Saturday, May 4, 2013
When I attempted to answer the time-tested question, "Why do people hate Pierre McGuire?" the response was overwhelming. People just don't like him, and they Google their hatred for him a lot.
Mercifully, Pierre McGuire was hired by NBC in 2011, so his presence (at least in Canada, sorry America, you're stuck with him) is minimal. However, his void as the most annoying on-air Canadian personality was filled almost immediately—like a decapitated hydra—by Glenn Healy.
People end up here quite frequently by Googling their hatred for Healy, as well. So, why do people hate Glen Healy? Let me count the ways.
- The most frequent complaint about Healy is that he hates your favourite team. That's generally lobbed at any analyst who doesn't gush Joe Bowen-esque homerism at your favourite team, but there is some merit for the criticism in this case. That's because Healy, likely because he is still bitter about his own miserable career, hasn't said anything positive about a player in what seems like his entire broadcasting career.
- Back when he was doing commentary for TSN, Healy awarded his "Loch Ness Monster of the Game", given to the player you've heard about but haven't seen in the game. Aside from being a tongue-in-cheek rip-off of McGuire's insufferable "Monster of the Game", the idea must have been born as a counter to Healy's own career—because when a flashing red light and a goal song go off pretty much every time the puck enters your zone, it isn't hard to notice you.
- To be fair, as a bad backup goalie, Healy does have a right to criticize. He's watched a lot of hockey from a pretty nice seat, and when he did get into the games he knew pretty much every single way a player could score a goal. "Luongo shouldn't have given up that goal, Simmer, and I should know, because I let up a lot of 'em."
- Like McGuire, Healy is usually in between the benches, and when not getting hit by pucks (how annoying) he's busy pressing his mute button when animosity, and a certain flattery, is exchanged between benches. We can deal with some cursing. Unfortunately, what we can't deal with is Healy refraining from holding down the mute button when he decides to open his mouth.
- Anytime he can work in a reference to winning a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, he does it. It doesn't matter that his contributions were minimal or whether the context of the game even calls for it. It doesn't even matter if he's at the mall ordering fries, because your taxes pay for the CBC, so he's contractually obliged to harangue you here, dammit.
- On the Satellite Hotstove, which has degraded considerably since TSN poached Pierre LeBrun, Healy and PJ Stock disintegrate any semblance of intelligent conversation while Elliotte Friedman counts the seconds before his contract expires and his insight can be appreciated once again.
- Healy's primary intellectual foil on the Hotstove is Stock, a man who somehow got it in his head that doing a commercial for adult diapers was a good career move.
- Instead of using facts and knowledge to make himself look smart, he will cut up his panel-mates at any chance he gets. Disagree with something PJ says, Heals? Who cares, just roll your eyes and cut him off. Then the audience will really know who won that argument. Did someone just question your baseless argument? Who cares, point out he's wearing a stupid tie. Elliotte Friedman tried to bring up Corsi? Buy him a pair of glasses and then break that nerd's new pair of glasses.
- You know it's bad when you pine for the halcyon days of Al Strachan and Mike Milbury.
- Even worse, when Friedman does bring up something meaningful, Healy practically clubs him over the head, refusing to shift the discussion from the depths of his ignorance. Healy also routinely cuts off his panel-mates and brazenly steals other's air time, most egregiously a few weekends ago when Ron MacLean directly asked Friedman a question and Healy jumped right in and answered the question. Sure, that happens all the time on talking head, faux-argument panels, but Friedman—the only real journalist who knows how to search out information and not just recite flawed, uninformed opinions—is the one we trust for insight. If we want to know why the bagpipes are Scotland's greatest export, we'll ask you, Heals.
- When he played for the Leafs it meant either Felix Potvin or Curtis Joseph sat on the bench. That's a crime.
- He was a Maple Leaf, therefore fans of the 29 other teams are obliged to hate him.
- He was a Maple Leaf who went on to become vastly more successful once he left the Leafs (I sadly assume his contract with CBC runs until the end of 2050), meaning Leafs fans are obliged to hate him.