Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hoserdome: Theoren Fleury; two minutes for hero worship

Reading about Theoren Fleury affirms why one hates-loves sarcasm.

Honestly, the knee-jerk reaction was, "He must really be hard up for money," when it hit the wires that Fleury wants to make a comeback six years after he last played in the NHL. Lo and behold, From The Rink has revealed that is pretty much the case. A divorce, a bad investment and likely the collateral damage from a chemical dependency problem apparently left him in a huge hole. Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey dug out a story from February about Fleury unsuccessfully trying to get an Alberta court to award him a $130,000 rebate on his child support. He did get his payments reduced by 80 per cent. Grrrrrrreat.

Of course, someone would barely know if that if they relied on the newspapers. One Calgary paper made no reference to financial problems and played it as a cheery underdog story. The other was more realistic but financial issues were not mentioned until the 18th paragraph and then only briefly.

Perhaps Theoren Fleury needs to be close to hockey to feel valuable, but that is also what led him into trouble. One hopes that happens, but it's kind of weak to gloss over why someone who is older than recent retirees Jeremy Roenick and Joe Sakic is trying to come back. Imagine the typical reaction when a 41-year-old boxer announces his comeback plans years after he has passed his best-before date as an athlete. The reaction is one of sadness.


Anonymous said...

When I think of Theoren Fleury, I feel both admiration and pity.
Admiration for him because at his size if it were not for his sheer talent and determination he would not have gotten a first look from scouts.
Despite all odds, he fashioned a long and successful NHL career.
On the other hand, his frequently erratic behavior, fueled by alcohol, indicates to me he was always a deeply troubled young man.
Like Sheldon Kennedy, Fleury played junior for the now infamous Graham James.
We know from Kennedy's accounts just how devastating the impact James had on his life.
Fleury has always denied he was abused by James, but his personal history shows all the earmarks of someone who was seriously mistreated at a critical stage of their life.
I just hope that somehow he finally turns his life around.

Keith Borkowsky said...

Has he considered the KHL? Lots of money thrown around there and maybe they'd take a chance on him.