Sticking to the Debate - Much More Interesting
People are funny.
Rather than actually arguing a point, a favourite tactic is often to try and discredit the source. Don't take a persuasive point of view. Just try and accuse those who think differently of some kind of bias.
When I write something critical of the Leafs, some suggest I've only written it because I hate the Leafs. If I write something critical about the Ottawa Senators, I'll get emails saying I've only taken that point of view because I love the Leafs.
Sometimes I think I should introduce these people to each other.
So long ago I stopped worrying when people accuse me of some bias or another. It usually just means they have no intelligent argument to make.
Today, I'm dealing with all kinds of people criticizing a column I wrote that was critical of Mike Babcock's handling of the Team Canada goalie situation by writing - as though I somehow wasn't admitting it - that I'm only taking that point of view because I co-wrote a book with Brodeur four years ago.
To that I have two things to say.
One, if you believe I have a conflict, then why would you possibly care about what I think? There's no way I can argue the point, so I have to accept that some people believe that. That's part of being in this business, and its no more bothersome to me than those who say I write critical columns on the Leafs because I hate the Leafs, etc.
Second, I can make an argument that Brodeur should have continued as Canada's goalie. At the same time, I understand that some believe it's Roberto Luongo's turn. In fact, the majority of writers at these Games take that point of view. I don't agree, but I can certainly accept that point of view. And I never, ever mind being in the minority.
And you'll notice I didn't accuse Babcock of any kind of conflict because he coaches Detroit and Brodeur plays for New Jersey, or that he prefers Luongo because he's in the Western Conference.
I simply disagreed with his decision and the way in which he made it.
That's how it should work folks.
So fill your boots if you want to accuse me of conflict. All it means is you have no argument to make.
I do with Brodeur. I would have stuck with him because he has won three Stanley Cups, multiple Vezina Trophies and an Olympic gold medal, plus the fact he was brilliant against the Swiss and totally saved Canada from what would have been an embarrassing defeat by stoning each and every Swiss in the shootout. If he didn't have a strong game against the U.S., well, this is a Hall of Fame goalie who has proven time and time again his ability to bounce back.
Luongo? He didn't play his way into this start. He was handed it.
And you know what? If he backstops Canada to a gold medal Babcock's decision will have been the correct one.
And you'll read it here first. Then I'll probably get emails from Leaf fans accusing me of being a Canuck lover. . . .