Yo, Get Off Michael Richards’ Dick

I’m the first one to throw stones at these guys for being immature. But the witch-hunt (Lavs’ word, not mine) that has developed for Michael Richards and his captaincy is ridiculous.

Take this article, written by Sam Donnellon today, which asks if the Flyers should remove the “C” from Richards:

THEY HAVE to do it now, don't they? Even if they want Mike Richards to remain captain, even if their internal discussions conclude that this team's fading finishes in two of the last three seasons were no fault of his, haven't the Flyers introduced a virus into their system with their tepid endorsements of the man over the last 10 days?

Haven't they put themselves in the position to either trade him or strip his captaincy?


No! No they have not.

Last year, we were all trying to figure out a way to give Richie an over-the-Cooperalls handjob for his playoff performance. This year, we’re running him out of town. 

If you read this site often, you know that I routinely post about Richie’s (along with other Flyers) exploits. I make fun of his Yankees hatsimmature Tweets, and off-ice adventures. Why? Because it’s funny and – I think – interesting to see what players are really like. But none of that has anything to do with whether Michael Richards is good captain or not.

His on-ice work ethic has never been questioned, and, by all accounts, his teammates like him. He’s not particularly verbose nor eloquent, but that doesn’t matter. This isn’t Mighty Ducks. Lavs doesn’t stand up in locker rooms giving convoluted speeches about pride and hometowns (which always seem to inexplicably end in spontaneous uniform changes) while Richards and Joshua Jackson roller blade around Northen Liberties with a fucking duck whistle. That’s not how it goes down in real life.

Instead, captains lead by example. Richards played the entire season with an injury, just like he did during 2008-2009 campaign. The one year he was healthy? The Flyers made it to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, partly due to his inspired play (cliche, but true).

So where does all this come from? Butt-hurt media members. Everyone from Tim Panaccio to Steve Simmons in Toronto is taking shots at One Eight. And now Richards is fighting back.

While he may very well be the biggest dick in the locker room (more than one person has relayed that sentiment to me), his interaction with the media ultimately has nothing to do with him being captain. His responsibility is to the team, not the media.

Yes, Lavs, Holmgren, and Snider have given Richards less-than-ringing endorsements, but that doesn’t explain this sheer lunacy from Donnellon: 

That's what I would tell Richards in proposing he take a break from the job. As he himself has said, plenty of guys can wear the C, and Pronger is the obvious choice, when and if he gets healthy. Meanwhile, Mike Richards can deal with the media any way he would like, play unfettered and see whether a little time can heal a reputation that already has taken too many hits.


That makes no sense. Pronger is always hurt and the locker room equivalent of the team dad. He doesn’t hang out with these guys, he can’t relate to them. Do you think it’s a coincidence that every time we see pictures of the team out, they include – almost without fail – some combination of Richards with Carter, Giroux, and Van Riemsdyk (along with soon to be free agents Carcillo and Leino)? That’s the core of your team right there. Sure, their bonds may be formed over Eiffel Towers in Old City and Sea Isle, but they’re bonds nonetheless.

Take the Broad Street Bullies, for example. They were notorious partiers. Clarke, too…. And everyone on the team had his back.

The 1993 Phillies? Same way. In fact, Donnellon lauds Darren Daulton for being a great “captain” and holding his teammates accountable. However, he fails to mention that Macho Row was a bunch of drunks, nuts, and criminals (literally) who hated everything about the media.

Maybe some of the vitriol should go towards the coach. Here’s a guy who had trouble getting along with Rod Brind’Amour, oh holy of holiest ones. 

Lavs is the anti-Charlie Manuel. For as calm and steady as Manuel is, Lavs is equally as reactive and combustive. Just look at what he did with the goalies in the playoffs. You talk about signs of panic, start there.

The point is, there’s a lot of blame to go around for the debacle that was this season. Everyone from the GM to the coach to the captain to the goaltender to sign man is to blame. But pointing the finger solely at Michael Richards is the wrong thing to do.

And don’t expect that “C” to go anywhere. The Flyers haven’t changed his name to the more professional-sounding Michael for nothing. 


