s just the announcers (and me) reading into “They used to be teammates so this is good-natured.” For all I know, Halpern can’t stand Ott because Ott is always trying to lick his stuff. Wouldn’t surprise me, anyway. Not at all.