The Bruins’ dressing room at their new practice facility. (WEEI.com photo)
There are three generalizations made about sportswriters: They eat a lot, drink a lot and complain a lot. Like many generalizations, they often aren’t true, except for the last one. Sportswriters who don’t complain aren’t really sportswriters.
Twitter has only heightened this. Sportswriters send angry tweets to airlines about delayed flights as often as they send misguided tweets about Bruce Springsteen being one of the greats. With teams controlling more and more of the message, lack of availability has also become a common gripe from media members.
The plane thing is silly. If a plane can’t fly, it can’t fly. Adding any risk to your flight or someone else’s hardly sounds appetizing, so the flack writers catch for whining to airlines is well-deserved.
Yet the one complaint that is beyond mocking and completely warranted only applies to hockey writers, and it’s the “Stop telling me where to stand” complaint.
For those who don’t follow any hockey reporters on Twitter, many teams have giant logos in the middle of their dressing rooms, with the teams forbidding anyone from walking on them.
(Just to make sure you’re keeping up, “it” here means “the floor.” No walking on the floor. It’s like when kids call certain parts of the playground “lava,” only the hockey version is way more childish.)
When people accidentally step on The Sacred Part of the Floor, they’re often barked at by team employees, interns or the children of that team’s players. It is truly the most ridiculous part of a sport in which men chase each other around with sticks trying to hit one another in the penis (and then defend the guys who do it to them).
The Bruins are among the teams with such logo placement and such rules. As newcomers to the room are scolded time and again, veterans of the beat are left to shake their heads and mutter, “If you don’t want people stepping on it, put it on the [expletive] ceiling.”
On Thursday, the Bruins answered the prayers of so many who had to pray over such a dumb thing. When the team opened the doors to its new practice facility at Warrior Ice Arena, the Bruins’ dressing room featured a magnificent three-dimensional logo with carefully placed lights to accentuate the eight-spoked B… on the [expletive] ceiling.
“I never liked to put the jersey on the floor; I don’t know why the logo was on the floor,” once-perceived-fledgling-team-president-but-now-actual-genius Cam Neely said. “The whole concern about people stepping on it, that seemed to take up a lot of energy. I just felt that it was time to move it.”
Now, Bruins devotees might note that this isn’t really a change at all. After all, the dressing room in their former practice facility (Ristuccia Arena) did not feature a logo on the floor; the real chaos has always happened at the Garden, where the team plays its games. One time, in fact, the son of a player barked at a veteran reporter over stepping on the B. The reporter shouted something not-so-nice back at the kid, making “Don’t step on the B!” an actual thing that yielded screaming matches between children and grown men.
That’s where the real good news comes in. In explaining his confusion over the don’t-step-on-the-B hubbub, Neely said that renovations to TD Garden will affect the Bruins’ dressing room, at which point that carpet has a good chance of going bye-bye.
“In the very near future, the side of the building that faces the empty lot right now is going to be bumped out, so when that happens, we’ll probably renovate our locker room place,” he said.
Asked specifically if the logo will be taken off the floor, Neely replied, “That will happen.”
This change won’t help the Bruins’ in the standings. It won’t show up in box scores, and even the most advanced of stats won’t detect any change that this small move will bring, but it will indeed matter. For so many people (and Justin Bieber), it will bring peace of mind.
He’s made his share of mistakes (check out WEEI.com for more on that), but with this move, Cam Neely made has made his case for being the smartest guy in hockey. It’s hard to have any argument against that right now.