34 Responses

  1. well said. The media is always willing to blast us the fans for over-reacting to every game, detail, minute yet they do the same thing in a much bigger way. If any of them actually understood the game, they would see how much of a leader on the ice Richards is.

  2. Probably the best piece on the Flyers I have seen on this site, or any site, in quite sometime. 100% agree with everything said here.

  3. Until he wins he is always going to face this type of criticism. I think much of it is unmerited, I think it is ridiculous when people say “He doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to win, he wants to get to the shore as soon as possible”. He isn’t messier or yzerman, but there isn’t one guy on the the 30 NHL teams right now that is even half the leader those two were.
    Be like Toews, be like crosby do this at practice, don’t take days off etc. I don’t know jack shit what he does and doesn’t work on at practice or in his time at the rink, no one else does either except what they read from pannacio blurbs or what fat frank has to say.
    He does need to tone down the defensiveness and just ignore the public criticism, he is feeding right into it and doing exactly what they want, finding an outlet to portray him as a spoiled rich star.
    I think he is a good kid and love watching him play, just don’t like seeing him get caught up in these pissing matches.

  4. Well said Kyle. I’m beyond frustrated with the media, and now a small group of fans, demanding he be traded or lose the C. It’s also a shame that he’s reading some of this crap (not your blog, you’ve always had his back, which I think he recognizes).
    As for the title of your post, some girl in Cabo is probably occupying that position presently.

  5. EXACTLY. the philly main stream guys with the exception of Seravalli need to cut the bullshit with one eight. Richards is the fucking man. He is the epitome of what I want in a captain. A leader of men, someone who gives 110% all the time (injured or not), someone who is one of the best two way forwards in the game, someone who contributes in so many ways, lots that dont show up on the scoresheet, and a physical presence always (despite not being one of the bigger guys on the ice) who will step to anyone in the league for one of his brothers in Orange and Black. What these guys are doing to our captain is a fucking disgrace. I for one am not doubting Richards’ leadership. I believe in this team and Richie. Even if Richie retired without a Stanley Cup I would be extremely proud that he wore Orange and Black and represented my city. Its ridiculous that I even have to write this….
    To close, the captain of my team does not have to backslap with Tim Panaccio or give him a nice quote to wear the C and be effective (but trust me Tim and Sam Donnellon will try to make you believe that….) Just get out there and give your all and get your guys to do the same. Richie has proven that he can do that and that he is damn good at it.
    Mad respect for the one eight.

  6. This is seriously one of the best articles you’ve written man, you’re dead on accurate with this. I’m a big Richards fan so I may be biased…but he did struggled this year. However last year this guy could have been mayor of Philly. Oh quickly how we turn on a player when he or she struggles. It’s PATHETIC. I’ve been on a ton of different blogs and sites and I’m almost ashamed to say I’m a Flyers fan after seeing how everyone is acting this off-season. It’s downright pathetic. I’m convinced the average Flyers fan is clueless. I’m convinced the average Flyers fan only tunes in at the end of the season. I’m convinced the average Flyers fan is ONLY a Flyers fan and has no idea what’s going on in the rest of the league. The way they’ve lashed out at Richards, Pronger, Homer, etc is not only immature but it shows how uneducated they are as hockey fans. The media here is a joke as well, every writer says that Richards not being “media-friendly” has nothing to do with their feelings…BS. That’s complete and utter BS. It has EVERYTHING to do with him and the media relationship. These “writers” wouldn’t know the game if it walked up and slapped them in the face.
    The guy had a bad year, in injury year. People need to back off, the Flyers year was a disappointment for many reasons, not just Richie’s play.

  7. Spot on. Hopefully the real Flyers fans see what you wrote instead of the spoon-fed garbage everywhere else.

  8. Imagine the Richards & Carter stories next weekend down SIC. god bless them

  9. This article could have easily been summarized with the following clip:
    Shut The Fuck Up:

    Frank S is the only writer in our dying print press who seems to get this team and the players. TP/SD and the other outsiders are abusing their powers in the media if you ask me.
    PS: People only remember the last 5 seconds of that shift in the video above but it was a 35+ second shift that included crushing check / take-away at the Flyers Blue Line resulting in a 3 on 2 break, a cross ice sprint / back check to take the puck off of a Habs player stick and the heads up play to anticipate the clear to chase down that puck….. where History Was Made.

