What, you ask, has our shinny scalawag done this time?
Well, he climbed a tree. Actually, it was a tree stump. An extremely large, moss-backed tree stump in Vancouver’s lovely Stanley Park. A very buff, very chiseled Citizen Kane scaled the monster as part of a photo-shoot for Sportsnet Magazine’s annual The Beauty of Sport edition, and the evidence of his clamber has been available at a newsstand near you for a week now.
Yet somehow this has escaped the notice of the scandal masters at River City’s two dailies.
Where are the headlines? Where are the pics? Where are the columns, fatted with the kind of self-righteous condemnation normally reserved for actual wrong-doers, that advise us the Winnipeg Jets’ resident rascal is punching his own ticket out of town if he doesn’t straighten up and fly right? I mean, if having letters shaved into his hair and disregarding traffic tickets becomes front page news, surely tree-climbing and flaunting his flesh should land hockey’s Huck Finn in another steamy pile of pooh-pooh.
Apparently not. The tsk-tskers have been silent.
So if Evander Kane climbs a tree in the forest and nobody in the Winnipeg media notices, did it really happen?
I must say, this is a most curious bit of business. It is a mystery on joint footing with the JFK assassination, the Bermuda Triangle and Kevin (The Possum) Cheveldayoff’s addiction to Ondrej Pavelec. After all, since the Atlanta caravan rattled into River City in 2011, the Kane scrutiny has outstripped all other storylines about the National Hockey League franchise. The mainstream media have taken more than their pound of flesh from the 23-year-old winger.
Yet now that they have him treed—literally—they walk away. Go figure.
Perhaps we’re witnessing a shifting of tides. Ya, that’s it. News scavengers and their tale-torquing editors are no longer interested in the continuing Off-Ice Adventures of Evander. Our Citizen Kane is free to climb as many trees, take off as much clothing, go to as many bars, ignore as many bill payments and tweet as many selfies as he likes. Nothing to see there, kids. Let’s move along.
I can’t explain why the mainstream media failed to pick up on the Kane photo-shoot. I’m just glad they didn’t, because it was a mole hill they surely would have turned into a mountain, especially during the Dog Days of August when there is a scarcity of spice in shinny stories. I’m uncertain how they would have given the story a bit of nasty, but I’m sure they’d have been up to the challenge.
Alas, I fear this is just a ceasefire. We all know the first question the jackals will lob Kane’s way the moment he surfaces for training camp next month: “Do you want to be in Winnipeg and play for the Jets?”
From that moment on, the circus will be back in town and Kane is going to wish he’d never come down from that tree.
(Editor’s Note: If you want to see what kind of body it takes to be an elite athlete, purchase a copy of Sportsnet Magazine, The Beauty of Sport or go here .)
Patti Dawn Swansson has been writing about Winnipeg sports for more than 40 years, longer than any living being. Do not, however, assume that to mean she harbors a wealth of sports knowledge or that she’s a jock journalist of award-winning loft. It simply means she is old, comfortable at a keyboard (although arthritic fingers sometimes make typing a bit of a chore) and she doesn’t know when to quit.
She is most proud of her Q Award, presented to her in 2012 for her scribblings about the LGBT community in Victoria, B.C.