Written by Peter Gailunas
The Bruins Stanley Cup Victory Tour continued this week with a team visit to the White House with President Barack Obama. No big deal, right? It’s tradition that every professional and collegiate championship winner goes to the White House for a tour and a photo-op with the prez. Well, the Bruins recent trip is making national headlines. Playoff MVP Tim Thomas skipped it because he’s taking a stand against politics in government and apparently it’s a big deal. He’s taking some serious heat in the media with many saying he’s disrespecting the office of the president. Some are even going as far as saying, Thomas is “un-American.”
I say, “Who cares?” As long as he keeps stopping 90% of the pucks shot at him, I don’t really care. This tradition of pro teams visiting the president is foolish, especially for hockey teams. It would be more appropriate for them to visit Canadian Parliament since the majority of them are Canadian. Tim Thomas is one of only two American-born players on the team. And doesn’t the president have more important things to do than meet with a bunch of millionaires who won a sports championship? A better story would be if the president entertained the M Street Softball Champs of 2011. Can you picture a bunch of blue collar guys with beer bellies with nicknames like Sully and Mucka high-fiving Barry Obama at a keg party on the White House lawn?
Plenty of athletes have skipped the White House visit because they didn’t like the president. Theo Epstein didn’t go when the Red Sox won in 2004 because he didn’t like George W. No one made a big deal about that and he was part of management. In my opinion, Tim Thomas is a big boy and is entitled to decide where he wants to go and who he wants to meet. I don’t know why everyone, especially the media, wants to bash the guy simply because he didn’t want to shake Obama’s hand. I bet Obama doesn’t even care.
I predict Tim Thomas will lead the Bruins to another Stanley Cup this year and win the playoff MVP again. All will be forgiven, at least in Boston. And if we have a new president next year, will Tim go the White House? I wonder if he likes Romney or Gingrich.