Several times now I’ve heard articulate TSN hockey commentator, Pierre McGuire, comment during a hockey telecast that a certain performer is not only a great player,
“…but an even better person!”
This irks me each time because, although I don’t doubt that the athlete possesses a delightful personality, I can’t help wondering if Mr. McGuire is taking liberties with his definitions: it seems to me that a hockey player would have to be a pretty awesome human being to outshine the hockey skills that have gotten them into professional hockey.
My concern was brought to rant, then, when McGuire referred to superstar, Steven Stamkos (who is currently the league’s second leading scorer) by this same “even better person” claim.
So let me get this straight. According to my friend Wik, there’s well over 1.44 million registered ice hockey players world wide, and Stamkos is probably one of the top 10 best of those people. That is to say, he’s in the approximately 99.9993th percentile of hockey players. But he’s an even better person! So he’s in at least the 99.9994th percentile of human beings. He’s basically the best person in a 145,000 person radius! Not bad for a 20 year old!
It is of course possible that a hockey player (Trevor Linden) is as great at being a human as he is at playing hockey, but it seems a fairly daunting task, and so I can’t help wondering how exactly Pierre McGuire defines the words “even better person.” I’m guessing Mr. Stamkos is very likable and easy to be around, and makes Pierre feel comfortable to be himself. But has Steven made great efforts to change the world for the better?
I looked around the web to see what sort of work the Steven Stamkos Foundation must have done for charities in Africa, and how much money the millionaire himself has surely donated to save wounded polar bears.
Strangely, I didn’t find much evidence of anything particularly generous coming out of the Stamkos Empire. But, on the website for the Tampa Bay Lightning (for whom Stamkos works), I found, from 2009, a “Steve Stamkos Answers your Questions” page, and the following query from a fan:
“…have you thought about using your celebrity status to bring awareness to a certain cause or charity?”
“Yes,” Steven cheerfully wrote back, “it’s definitely crossed my mind. I won’t go and say I’m a celebrity, but I definitely thought of that.”
(See, that’s the kind of modesty from a young star that certainly does make him seem like a delightful fellow. I see what you’re saying, Pierre!)
He goes on:
“I attended numerous charity golf tournaments this summer in and around my hometown of Markham, Ontario. I also donated some jerseys and sticks to great causes. I’ve thought of having a Steven Stamkos Charity Golf Tournament back in my hometown. I think we’ll wait a couple of years and see how the next two seasons or so progress, but having a charity event is definitely on my mind and will be coming in the near future.”
Very nice. Definitely sounds like a great fellow. He might have a charity golf tournament (which I suspect is all work and no play for the celebrity name behind it) and he’s donated some of his used equipment to auction off to people willing to pay a lot to a charity for them. Very very nice.
Now, at the time of that quote, Stamkos was only 19, so go easy on him, SethBlogs! But, before you rant back at me for being too hard on the young star, be advised: I’m not actually meaning to imply (with my sarcastic tone above) that he’s not a very good person. In fact, I think Stamokos seems very likable, and I wouldn’t kick out of a conversation if I met him. However, perhaps Mr. McGuire could hold off on ranking him as one of the top 2000 people in Canada (per the math of his statement) until he’s done a few more good deeds?
Thanks so much.