Selection by Affection and Rejection of Election

No, not that kind of election. The Calvinists are once again confused.

So, NHL All-Star Game voting finished earlier this week. While I'm unsure of the final tally, it seems that Rory Fitzpatrick (as of a week prior to the closing of the ballots) rounded out number 3 on the most voted for defensemen.



For those of you outside of the "know", Rory Fitzpatrick is a defenseman for the Vancouver Canucks. And he's not very good. When I first heard of this guy (I'm a little late on writing about this, as the other recent posts were a little more time sensitive) he had yet to register a point this season, and had only played about half of Vancouver's games (as of now he has played 26 of Vancouver's 41 games, and registered his first point last on my birthday, the 30th).

Despite this, a group of people started a campaign to get Rory into the All-Star game. It has hit all sorts of news outlets and has become one of the most visible viral internet "buzzes" that I have ever seen. Don Cherry commented that it was a joke, and that they were laughing at him. Gretzky said that while it was great for Fitzpatrick, the NHL should step in and intervene.
Personally I think that this entire campaign is great. And I have two reasons for this, and they are extremely different.

First, I agree with Ron McLean when he said "The fans are saying, 'Hey, you know who we like? We like Rory Fitzpatrick. We just don't (only) like the skilled guys.'" I agree. People shouldn't be up in arms because of this (especially because I'm not sure of the original motives of the first campainers). Would the same outcry have come if last year Andrej Meszaros would have been written in even though his points were meager but his +/- was easily the top of the league all year and is a defenseman, whose job it is to keep goals from going in? (early in this season he was at the top too, but has since dropped significantly).

Secondly, and almost conversely, I think it forces the NHL to take a look at the voting process for the All-Star teams. I would say that this is the main reason for my support of the Vote For Rory campaign (though I haven't voted). I know it seems semi-hypocritical to support both stands, but hear me out. I tend to be more of the persuasion that the most skilled players should go to the All-Star game (now, as I said with Meszaros, there is some wiggle room). The fact that a mob can vote in whoever they please might make them look twice at a wholly democratic system. I mean, hockey is a skill game. This isn't politics where there are policies and parties and you can choose who best suits your political palate. Certain folks should make it, and certain folks definitely should not (Fitzpatrick being one of the latter) because there is a skill to playing hockey, and getting points is generally quite related to such a skill (though, I think for defensemen other characteristics should be looked at too). Personally, I would like to see a hybrid of voting and the decision of a coach. Say, that the voters decide a list for the All-Star team coach to choose from, and he makes the best team from the list that he can. Thats just one idea though.

I feel the same way when radio-stations and others make "100 best guitarists of all time" lists and such. I mean, I can make a list of who I think should make a list like that (who are actually the most skilled), who I would personally put on a list like that (who I prefer), and what the list will look like upon compilation (how the listeners actually voted). And only one of those lists will include members of AC/DC.

Basically, I dislike "democracy" in situations like this. I understand that the NHL and radio-stations want people to be included, but when it occurs like this, people just vote for their favourite, and not necessarily the most skilled. And for that reason, I say, vote for Rory (even though you can't anymore).

No comments: