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Take 2: How bad was Quenneville’s gesture?

Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 6:22 p.m. CST • Updated: Saturday, April 19, 2014 6:23 p.m. CST
(Mark Humphrey)
Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, center, and assistant coach Jamie Kompon, left, watch the action in the final seconds of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators won 7-5. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville sent Twitter abuzz this week when he gestured at officials from behind the bench. He was fined $25,000 for the gesture. Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick discuss:  

Musick: I’ll never be as witty as Rick Morrissey. Because when Joel Quenneville stood on top of the bench and grabbed himself in protest of a noncall against the St. Louis Blues, the Sun-Times columnist immediately described it as a “lower-body gesture.” Have you seen the highlight? Were you appalled, outraged, offended?  

Styf: I saw the still frame. I saw the GIF. If you wondered, that’s pronounced like the peanut butter, which I can’t have at my house because of allergies and kids and ... I’m getting off topic. I just wonder how bad it really was. I think $25,000 sounds like a lot.

Musick: Yes, and it’s unnecessary. Before the fine, Quenneville already had apologized and described his actions as “bush league,” which made me stifle a chuckle. He said he was caught up in the moment and wasn’t thinking about his actions. From my perspective, I thought the whole thing was funny. If he were a school principal at parent-teacher night, maybe it would be a different story, but he’s a hockey coach in a playoff game. It’s the perfect setting for that sort of spontaneous protest.  

Styf: I’ve seen worse from football coaches and baseball managers. The close talking and spitting is far more inflammatory. Did I use that word right? Anyway, it’s hockey. Things happen. Angry things happen. This, however, was more humorous than anything.

Musick: Speaking of football coaches, my college roomate (hi, Chris!) had a framed photograph of Mike Ditka giving the middle-finger salute as he walked off of the field after a Bears game. I believe it was my roommate’s only framed piece of artwork, actually. This makes me wonder whether college kids 10 years from now will have a picture of Quenneville tacked on to their walls.

Styf: I’m guessing that framed pictures will have progressed to the point that they are GIFs by then. We can frame it digitally. And then take our flying car to the grocery store.

Musick: Will we still have grocery stores? Or will we be all filled up on hologram oatmeal?

Styf: I sure hope not, because I really hate oatmeal. But maybe they’ll figure out baseball replay by then.

Musick: That will be a special day. I’ll save my newspaper from that day. Wait a minute...will we still have newspapers?

Styf: I think Mark Twain had a quote about that. Something about exaggeration. I’m not going anywhere. Don’t think you are either.

Musick: Change is the only constant in life. Once I save enough money, I’m opening a GIF store.

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