Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/4/2009 (4656 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
You see, human nature and our own personal biases can sometimes cloud the obvious. We believe people or circumstances can change, if only because that would be our fondest wish. And it's almost always for the better.
I mean, who doesn't wish that John Daly won't show up drunk at the nearest Hooters again? Who actually wants Terrell Owens to repeat his tired, selfish act as a member of the Buffalo Bills, the latest stop on the NFL receiver's Looking for Redemption North American tour?
It doesn't just get real old fast, frankly, it gets depressing.
Which brings us to Printers, for starters, who's supposedly being considered by Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike Kelly for possible employment for the upcoming season. When asked if the Bombers had worked Printers out recently in Florida, Kelly coyly replied, "Casey who?"
Whatever. We know who Casey is. He's the guy who made his act toxic with the B.C. Lions, despite his MVP cred. Printers returned from a failed NFL stint to, in his words, rescue the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from their despair. Instead, Printers not only was a grossly expensive flop, he somehow managed to make a bleak situation in Hamilton seem tragic.
Now wouldn't we all like to believe that Printers can reinvent himself, learn from his toxic past and, if given the opportunity, repay those who gave him a third chance by recapturing his gridiron gifts as the comeback story of 2009? Of course we would.
Printers would humbly accept his Most Outstanding Player award. Kelly would praise Printers for shedding his past demons, which were now clearly overstated. The team that gave its faith to Printers would celebrate their good fortune, perhaps with a parade down Portage Avenue.
A heart-warming thought, right? And in fairness, let's not dismiss even the notion of the Bombers giving Printers a look out-of-hand. That would be rash.
But if it ever comes to taking a leap on Printers, we present you the aforementioned Avery, the troubled New York Rangers forward who actually had to receive psychiatric clearance before his NHL career was allowed to continue on Broadway in March.
As we know, Avery's welcome ran out previously in Los Angeles, before being somewhat revived with the Rangers, then derailed again this season with the Dallas Stars.
In fact, Avery's act had become so unglued that it threatened his career to the point where -- and this is hard to do in this era of professional sports -- not a single team would dare risk his presence. But a desperate Rangers GM Glen Sather did exactly that, giving Avery a lifeline when no one else would.
And it worked. In fact, Avery, who can be an effective and productive irritant, clearly played a key role in the Rangers' resurgence in eking out a playoff spot in the first place.
Yet on Wednesday night, in an astonishing display of stupidity and selfishness, Avery managed to take three needless, potentially devastating minor penalties in a nail-biting 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Eastern conference series. It was truly a work of classless art.
All the while, the cameras focused on an anguished Rangers coach John Tortorella, who kept shooting glares at Avery languishing in the penalty box.
Oh, really? The same Tortorella who put Avery back on the ice AFTER the second crucial penalty in a critical playoff game? Sure, you can heap all the blame on Avery if you want, but Tortorella's decision to throw Avery out again was arguably even more brain-dead than the player himself.
Don't you see? Surely Tortorella thought that -- after two previous transgressions -- there was no chance in Hades that Avery would ever put his teammates' playoff hopes in such a perilous situation again? No, that's not possible. It can't be.
But that was Tortorella's human mistake. To believe that after all Avery has been through, having his career hanging by a thread, that he wouldn't possibly jeopardize not only his future, but that of his teammates. Who would possibly do such a heinous, thoughtless, self-centred thing?
We'll tell you who: Sean Avery.
That's what's so confounding, frankly. To see the dumbfounded reaction to Avery's meltdown. It's understandable. And it's all too human.
After all, if you were astounded by Avery's callous disregard for his actions, just imagine the incredulity of the individuals who welcomed him into their dressing room.
All we're saying is sometimes things are what they are. You can't wish them to be any different and you can't look to the heavens in exasperation if it all goes bad. Again.
Casey who? Casey Printers, that's who. Sign him and you know what you're getting.
And if it works out, great. Just spare us the disbelief if it doesn't.
Randy Turner spent much of his journalistic career on the road. A lot of roads. Dirt roads, snow-packed roads, U.S. interstates and foreign highways. In other words, he got a lot of kilometres on the odometer, if you know what we mean.