Over at ESPN, Greg Wyshynski posted an article where Taylor Hall essentially confirmed Jordan Eberle’s claims that the Edmonton media can be tough to handle.
Here we are… for the second time in a matter of days, I have to write about a former Oiler talking about how tough the media can be in this city. This time around, Taylor Hall answered a few questions about life under the microscope in Edmonton and confirmed his former roommate’s feelings about how intense things can be.
“Yeah, no question. You get booed by fans, the media is all over you, everyone’s human. You can’t help but take that home with you.”
Like I said on Saturday, the idea that a 20-something-year-old would carry the negativity from articles around with them shouldn’t be a surprise — we’re all human beings regardless of how many zeros are at the end of our paycheque. The difference, of course, is that public criticism is part of the job when you’re a pro-athlete. A plumber probably won’t have an article written about him when he screws up a toilet install, but you sure as hell know they have some kind of performance reviews to go along with the real life pressures of providing for a family.
“I read that Spector called Jordan ‘mentally weak.’ It’s the same as blocking someone on Twitter: No one wants to read crappy stuff about yourself. You want to be blind to it.”
I agree with Taylor here. While I do think that a professional hockey player should be fair game in terms of criticism, I don’t think that they’re mentally weak just because they get upset by people telling them how much they suck. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been rattled in the past when people have gotten on me for whatever reason, and I’m saying that as a broke ass blogger. Not to mention, the whole idea becomes even more ridiculous when you remember how many people Spec blocks on Twitter.
“I think that if the media in Edmonton think that they don’t impact players, just a little bit, then they’re crazy. Everyone’s human. No one wants to read crappy stuff about them, no matter how good of a player you are.”
This is where Hall loses me. Let’s not pretend that the Edmonton media is any more critical than what you’d get in Toronto or Montreal. And let’s not pretend that this is only a hockey thing. Do you honestly think the New York Yankees have an easy time when they’re playing like shit? Try Googling the kind of press A-Rod used to get in his time there. How about what pro Soccer players get when they screw something up. Singling Edmonton out for being tough just isn’t realistic to me. Yes, they had it rough at times when they were here, but I also personally saw these guys being treated like Gods when they were out on the town. Why not talk to the press about that part of it?
While Hall did say that the Edmonton media can be intense, he did follow that up by saying that they’re generally fair in their coverage.
“I never felt that the media was unfair in Edmonton, but when you do read constant negative stuff about yourself, you can’t help but lose confidence.”
At the end of the day, I’m not surprised that Taylor Hall backed up his boy considering the reaction that Eberle’s comments got over the weekend. Those two have been boys for a long time and you just knew that someone was going to ask for Taylor Hall’s opinion on the subject. Here at the Nation, we had nearly 200 comments (actually more than that but some got filtered out for various reasons) and countless tweets with fans chiming in on both sides of the equation. Some thought that Eberle needed to toughen up while others thought that there’s some merit to what he’s saying, and I’m sure we’ll get the same thing here.
What do you guys think? Are you over it? I’m kinda over it. That said, I guess I’ll start getting ready for a threepeat just in case some journalist asks Nail Yakupov/Justin Schultz/Benoit Pouliot/Luke Gazdic/anyone else that left about just how mean the people of Edmonton can be.