Mark Messier went on quite a journey from being a 17 year old in the WHA to a star in Edmonton and a savior for the Rangers. He’ll travel a long distance in a more literal way on Nov. 6, when he participates in the New York City Marathon.
Rather than hiring a trainer, Messier is apparently going the trial and error route. He decided to take on the challenge after turning 50, but the best part of that goal is that Messier will run for charity. The two charities that will benefit are: the New York Police & Fire Widow’s and Children’s Benefit Fund and Tomorrows Children’s Fund.
Messier told Joe Battaglia that he didn’t train like a runner during his playing days, so this is a new challenge. Hopefully the former New York Rangers captain will be able to bridge the gap between running 19 miles and the 26.2 he’ll need to complete in early November, though.
“I felt like I could never take another step the rest of my life,” he said, adding that he was pleased with how quickly he recovered. “My feet were sore, killing me. Every bone in my body ached.”
Sounds a lot like how he probably felt on a special night in 1994.
Technically, you could probably say that fans engage in “Twitter battles” during every game of the season. In fact, people who hold a rival team in particular distaste rarely let the league’s schedule makers determine when they’ll launch their insults. Sometimes the results are charming and amusing; other times it gets ugly or downright creepy. Then again, that’s the danger and delight of the Internet: it opens up all kinds of avenues – not all of them are good, though.
Hopefully the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers will bring out the best in their fan bases this afternoon, though. The two squads are encouraging fans to participate in a “hashtag” battle on Twitter, while at least one of the teams will make sure that a local charity is the biggest winner. Here’s a quick rundown of the setup, via the Kings:
- Fans can enter a tweet that includes one of two hashtags: #GoLAKings or #GoNYRangers.
- Fans who use the #GoLAKings tag will be entered in a drawing to win a free round trip ticket via Delta Airlines. (Delta will fly anyone to one of their destinations in the United States or Canada.)
- The Kings will donate $1,000 for every 5,000 tweets to the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.
It’s unclear what the Rangers are doing for fans who go in their direction, but it’s likely that charitable organizations would benefit from their side as well. (Feel free to share the Rangers’ plans in the comments.)
In the spirit of the situation, it would be ideal if fans kept their tweets clean. Example: avoid controversial subjects like the two franchises’ battle to land Brad Richards and stick to common ground issues, such as communal mockery of Sean Avery.
Anyway, it’s a great way for the two teams to promote a game that will take place at unusual time for casual fans while also generating charitable donations. Much like the Washington Capitals teaming up with the Pittsburgh Penguins to benefit the families of the Lokomotiv victims, it’s fantastic to see “opposing forces” come together for great causes.
We’ve had a little bit of fun with T.J. Oshie’s unexcused absence from Blues practice that earned him a team-imposed two game vacation but we’re happy to see today that he’s learning from it and making immediate amends for screwing up.
After all, professional athletes missing practice for any reason at all is pretty inexcusable since this is their life and their careers. We’re not talking about ducking practice to go hang with your buddies at the mall. At least we hope not in this case. For Oshie, it’s a very public mistake and one he’s not happy with himself about even if Brett Hull says his teammates should’ve helped him out by making sure he got to practice.
Oshie spoke with the press today about his mistake and he was indeed very sorry for what happened as Jeremy Rutherford of The St. Louis Dispatch shares.
“I’ve learned from what happened the last couple days. This is kind of an eye-opener for me. I know that this is unacceptable. I’m going to do everything I can to earn the trust back of the fans, who I love here in St. Louis, of management and mostly my teammates. They’re the ones I go to battle with every night. I definitely never want to let them down again.”
Oshie says he feels so badly about what happened that he ‘s donating the money for the games he was sat down for. For that, he’s donating the money he made in those two games to charity.
As a result, Oshie will divide his pay from the missed games and donate it to the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund and the Dream Factory.
“I got paid for the last two days I missed and that’s not right,” Oshie told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “I’m going to do everything I can to earn the trust back of the fans, who I love here in St. Louis. (My teammates) are the ones I go to battle with every night. I definitely never want to let them down again.”
It’s not just good PR for Oshie to do this, it’s smart too. In professional sports we hear so much about players seem to do things with no regard for the public or how their actions affect the team and those around them. In Oshie’s case he makes his team look bad but makes up for it by doing a really great thing for the community. If you can’t help the team win on the ice, helping them win off of it by helping the community is such a different thing to see a pro athlete do.
Good for Oshie for doing it but we can’t help it if we’re still really curious about just where he was.