    Oh, and it was all while on the PK.
    Here is a better clip of that entire shift:

  10. Bra-FUCKING-Vo
    Finally someone gets it. Thanks Kyle,now when I talk to people that are totally clueless I can just print this article out for them and walk away.

  11. Donnellon and Pannachio are wannabes. DNL should have them on and do midget wrestling. They’d probably both get hurt for lack of an athletic bone in their bodies.

  12. Thank you, all. He’s a lot of things, but a bad captain certainly isn’t one of them. Media needs to stop sniffing themselves.

  13. You’re retarded, Richards is a pussy that makes terrible passes all the time. “Yeah man let’s throw the puck while not looking across the crease! It will either be a 2-1 for the other team or a sweet goal for us 1% of the time!”
    He talks like an arrogant baby to the media and he is the captain of one of toughest teams in hockey history. Schultz and Co. would beat the shit out of him if he were their captain.

  14. a fucking men. Hes a leader on and off the ice. so what if he wants to have fun off I don’t blame. No matter what tho he comes to play every fucking night. I think its funnny that a writer that dont have an athletic bone in his body talks all this smack.Leave richy the fuck alone

  15. What people tend to forget about Hockey Players in general is that they are extreme, and their life reflects that.
    There are few athletes in other sports (6 nation rugby maybe?) that play a tough a long physical game/season, abusing their bodies over a long season, constantly play hurt, and party shockingly hard off ice/field. Respect.

  16. Everytime you say “Michael”, I immediately think of Kramer, which makes me think of his stand-up, and that’s not good.

  17. the only opinion w any weight on the subject of Captain are the guys in the locker room. imo its a little below Donnellon to write on the subject w/out having locker room quotes criticizing Richards’ leadership.

  18. Exactly! Great post. The media doesn’t seem to realize that the locker room and the fans are generally all on Richards side here. The media (for the most part) looks like petty bitches. Carchidi and Panotch, to be specific, look like they have some kind of vendetta against him. They are acting unprofessional and aren’t even very talented writers to begin with. They should realize that this kind of bullshit is why more and more fans are turning to blogs like this instead of their shitty-ass mainstream media newspapers/tv/etc.

  19. This deserves an award. FINALLY someone gets that. Philly always wants a change too fast.

  20. While the media will have their own beef with Richards for obvious reasons, I do agree that maybe the C needs to go on Pronger’s chest.
    Don’t get me wrong, Richards plays the game with heart, and more times than not, leaves it ALL on the ice. But he’s a kid, he can’t handle the media, and for the record, the C while of course means something in the locker room, the main duty that comes along with the C, is being thee guy that represents the team at all times, charity events, public appearances and most importantly with the media.
    Let’s not forget, he’s one of the guys, he is friends with the core of the team. If you and your buddies had a night out on the town, out Eiffel Towerin’ bitches, would you take the guy seriously the next day when he’s in the locker room yammerin about work ethic. Also, even from MR’s viewpoint, would you be comfortable laying the law down for the very same cronies you go out pounding pussy with every night?
    Pronger is the dad of the locker room, and he has the most knowledge and experience in this game, he knows exactly what it takes to win it all, he sees the ice better than anybody on this team, he should wear the C.
    And don’t give me this crap about the old bullies from the 70’s used to go out and get ripped every night, that game is completely different from the game we have to watch today, the players are quicker, stronger and more skilled than ever. The worst thing about this young core, is that they have no idea how rare of an oppurtunity it is to be on such a talented team, they’ll look back 10 years from now when they’re all scattered on different teams in shitty markets, that they missed the oppurtunity of a lifetime.
    But hey, if I’m 22-25, with millions of dollars to blow, I’d probably be out slamming pussy too, but if these guys want a ring, they’re gonna have to keep that shit in the summer.

