There has been a heckuva fallout from last night’s 7-6 overtime loss to the New York Islanders, but it has had nothing to do with the standings.
“Millergate” emerged as a hot debate on Twitter today, as sports writers and fans chimed in on their opinion of what really went down between Ryan Miller and Jerry Sullivan/John Vogl in the locker room after the loss.
I hoped my previous post would be my only of the day, as the real focus from this game should remain on Drew Stafford and his record setting night. Frankly, it’s a much, much better story.
But “Millergate” has emerged as the talk of the town, so to honor the debate du jour, here’s a brief description of this morning’s discussion of the incident on Twitter.
Mike Harrington, of the Buffalo News, made himself available to fans and other medias in the area to chat about the incident this morning. Mike is always available for Sabres/Bills talk, and is definitely appreciated in the Sabres Game Room Twitter chat. So today, his availability meant a great deal for those trying to figure out what set Ryan Miller off, and what it means.
Essentially, Harrington was in defense of his colleagues at the Buffalo News, and for good reason. The simple question “Are you feeling ok?” should not set an NHL player into a tantrum.
A reporter and writer from one of the other papers in town that covers Buffalo sports noted that the phrasing of the question, however, was off. He stated that he would “never ask a baseball pitcher if he was ok after giving up 7 runs.” Fair enough, but the question is very fair if the same pitcher just threw for 30+ straight innings.
“Are you feeling ok?” is indeed a flawed and lazy way of asking a more poignant question, such as, “Is the fact you haven’t been rested starting to wear on you?” But Miller is a professional athlete. He should not be sent to fits over the semantics or phraseology of a simplistic question.
Heck, this is just one Jerry Sullivan and one John Vogl in a small Buffalo sports town. This isn’t New York. This isn’t Montreal. Miller would have been raked over hot verbal coals in those towns by dozens of angry, shouting reporters.
A lazy question is one thing, but a tantrum – one that drops f-bombs in front of kids – is far, far lazier, and quite destructive.
I hate to do this to Miller, but I am going to have to cite Benford’s Law of Controversy here. The law deals with the amount of emotion in an argument. As stated:
“Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.”
Ryan Miller clearly was showing passion. He was out of control. This was not an arena to exchange vitriol and f-bombs – not in front of children. And by Law, he had nothing relevant to say.
“John, I feel fine. I don’t even know why you’re going down that lane. Do I feel fine? What does that mean? What are you implying?”
He should’ve stopped at “I feel fine.” The rest is all assumption and strange conjecture. Right now, he is coming off like a worn out kid who needs a nap. Frankly, he does need a rest. The fact he’s been in so many darn straight games, and the fact Ruff kept him in that game last night is absolutely puzzling. Maybe he will get a rest, and some good will come from all of this.
Today, as the heat of this argument boils over, it will hopefully simmer down. What should be a molehill has emerged as “Millergate,” and is overshadowing the importance of what Drew Stafford achieved last night.
In any event, Here’s a link to the audio.