Do you blame Tom Barrasso for his anti-media stance

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Here is the video from 1996 when he had a year of silence to the media



    Let's face it, it's kept him out of the HHOF. Not that he didn't have a thing or two that you didn't like about his career, because there are some inconsistencies, but to me Barrasso deserves to be in there, for his playing career.

    You watch this video, Barrasso is cordial, he's able to hold a conversation with someone, he is even enlightening.

    Personally I think the things the media tells us and the things they throw in there are blended in so nicely we don't even notice. Think Mario Lemieux. How long did it take the public to finally respect the guy? The two Cups? Cancer maybe? Even in his first retirement in 1997 it was very prominent that Mario was a "whiner". It was almost understood by people. Yet this is a guy who at times couldn't bend over to tie his skates and he was winning scoring titles. This is a guy who blew away the league the same year he had cancer. It was insane.

    So do you agree with Barrasso at this time? Would you have done the same thing as he did after getting so frustrated with the media's lies that you just put your hands up and say "I'm not talking to you."
     
  2. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Oh absolutely. Theres only so much any given person can take of the media, some having pretty low thresholds period, others more patient, indulgent. Quite a few goalies over the years, Terry Sawchuk in particular. Absolutely held reporters & pundits in contempt. No time for them whatsoever & if he did make time just might "make stuff up" to screw with their heads. Embarrass them.
     
  3. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/showpost.php?p=13014279&postcount=28


    There are plenty of stories like this floating around Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Buffalo. It didn't start when his daughter got sick.

    Barrasso was a jerk to the media because he was a jerk to humanity and the media is a subset of humanity. Him not talking to media was not some principled stand.

    He was the same way to teammates, which is where his Brass *** hole nickname came from. JS Aubin (or was it Lalime?) was knocked unconscious in a game on Barrasso's scheduled day off and he went ape**** about Aubin not finishing the game.

    He's not in the Hall because he made nothing but enemies in his career.


    As for Mario, his poor perception in the media was 1 part bitterness because he didn't give them the time of day and 1 part prejudice against Francophones. 66 wasn't thought of the same way in French Canada, that I'm aware. If I'm not mistaken, Richard dealt with similar sorts of criticisms from Anglophone Canadian media during his day.

    The same sort of prejudice doesn't really exist today for French Canadians, I don't think, in the Canadian media, but in 1990, every French guy was automatically a soft, lazy whiner. Both Turgeons dealt with this as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  4. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    Little background.

    See this:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...rYyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dm8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6240,2349220

    That this article, which simply repeats information from a police report, was written is the entire reason Barrasso went media silent for 3-ish years.

    Barrasso was not objecting to local editorializing about his behavior. He thought the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette should have covered up his arrest.
     
  5. K Fleur

    K Fleur If You Know You Know

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    Do I agree with Barrasso's overall opinion of how the media spin stories, and making things out to be what they are not? Yes of course I do.. However Barrasso's reputation precedes him. He was an overall jerk to fans, and teammates. As another poster mentiones he made nothing but enemies his entire career. If you make nothing but enemies you shouldn't expect those same enemies to vote you into the HHOF, and if you are a jerk to fans you shouldn't expect them to feel sorry for you about it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  6. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    ... huh. Pretty ugly incident. Beyond arrogant for him to think he (or the others) would be given free passes by the PPG or any media outlet for that matter. Ya, a lot of stuff does get buried, intervention of team executives & or player agents in dealing with all manner of mischief & complaints, and back in the day pre-90's / pre-internet a lot of media did turn a blind eye to things that they saw or heard about but not when charges were filed & became public record.
     
  7. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Here's the thing I wonder though. What does someone like Mario say about Barrasso? Or Francis? Trottier? Jagr? Mullen? Stevens? Murphy? Or even Bowman? They won Cups with him. I have honestly never heard negative things from these guys about him. Players always write autobiographies, but I don't hear a lot about Barrasso. I never hear them stick up for him, or I haven't heard this stuff come out there, but former teammates spoke ill of Sean Avery. I don't hear this about Barrasso.
     