  21. Hey Kyle.
    I have to commend you this is one of the best articles you ever produced.
    Yeah I don’t know the Philly media hates OUR Captain. Because he’s not an open and eloquent speaker? Come on! Since the media makes shyte up about him then they can figure out a way fudge his quotes to please their readers.
    Remember I’ve been defending him through and through, and I was the one saying that the only criteria for being a captain was the endorsements of his peers, not his repore with the media. And I was the first to speculate that something was wrong with him because all of his “maintenants days”.
    All the Philly media who knock the Flyers, especially Tim Panocha, can eat shyte in Hell for all I care.
    I’ll tell you what Boyo, maybe it’s time for some of them to retire, because the torch has been passed to a new generation of sports media, like you, Laddie (aside from picking on Richie’s hats and tweats and etc.). And that’s going to be the best complement you’ll get out of me, Kyle-Boy.

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  23. I am 100% in full agreement with this very well written article. it just shows how story hungry most mainstream media is nowadays. they could care less about what a player has done over his career and only seem to have the “What have you done for me lately” mentality.
    i don’t think i have to remind any true blue flyers fans that one eight is the man that scored three (yes THREE!) 3 vs 5 shorties.
    that’s god damn work right there.

    Oh Captain my Captain!

  24. Richards lost the C for me when he did nothing to acknolwedge Prust leveling Timonen in the corner.
    Maybe it was because of the wrist, but no one is asking Richards to fight. A couple cross checks or something to let Timonen know, hey I got your back.
    That was the problem with this entire team this year and I think that starts with the leader.
    A down year of playing shouldn’t make a player lose the C, especially when he apparantely was injured.
    But, he wasn’t a leader. He didn’t stick up for his teammates. The climatic point to his leadership role this year was when he knocked out Matt Cooke…in October.
    That’s the difference between Richards and past captains. At least in 2010-2011.
    Richards was out of shape this year. We saw it. He was tired from the postseason run last year and spent the entire summer at a cottage.
    Hopefully this shit season reawakens the beast, but if it happens again or at least over the first few months, then the Flyers should go to 3 A’s. Which I think they should have done in the beginning anyway.

  25. Actually, dealing with the media is part of the job of a captain. That C on his sweater is a bullseye on his chest. When the Lakers got swept by the Mavs, Kobe held a press conference the day after the loss and was grilled by the media. Mike Richards? He’s too busy whining on twitter about the media. A true captain takes the heat, answers the tough questions, acts like a grown up.
    I would suggest Kyle Scott take his Richards jersey off and come out of Mom’s basement once every couple of days. Might help you get a objective opinion

  26. Have to say that I completely DISAGREE with this article. How come we never hear about Richards motivating his team in the locker room? How come we hear about Briere getting the team pumped up and nothing ALL year about Richards? Do they just keep it quiet? Doubtful.
    Leads by example on the ice? You mean his cross ice passes on the PP that get intercepted but happen to work 1 time out of every 100? I didn’t much of anything on the ice this year that showed he led by example. Last year in the playoffs he was a completely different player. This year…total dud. When I look at his career so far last year is the only year I can remember him stepping up to take the lead.
    They all hang out together? So what? Years ago when they played pitt in playoffs and lost there were reports of the team being out late the night before the game getting drunk…thats exactly what I want my captain doing…This is a bad bunch that hangs out. They should be focused on winning a cup not where the next party is going to be and who is bringing the porn stars…
    I have no problem leaving Richards as the captain but they need to trade Carter. Also everyone in the locker room that has experience and has been playing the game for a while knows the real captain is Pronger…All the young guns that can relate to Richie hang out with him, but Giroux moved in with a veteran (Briere) and if JVR was smart he would stay away from the scene Carter and Richards are into and stay focused on his game.
    Richards is one of the worst captains…It was a mistake giving him the C when they did. Pitt gave Crosby the C and the Flyers thought that was a great time to give Richards the C. He is still too immature and cant handle the stage. Media is a big role for the captain. That is where he gets to portray the team that he leads and he is doing a poor job at handling them. Without Pronger there to divert the attention away from Richie…richie fails.

  27. “Actually, dealing with the media is part of the job of a captain.” Posted by: Bob Dobalina | May 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM
    The hell it is, you rittard.
    I actually wish he’s just finally go and tell all the Tim Panocha-like media clowns to go pound sand, piss up a rope, and jump off a tall bridge.

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