Point-Counterpoint: The Pros and Cons of Goalies Wearing Skirts by SportsChump and J-Dub

SportsChump: The PC Police are at it again, Dubs.  And this time they’ve got my coach in their sights.

It’s at times like these, when someone’s comments ruffle someone else’s feathers, that I reach out to a man who has had enough of it all.

When it comes to the long, corrective arm of political correctness, my dear friend J-Dub generally has a counterpoint, telling those PC police where to go and how swiftly they can get there.

Our most recent incident came after the Tampa Bay Lightning’s final loss of the season, a first-round exit in Game Five.  As our back-to-back, Stanley Cup victories distance themselves further into our rear-view mirror, Coach Cooper and company watched the Florida Panthers (boooooooo!) get one step further to their goals while the Lightning slump into an off-season in which they must determine how to contractually keep the most beloved player in franchise history.

While the Panthers won Game Five 6-1, the game was much more highly contested than the final score would indicate.  The Lightning had not one, but two goals called back for goalie interference.  It was all any Lightning fan could do to not throw his frothy alcoholic beverage at the television screen.

Fans weren’t the only ones upset.  Recently ousted, Coach Cooper took to the post-game podium moments after the loss.  When asked about the goals that were disallowed, Coach Cooper said this…

“We might as well put skirts on (goalies) then, if that’s how it’s gonna be.” 

Cue the national outrage.

My understanding is that goalie interference calls are much like NFL rules that protect quarterbacks, punters, or other any defenseless player.  They’re designed to ensure that goalies in compromising positions do not get injured by players posting up near the net.

Although I’m clearly biased, that was not the case in either of these two recanted goals.  Coach Cooper agreed with me, leading to his angry skirt comment. 

It didn’t take long for Cooper to apologize for his comments, about 24 hours or so when those around him suggested it was probably the right thing to do.  A man who raises two daughters at home said he had to explain to them what he meant by his sexist insinuation and that doing so was more difficult than losing Game Five.  Insert hyperbole here.  I’m pretty sure they were more okay with it than he led on.  Their dad is a professional hockey coach not a yoga instructor.

ESPN, a network I still watch yet am ridiculed by J-Dubs for doing so, was the first to jump on the bash-Coop bandwagon.  I’m not sure how many “C’Mon, Coach!  It’s 2024.” comments I heard the following day, criticizing the Bolts leader for his insensitivities, but as you’d imagine, there were several. 

Polling the local female crowd in Tampa Bay to see if they were offended by Coach Cooper’s comments is probably not an accurate assessment as there are few people in the Tampa Bay area that wouldn’t treat the man to a pint, insensitivities or not.

Far be it from me to defend Cooper and offend my last liberal reader (Hi, mom!) but, Dubs, I turn to you.  How far have we gone when a coach can no longer speak his mind for fear or ridicule?  Don’t we want sincerity with all its warts or are we just looking for the next viral and perhaps even scandalous soundbite?  On the scale of one to downright sexist, how offensive were Coach Cooper’s post-game comments and how far removed are we from the day coaches can just be coaches?

I can’t help but feel with each misstep, we’re inching closer to Idiocracy.  The floor is yours, my friend.


How can the floor be mine when it’s littered with the ass-loafs at the World Wide Bottom Feeder who can’t wait to sink down to believing their phony moral outrage at stuff like this matters.

Frankly, there’s plenty of time to sink to the bottom of that sewer. But to truly plumb it’s depths…and truly offend “liberals”…we need to roll the great timepiece of our universe back about 50 years. The reason is simple; there’s three specific data points to touch on here which perfectly illustrate the actual regression represented by so-called “liberals/progressives.”

Point#1: Jack Lambert

If you are a football fan of sufficient vintage like the Chump and I, you know that when we discuss those great “one-man wrecking crew middle linebackers,” there are certain names which flow first off the tongue. Dick Butkus, Ray Lewis, and Mike Singletary are usually in that first breath, but one of my favorites is often…and shamefully overlooked.

Jack Lambert was the quarterback of those devastating “Steel Curtain” defenses of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, and yet he never seems to be included in that top echelon of men in the middle. Perhaps it was because he was overshadowed by guys like Mel Blount (the reason why the NFL changed pass coverage rules) or “Mean” Joe Greene trading his jersey for a soda, but Lambert was the engine that made it all go.

The optics alone were terrifying. The man looked like the mountain love shack progeny of the Unabomber and Bigfoot and played with the rage intensity usually reserved for abused pit bulls.

In other words, Lambert was not the sort of guy to “pussy-foot” around a subject. The late 1970s was the first era in which the National Football League (NFL) began implementing major rule changes.  There was the aforementioned “Mel Blount” rule.  As the importance of the forward continued to grow in the modern NFL product, receivers were offered some protection. Naturally, some rules were put in place to help the guys throwing those passes.  Being somebody whose job was to destroy receivers, quarterbacks, or anybody carrying the ball, Lambert shared some thoughts on that.  

Muted as they were given the fact the 24-hour news cycle, ESPN, nor social media exist yet, the “sexism/misogyny” cries went up. Of course, these all came from people who simply can’t take a fucking joke. The self-importance of these ass-wipes is only over-amplified by their hypocrisy. More on that in a bit.

