Saturday, August 06, 2005

Chris Osgood A Red Wing Again? Surrre....Why Not?

It’s looking a lot like Chris Osgood will be the Red Wings’ new/old #1 goalie, especially now that the Blackhawks have signed Nikolai Khabibulin, who was probably too expensive for the Wings anyway. My thought? Welcome back, Chris. My second thought? You must REALLY like Detroit.

Why else would Osgood subject himself to the burden and anguish of playing goal in Detroit? But he may be as crazy as a fox, because there isn’t much of an act to follow here. Curtis Joseph didn’t get the team past the second round -- not that it was all his fault -- and the lockout has made everything seem like a distant memory when it comes to the NHL. I believe the fans will welcome him back with public shows of cheers and the like, but privately they will grumble that we couldn’t get anyone "better."

But what’s the matter with a netminder who has won a Stanley Cup -- in Detroit, of all places? It must be the Trent Dilfer syndrome. You know, "We won despite him, not because of him." Poor Chris Osgood. He’sa nice guy who has had a pretty darn good NHL career, yet he still can’t seem to shake the notion that he’ll never be, truly, one of the elite goalies in the league.

News flash, folks: He doesn’t have to be Hall of Fame material -- just good enough not to lose games. This Red Wings team is still well-stocked with talent, so I don’t believe you need an All-World goalie to win the whole enchilada. Isn’t that how the Wings won in 1998, all you Osgood-bashers? Despite of Osgood, not because of him?

Bring it on, Chris.

So you think today’s professional athletes are overpaid, spoiled brats? That they think of nobody but themselves? That they couldn’t care less about the fans, who, after all, help pay their salaries?

Well, here’s something that should make you feel a little better.

The other day at a Cincinnati Reds game, a six year-old boy was at the ballpark with his grandfather. Apparently the grandfather collapsed with a heart attack, creating quite a scene in the stands. Realizing the small boy was traumatized, Reds players and staff escorted him away from the frightening situation and, for the next several hours, the boy went everywhere from the field to the clubhouse, being showered with gifts from players such as batting helmets, gloves, and other items.

Unfortunately, the grandfather passed away due to the massive heart attack. But reading the account of how the Reds players treated that little boy was extremely encouraging and renewed my faith in the professional athlete’s spirit.

"We just didn’t think the little guy should have been alone," Ken Griffey Jr. said.

My hat’s off and the Reds may be my new second-favorite team, surpassing my beloved Dodgers.

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