George Will Steps Outside His
Strike Comfort Zone
Washington Post readers are lucky to have a team of dedicated and talented journalists covering the hockey beat. It’s the rare occasion we read about the game in the hometown paper’s other sections. Rarer still, is when hockey news is splashed on the editorial pages.
In this morning’s edition, conservative columnist, George Will, most widely known for his baseball passion, tackles a hockey controversy – the fight over the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes. Will, considered by some as America’s leading 18th century thinker, plods through 600 words on a team that valiantly just made it into the playoffs.
The story of the Yotes sale is wrought with such fascinating, high drama elements such as municipal bonds, the Arizona State constitution and a think tank – just the sort of story two former C-SPAN geeks could truly groove on. We won’t challenge Will’s arguments on the merits of the sale (we get more than enough legal wrangling here), since frankly, we don’t give a good goddamn about any Western Conference team, but what struck us in his treatment of the issue, was the clinical and antiseptic nature of it:
Fortunately, this folly may be illegal. The Arizona constitution’s “gift clause” may block Glendale’s booster socialism — the ruinous pursuit of derivative grandeur from sports. The clause was written to prevent crony capitalism — to provide a wall of separation between corporations and government by forbidding government to give corporations gifts, loans, grants or subsidies.
George, this is hockey, and it moves at the speed of ice; not baseball, which moves at the speed of molasses. While we’ve been longtime readers and viewers of yours (Agronsky & Co. – yeah, that’s how old WE are), you nearly sent us back to sleep with your dull-as-dishwater and bone-dry prose.
And again George, we say that as former C-SPAN nerds who can do boring. Still, you probably make a good case regarding the sanctity of the law and constitutional process. But we’ll make one suggestion – ring up the Sports Desk the next time you take on hockey and ask for an assist to punch up your copy. Because God forbid, you ever write about the Caps, they’ll come off as boring as the Nats.
Mr. Will, we kid because we love, and respect (despite your historic hostility to a certain Brave Badger). Welcome to a gay hockey blog – you’re in good company. Come on out to Ballston this evening and meet some folks who can really breathe life into sports writing.