Patrick Kane is a dangerous player whenever he takes the ice. His shot is deadly accurate. A true sniper. He stickhandles like the puck is glued to the blade, ready to hit the open player at any moment. And his skating ability makes him a triple threat as he weaves up the ice with speed and power. A first round pick for a reason, Patrick Kane is using his talent to help the Chicago Blackhawks maintain it’s place as a Stanley Cup contender.
He has made the headlines the last couple of summers for his off-ice incidents involving alcohol. The Patrick Kane drunken walk meme was a favorite. He and a cousin punched a cap driver in the face over a handful of change. The off-season antics can damage the marketability and career of a professional athlete. The team has leverage to use over you in a contract negotiation. The media will always be ready to pounce and make you the topic du jour on talk radio.
Don Murray, the head wrestling coach at Brockport State College near the Lake Ontario shores, had a rule for his athletes. No drinking during the season. Even a casual drink or two hurts an athlete’s performance the next day. If you want to be champion, you have to make sacrifices. If you want to be a part of a championship team, you have to do what you’re asking everyone else to do. Stay dry. No alcohol. Coach Murray has succeeded by taking ordinary talent and making them national champion and winning team championships. His training of the body and the mind cannot be slowed by the athlete who is limiting their performance due to being hung over.
Thousands of professional and amateur careers have been derailed due to excessive alcohol consumption. It is not limited to hockey. Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic wrote a heartbreaking story on former Coyote coach Bob Francis and his health condition. It cannot be overlooked that Coach Francis states that he is a recovering alcoholic. Another career and life devastated due to alcohol.
Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News wrote on September 26th:
The latest flashpoint comes from the University of North Dakota, where four intoxicated freshmen from the (former) Fighting Sioux were allegedly carried into their dorm by upperclassmen because they couldn’t walk under their own power. According to the Grand Forks Herald, goalie Zane Gothberg (Boston, 165th overall in 2010) was passed out on the floor when cops arrived. Bryn Chyzyk was lying on a futon and unresponsive until an officer applied a pressure point behind his ear. Drake Caggiula was taken to hospital with suspected alcohol poisoning, while St. Louis Blues first round draft pick Jordan Schmaltz (25th overall in 2012) locked himself in a bathroom during the initial sweep, then passed out on his bed where cops found him soon after.
The North Dakota athletic department has already suspended seven upperclassmen from its opening series against Alaska-Anchorage because of the incident, which has been characterized as a team party gone wrong. (The specter of hazing has been brought up, but not proven.)
You have first round draft pick Jordan Schmaltz almost throwing away his collegiate and professional career, not to mention his life, over alcohol. At some point, you think the athlete would get it and say “I have the rest of my life to drink. If I focus now, I’ll be set for life.” It is priorities and the ability to say no.
Alcohol has a long and pronounced role in athletics. Your not going to stop it (prohibition(, you just need decide if it is worth doing for you. Tailgating is meant for drinking. But tailgating is for the fan who is paying to watch the athlete.