  8. K Fleur

    K Fleur If You Know You Know

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    I don't honestly remember hearing these players say anything negative about him, but he was also a much more valued member of his team than Sean Avery.

    But I think there has to be a reason that Mario has brought many former teammates, and other well respected players of his era to the Penguins organization (albeit some for very short periods of time) but never Barrasso. IIRC he was not even considered when the team needed a new goaltenders coach, and that has to say something.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  9. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    Mario invites most of those guys to his golf tournament. To my knowledge, Barrasso has never received an invite. Jagr doesn't either, but there's a specific bad blood incident there.

    As far as why you never hear anything on the record , Barrasso is a vindictive sob. Less hassle to just give him the cold shoulder.
     
  10. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    So then who is the real Tom Barrasso? There wouldn't be too many people that would know this more than Mario. Among others. These guys travel and play with them all year, for several years. Mario did say he would "share" his Conn Smythe with Barrasso in 1992. Now, I know Barrasso played great and in my mind he was 2nd behind Mario that year but anyone could see that this was Mario's team again and he played far better and made a much bigger impact than anyone else. He didn't have to say that. It's a footnote, but it says something at least.
     
  11. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    That's a good point. They even kept Stevens on as a scout when he was having serious substance abuse problems, just so he'd have a paycheck. With Barrasso, it's like he never existed with the Penguins.
     
  12. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    Barrasso was awesome in 92. Held the fort after Graves gave 66 the chop.

    Winning cures a lot of ills. It's easier to overlook a guy's flaws when you're admiring your shiny new ring, that he's partly responsible for.

    Fast forward to 96, when the same guy insists on coming back in off a long layoff in the conference finals over his red hot backup, then flushes game 7 down the toilet...tough to keep being a true Christian then.
     
  13. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I don't know how much this has to do with it, but Barrasso does have a job (still I think?) with the Hurricanes doesn't he? This was a team he played for as well at the end. It doesn't always mean he has to be with the Penguins. Gretzky coached Phoenix, not Los Angeles, not Edmonton. Yzerman is in Tampa.

    Look the guy might have been a jerk. I don't know, but it would be nice to hear some more personal stories on the guy from players. I've heard your story before about him not giving you an autograph. That's rough. I know that during an autograph session Rocket Richard was pretty fierce with me too. He looked down at what I was asking him to sign, he asked me abruptly if this was mine and then told me to stand at the end of the table to collect it. I was scared to death of him, haha. I can still remember the eyes. He seemed a bit annoyed though. Not everyone is like Bobby Hull and cheerfully signs them for everyone.

    So while there may be some truth to Barrasso's reputation, I'd really like to find some comments from former players.
     
  14. K Fleur

    K Fleur If You Know You Know

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    Coached for 5 years in Carolina, then he followed Paul Maurice to the KHL in 2012. I have no idea if he is still coaching there.
     
  15. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    That's not my story, it's from another poster on the Pens board.

    I was present for the game in which Aubin was knocked out.

    Barrasso's first order of business was to attempt to get ejected from the game, so he could go back to sitting in a chair. Smashed someone in the face with his stick and blocker and should have gotten a match penalty, but, with Pitt having no other tenders, the refs confered and only gave him 2. Want to say it was Smyth.

    As for players, that "Brass ***hole" nickname came from players on the Sabres. An anonymous player commented on it (calling him the "worst guy ever"), but I can't find the article.

    So here's what I got

    http://www.canoe.ca/HockeyOttawaArchive/mar16_goa.html

    Pat Lalime saying nice things about Tommy B. Context of the article is that he had previously refused to speak to Barrasso for 3 years.

    http://old.post-gazette.com/sports_headlines/20000220smizik5.asp

    There's this, where Barrasso had to play on his day off, and took it out on JS Aubin, who had been knocked unconscious during the game. Craig Patrick would trade him over this incident.

    Then there's the Pens hall of fame

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Penguins#Penguins_Hall_of_Fame

    Coffey's in. Barrasso's not. Both joined the team at roughly the same time. Barrasso had far more of an impact for far longer. Draw your own conclusions.


