Keith Olbermann, notorious TV talking head, used his position with ESPN–the “sports” network that usually mentions hockey only during playoffs– to bash a recent fundraising effort by the Chicago Blackhawks.
The team sold $99 vials of melted “home ice” from the 2013 Stanley Cup season with 100 percent to benefit Chicago Blackhawks Charities.
The glass tubes, 2,013 of them in total, enclosed in genuine puck rubber and displayed in a leather box with the Blackhawks logo. The vials are etched– Home Ice, 2013 Stanley Cup Champions, with the signature of owner Rocky Wirtz. They come with a certificate of authenticity.
The Blackhawks include a video showing how they’re made.
“Melted Stanley Cup championship ice,” Olbermann blasted in his “Worst Person In The Sports World” segment on his ESPN2 show. “Water! You’re charging fans 99 bucks for bottled water! How much more for the bottled water Patrick Kane skated on?”
The public must not have agreed, because the vials sold out in no time at all.
And the proceeds of more than $200,000 went to the tornado relief efforts following Illinois’ worst November storms in history last Sunday — when 16 tornadoes hit the state.
Washington, Illinois, was among the worst hit.
“Illinois is our home, and when one of our communities suffers a loss as tragically as the people of Washington did, we want to do all that we can to help them,” Rocky Wirtz said. “After seeing the devastation and speaking with Governor Quinn, we realized just how much this donation can help those families get back on their feet again.”
Sure, the vials of “ice” are different, but so were Andrew Shaw’s stitches. So are game-worn, sweaty, sweaters. What does it matter if it makes the buyer happy and simultaneously helps those in need?
Meanwhile, ESPN, consider revising “Worst Person In The Sports World” from the name of a segment to the title of Olbermann’s show, until he forces a lawsuit and your network ditches him like the others.
And while you’re at it, ESPN, just leave hockey alone. We’re better off without you.
Everyone else, if you’re interested in helping Illinois tornado relief efforts, here is some helpful information.