Thursday, January 10, 2008

We all need somebody to lean on!

Is he now the chairman of the bullies?

Bob Clark has once again hit a nerve (and not the one running down a Kharlamov leg) with his comments regarding the recent sucker punching by Steve Downie on Jason Blake. Throwing a few verbal haymakers of his own, the former Captain and current Flyer executive came out on the side of Downie over the latest incident to plague the players young career.
Clarke spoke out on TSN’s Off the Record with Michael Landsberg earlier this week, saying that he loved it when Downie took his shots at a restrained Blake, and that Blake had it coming to him. ("When he went after Blake, I loved it," Clarke told TSN yesterday.)

Clarke, who is apparently still employed by the Flyers as a Senior Vice President, though we suspect not in the legal or public relations departments seems to have run counter to the “public face” of the Flyer’s who through GM Paul Holmgren said that they had talked sternly to Downie over his anger issues of last Saturday night.

It would seem that after Holmgren read Downie the riot act, Uncle Bob took the young fellow out for ice cream, tousled his hair and patted him on the head with an attaboy.

Needless to say, the reaction to Clarke’s latest pre-cambrian beliefs has made him once again a rather quotable quote, probably nowhere more than in the NHL offices, where Colin Campbell, the subject of some of Clarke’s ire of late ("My personal feeling is Colin Campbell overreacted," Clarke said) will be making notes, awaiting the next Flyer to be marched into the office after some yet to come outrage.

As for the Flyer dressing room, while big boys don’t cry, especially those in Orange and Black, we gather that if ever they need a shoulder to lean on, Uncle Bob will be there.

TSN--Flyers' Clarke approves Downie's actions
Globe and Mail--Clarke comes to defence of bad boy Downie
MSNBC--Flyers’ Clarke reportedly praises sucker punch
Daily Examiner magazine--You Can’t Take the Bully Out of Broad Street
Philadelphia Inquirer--Clarke swings hard in defending Downie's punch
ESPN--Former Flyers player, now VP, believes Blake deserved punch

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