    Edit

    http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_626649.html#axzz3GXGDxg5O

    This is even more interesting. The Penguins (specifically EJ, who was a coach of his) had planned to induct Barrasso into their Hall of Fame, but seem to have changed their mind. One thing of note is that there was fear that he would no-show his own induction ceremony.

    I do wonder if there's more to this, though. I could have sworn there was a video tribute to him right around that time, though Coffey is definitely the last player I recall actually getting inducted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  16. LeBlondeDemon10

    LeBlondeDemon10 BlindLemon Haystacks

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    Steve Carlton, the famous lefthander with the Cards and Phillies, also had an anti-media stance. He still got in the HOF, albeit with much higher credentials than Barrasso. Maybe that says it all? Some might say that because you choose to be a pro athlete that you must succumb to all the other things that go with it such as the media scrutinizing your performance and, in some cases, intruding in your life. Its a choice a player, coach, etc... must make. Most choose to accept it and deal with it as best they can. Others such as John Tortorella and Barry Bonds continue to engage with the media, but treat them like garbage. In this day and age, I think there is far too much media coverage of meaningless things; redundant questions that coaches or players feel they have to answer because now we have 5 TSN's and who knows how many SN channels. Overexposure. Then there are those athletes that choose to involve themselves with Twitter. Has this enhanced an athlete's interaction with the public? Sometimes simplicity is a good way to go.

    As for Barrasso's teammates not saying anything negative about him, maybe its because they haven't said anything at all. What does that say about him? It might be because of what happens in the lockerroom stays there. There once was a code, not just in sports but in society. If you don't have anything nice to say about anyone, you didn't say anything. So, I don't think this is a right or wrong issue. But the media and their infinite wisdom will pose it as a right/wrong, this or that issue because if they ask too many provocative questions, the players might/will shut down. And they got a column to write for the general public that tends to see things as right/wrong, this or that anyway.
     
  17. Terry Yake

    Terry Yake Registered User

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    i wouldn't say the whole media thing is what's keeping him out of the hall but rather, his reputation as simply a crappy human being during his career. he was a pretty darn good goalie but it's safe to say he wasn't a guy you'd want to be around. that's really all i remember hearing about him in the 90s

    he was just trouble. considering this was the guy who missed a few games with a "leg injury" after his wife stabbed him in the leg after she caught him cheating on her with the babysitter :laugh:
     
  18. The Pale King

    The Pale King katabat.bandcamp*****

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    All I know is there's no way he should get in before Vachon.

    Guy by all accounts sounds like a complete lunatic. Sure he's got the two cups, but they came while playing on a team with several all-time greats. He's a guy you look at and say, "that's a great resume, but it could have been so much better ('93, '96)".

    Guy had the opportunity to be a great ambassador for the game as one of the games first elite American goalies, but he wanted no part of that.
     
  19. Burgs

    Burgs Registered User

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    The someone he's talking to is Troy Loney, a former Penguins teammate from the early 90s. Loney had just retired by the time of this interview. I don't think I've ever heard him talk about Barrasso elsewhere, one way or the other.

    He is not. Barrasso was known as a lousy teammate, and after one episode where he allegedly threw a chair at JS Aubin and screamed at him not to dare stealing his job, it became a running joke among Pens fans that Barrasso would later become a goalie coach. And then he actually did just that with Carolina. :laugh:

    Now Barrasso is in the Penguins 'Ring of Honor' which commemorated their millenium team. But he's not in their Hall of Fame, and I can't remember him ever showing up at any alumni events. Not sure if he gets invites but simply no-shows (like Jagr) or if he's actually not invited at all. The last big event was the final regular season game at the igloo. 51 former Pens were there, Barrasso was not. Basically the guy is mostly forgotten today but from all anecdotes I've read over the years it's really his own fault. Colossal jerk to fans and media, by all accounts.

    Btw, he's also the only Pen to not allow for his name to be used on the jersey in "Sudden Death". Thus the legend of Brad Tolliver was born.
     