But keep this in mind as you read. You can take Lambert’s words anyway you like, but don’t forget a major component of his comments is the fact that in American society, you can’t hit women.

Point #2: Ron Hextall

In a weird way, the way the National Hockey League (NHL) handles goalie interference mimics our collective attitude toward violence against women. There’s an old philosophical question regarding does life imitate art or vice versa. The sports world, including the bottom-feeding media which parasites off it, is caught in the middle. That means which is the genuine article and which is the imitation is irrelevant; it’s all part of the same hypocrisy.

In this case, our “women” are represented by NHL goalies…you can’t hit them. Like the NFL, there were days when either sport was much more “Wild West” in nature. Since goalies had little protection in the old days, guys like Ron Hextall started fighting back. The problem was the NHL couldn’t have goalies racking up 100 penalty minutes per season. So it took two actions which could only make things worse.

Like the NFL, over time the NHL phased in a series of protections for net-minders. But simultaneously to that. The league then told the Ron Hextall’s of the world they no longer needed their “vigilante justice;” their protection would now be handled by the league. Just like any time any governing body says “trust me” …well, nothing good is coming. 

Pick any such authoritative body you like, be it sports, government, or the dreaded homeowner’s association, within any of them lies the soul of today’s problem: arbitrary enforcement.

Because the NHL has absolutely no enforceable standard for either officials calling goalie interference or the accountability of those officials who just blow too many calls, there’s a lot more Jon Coopers coming. Frustration over the inefficacy of bloated, corrupt plutocracies like the NHL or (insert governing body of your choosing) is about to hit the boiling point in this country, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. In this case, one of the first casualties is going to be this type hypocritical “do as I say, not as I do” bullshit. See, I know how this ends, but the flavor of Point#3 in my conclusion all depends on if his response SportsChump uses the “magic word.”

Let’s all find out together.

SportsChump: As always, Dubs, it’s a pleasure to step into your time machine that goes both backward, like Marty McFly on his makeshift skateboard spewing manure all around the town park while wearing an old school Jack Lambert jersey, and forward, to the eventual effects that too much political correctness will have on us in general.  Call it the great American softening and no, that doesn’t refer to our ever-expanding waistlines.  That’s an entirely different crisis.

With his swift apology, nothing more has come from Coop’s comments.  They’ll be long forgotten if they aren’t already.  I suppose it’s a matter of accountability, albeit forced for fear of social media backlash.  It’s the difference between the forgiven Andy Pettitte, who apologized for his steroid use, and the unforgiven Roger Clemens who remains in our bad graces while pointing his middle finger defiantly towards Cooperstown.  Had Cooper refused to apologize, would we view him any differently, perhaps label him a chauvinist?  Either way, his skirt potshot will hardly make a dent in how the NHL officiates their goalie interference ruling which, like so many subjective calls in sports leaves a lot to be questioned.

If we elected a man president who boasted that his way with women includes grabbing them by their private parts, suggesting that goalies wear skirts barely registers on the Offend Me scale, regardless of what ESP-Meh would have us believe.

I’m not sure what magic word you’re referring to or whether I’ve already mentioned it but I’m always happy to pass/fail at your whim for it’s an opinion I respect.

Ultimately, we’ve devolved into a time where what we watch influences our opinion and eliminates the ability to think on our own, so we get caught up in this “phony moral outrage” because they tell us to.  That’s a dangerous place to be. 

I may be in the minority, but I still enjoy a comedy show, an unfiltered, honest work of art and a person that speaks their mind when something bothers them.  There are far worse offenses than a coach’s tongue-in-cheek skirt comment fifty years post-Lambert.

Then again, I wear boxer briefs beneath my kilt when working St. Patrick’s Day so I’m a skirt-wearer myself.  You’re welcome for the visual.


Much like Groucho Marx used to say, say the secret word and win.  My hat’s off to you, Mr. Chump; it took you less than 40 words to nail it: “political correctness.”  That also means he’s precisely on target as to the threat.

George Orwell’s 1984 is the nearly shopworn trope for such discussions involving anything touching on “thought crime,” “hate crime,” or all streams flowing toward the cesspool of censorship. Well, guess what, gang?  That’s exactly where we are.

Groucho used a duck to signify when somebody said the secret word, but bloggers are now the canaries in the coal mine for the linguistic McCarthyism that is “political correctness.”  While Chump and I tend to avoid the “lighting rod” topics due to our usual subject matter, I know my inbox fills quickly when I step on the collective toes of the would-be censors.

But for those who boldly go where other bloggers fear to tread, the consequences are very real. Two bloggers I know who take on the current events of the day are currently suffering at the hands of the “PC Mob.” One is currently suspended from his job as a police officer; the other was actually arrested for his coverage of a murder trial involving seemingly corrupt cops. Neither broke any laws, and both should fall squarely under the protections of the 1st Amendment…but stepping on the toes of those who know what’s best for us has now been criminalized.

That’s why this shit isn’t funny anymore. That’s why Chump hit the other secret word here…dangerous.

That’s also why I don’t need to go Orwell-deep into why this is something we should all be railing against. We’re already “canceling” celebrities. Now bloggers are getting arrested. Well, guess what gang?

You’re next.

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