You never know where you are gonna find a political scoop, but Lynn Zinser at her NYT hockey “Slapshot” blog just posted that Sarah Palin, in her much-ballyhooed appearance dropping the puck at the Philly Flyers’ opener, was greeted by “resounding (almost deafening) boos from the Flyers crowd.” The NY Daily News declared, “They booed.” There’s loud music in the backgound but watch the video and judge for yourself.
But Zinser’s post had a lot more in mind: “I would object to this sideshow whichever political party it involved. Having vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin drop the ceremonial first puck at the Flyers’ opener Saturday night was problematic not because it was Palin — Flyers owner Ed Snider’s decision under the flimsy excuse of ‘honoring’ hockey moms — but because it is injecting politics in a place it should not be.”
The biggest problem: when Palin came out to onto the Wachovia Center ice Saturday night — greeted by resounding (almost deafening) boos from the Flyers crowd — the two hockey players who had no choice but to appear with her in that photo op were turned into props in a political campaign. If Rangers center Scott Gomez or Flyers center Mike Richards wanted to make some sort of political statement that would be fine, but in this case, they were thrust into a situation not of their choosing. Snider put them there with his ill-advised mixing of politics and sports.
The level of discomfort has been palpable for the Rangers’ two Alaska natives, Gomez and Brandon Dubinsky, as they have been asked questions about Palin and the election in recent weeks. Dubinsky, a 22-year-old who has shied away from nothing since he broke in with the Rangers last year, looks petrified when the topic gets brought up. I think both would rather play goalie in a shootout than weigh in on the presidential election. -- Greg Mitchell