  20. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I don't mind his indifference to the media to be honest. They show us what they want and they paint players how they want too. You have to look through it sometimes (eg. Mario actually had a bigger heart for hockey than almost everyone, but the media wouldn't say that).

    But I think he would have been better going the route of Chris Pronger when dealing with the media. Pronger was hated by the media and this is a reason I think he only has 4 all-star selections at defense despite deserving more in my opinion. Pronger was always snarky with the media but always provided some great soundbites. He'd be sarcastic to them, but he'd smile at them with that grin of his. The media didn't like it, which is why the second that they found some damning evidence on him such as when he seemingly purposely stepped on a player with his skate that only TSN replay cameras eventually caught, they nailed him. Plus they didn't like him not discussing why he left Edmonton. But that's what Barrasso should have done. He should have been more "in your face" with the media, the fans would have loved it. We loved it in Toronto with Pat Quinn. Even though I didn't like him, I loved how Ron Wilson responded to the media. I think this would have served Barrasso better.
     
  21. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Crappy person, but he doesn't belong in the HHOF even if he was Lanny McDonald off the ice.

    He had twice as many seasons where he was hurt or just outright crap as he did where he was an asset to his team.
     
  22. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    Carlton was perfectly fine with the media until (in his opinion) they turned on him. He was a good quote and willing to talk about baseball, his conditioning, and his interests outside of baseball. In 1972, he went 27-10 on a team that went 59-97 (32-87 in game that Carlton didn't earn a decision), and was the toast of the National League. He slumped the next year, the media turned on him and openly mocked him for not leading the Phillies to anything (as if anyone could with that team), and he stopped talking to the media as a result.

    That's not a recent thing at all, and Barrasso's closest MLB comp (Thurman Munson) provides an example. Like Barrasso, Munson was high-strung, explosive, and pretty much disliked by everyone.

    Sparky Lyle was once asked why Munson was so moody. Lyle shook his head and said, "Munson's not moody, he's just mean. When you're moody, you're nice sometimes." Since Munson died in 1979, it's only logical to deduce that this code that you speak of wasn't in effect 35 years ago, thus negating the idea that it's a current thing.
     
  23. LeBlondeDemon10

    LeBlondeDemon10 BlindLemon Haystacks

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    And so you're deducing that everything that is said between players about players is out there be it today, 35, 75 or 100 years ago?
     
  24. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    I don't recall doing any such thing. But it's certainly possible to go back 35, 75, or 100 years ago and find players talking publicly about teammates.

    That said, talking publicly about teammates is generally regarded as being in poor taste. But the idea of some ironclad "code" that is only now being broken isn't factually true.
     
  25. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Carlton is a rare example though of a guy who could do that to the media and still make it impossible for them to induct him into the HHOF. He had 324 wins, he struck out 4186 batters. Won two World Series. Won 4 Cy Young Awards. Easily was considered the best pitcher in Baseball at one point. Is one of 4 pitchers with over 4000 strikeouts (Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens). There have been players standoffish to the media before. Ty Cobb was hated by everyone. Ted Williams had feuds with the media, although in Ted's defense the more you look into that the more you understand why he was surly with the media, he wasn't hated by his mates. Cobb was. Bonds has had the luxury of a few guys going against him that played with him. It doesn't matter. These guys were too good of baseball players to ever not let into the Hall.

    Barrasso doesn't have that larger than life type of career. I think the best example in hockey would be a guy like Ed Belfour. Belfour had a better career than Barrasso, there is no doubt. But if he had a career like Barrasso he probably isn't in either. He feuded with back up goalies, was rude to the media and the whole thing with that hotel security guard. But if Ed Belfour wasn't inducted right now, it would be a total conspiracy and everyone would know it. Barrasso is right at that point where I personally think he earned a HHOF spot but it isn't unanimous. Sort of like Lindros. How many people here can make a case for Belfour being left out? You can't. But you can with Barrasso and it isn't outlandish.

    So the whole "being rude to the media" is one of those things that only works unless you're just simply too good to ignore. Which isn't really fair either.
     

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