With the Philadelphia Flyers on the verge of Stanley Cup elimination on their own ice at the Wachovia Center, the attention has been turned away from tonight’s Game 6 in Philly and focused on the Chicago Tribune’s latest attempt at sports rivalry humor – a graphic portraying “Chrissy” Pronger in a skirt, and declaring that he “Looks like Tarzan, skates like Jane.” Despite the distraction, Pronger has mostly ignored the jab, which makes one of us. I just can’t tell where his legs stop and his neck starts.
With the Flyers down 3-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks and facing their fourth elimination game of these playoffs, Pronger told reporters that he doesn’t bother reading anything that’s written about him – good or bad. The Tribune’s editorial staff, in the face of accusations that the image and accompanying copy are sexist, responded that the intent was all in harmless fun, and that nobody should be upset about some good, old-fashioned tomfoolery. Besides, with sexy pictures like that, it’s not like anyone reads the Tribune for the articles.
Photoshop my bikini line, USA Today:
Tribune sports editor Mike Kellams told the New York Daily News that the paper did not intend to be offensive but “there is no other guy in orange who commands attention like Chris Pronger does…he’s the villain, he’s the enemy. We were just trying to tap into that emotion that is unique to sports, and we were just trying to have some fun in the paper. I don’t think that’s against the law.”
Team USA women’s hockey captain Angela Ruggiero doesn’t see anything funny in the Tribune’s efforts, though, responding:
“I’d like to see that editor out on skates. I’ll take them one-on-one on the ice any day,” Ruggiero said. “They obviously have never seen women’s hockey and are living in the dark ages. … Obviously it’s offensive. It’s disappointing more than anything.”
As the one-time owner of a Manon Rheaume rookie card, I am offended as well. I can’t believe I paid $6 for it. Tribune sports editor Mike Kellams said he’s received mixed reactions to the graphic, adding: “Johnny Weir LOVED it!” Ruggiero is hosting her hockey camp for girls in Illinois this month and has said that she refuses to purchase a Tribune newspaper, making her no different than 90 percent of Americans.