by Jas Faulkner, Nashville Correspondent
Last night I got a flash of what I hope to see as I am ensconced in my living room with a coterie of rowdy friends watching the NHL awards. It goes something like this:
The Vezina nominees are announced, the camera pulls in for a closeup of Roberto Luongo, who smiles at the other two contenders as if to say, “You poor bastards, you know I’ve got this”, and then Jean Beliveau and Alanis Morissette announce the winner:
What happens next looks something like this:
…and then I will laugh and laugh and we’ll all wait for the interstitials from the balcony to see which nineteen-year-old will try to put the moves on one of the decorative showgirls.
Until then, there’s more hockey in Nashville. Jeremy Roenick, who I now love, is calling out the strengths and weaknesses of both teams in his analysis. Alas, Keith Jones is starting to resemble one of those odd, sad middle school teachers who get incensed when the cool kids lose the spelling bee.
Keith, Nashville didn’t suddenly get good. You just haven’t been paying attention. I’ll also go so far to say that you and the head coach and goalie of the team you are obviously rooting for up there in the box* need to take a page from Joel Ward and Barry Trotz.
In the two years that I have officially covered the Predators, I have never heard trash-talk or disrespect towards the opposition from anyone in the Nashville camp. They (and the rest of the Predators organisation) are first and foremost, gentlemen. Like every other member of the team, Ward credits his teammates even when his own efforts on the ice have been outstanding**. Trotz always compliments the other team and often cites his admiration of their skill on the ice and the coaching behind the bench on the other side of the ramp.
Am I writing this because I’m a Nashville Predators fan? You betcha. This is my town and they’re my team. My mission, such as it is, is to show you both through my eyes. The Nashville Predator team as characterised by Keith Jones during the Versus broadcasts bears very little resemblance to the boys I see playing night after night in Bridgestone and on the road.
Maybe I expect more because being around the Predators has me spoiled. Maybe it’s the product of a subconscious cognitive jump because their resemblance to medieval knights going into battle makes me expect chivalry and a degree of respect between brothers in arms. Whatever the case, the guys behind the mics need to remember that to many who watch and cheer, they are seven feet tall and bulletproof. It might not be fair, but yes, a higher standard of conduct does come with that position.
This is Jas Faulkner who wants to welcome everyone coming to NSH tomorrow. If you’re wandering around Lower Broad before or after the game, don’t miss Hatch Show Print, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop and The Country Music Hall of Fame. I’ll be seeing you at the ‘Plex and the ‘Stone and online at Facebook and Twitter.
*FWIW, the standard of conduct for press at Bridgestone proscribes cheering and fan gear. I expect to see Jones at the anchor desk in a ‘Nucks sweater any day now.
**Which they have been many times this year.