Who wants to shoot J.R.?

Jeremy Roenick
c/o Philadelphia Flyers hockey club
3601 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Mr. Roenick:

I know you've enjoyed quite a career in the NHL with Chicago, Phoenix and Philadelphia. Two-time 50-goal scorer. Coming up on 500 career goals. Sounds like the making of a Hall of Famer.

Clearly, though you have taken one too many pucks to the head. That or the concussions you've endured in your career are clouding your judgment.

In an Associated Press story this past weekend, you weighed in on the season-long NHL lockout by saying, "we're going to try to make it better for everybody, period, end of subject."

How do you propose that? Please, by all means, enlighten us.

You followed that with this nugget of wisdom: "And if you don't realize that, then don't come. We don't want you at the rink, we don't want you in the stadium, we don't want you to watch hockey. I say personally, to everybody who called us 'spoiled,' you guys are just jealous ... we have tried so, so hard to get this game back on the ice."

Hey, J.R., you really need to watch who you're throwing under the bus. If there is something every player -- from Ramzi Abid to Andrei Zyuzin -- must do once this is settled is win back the dwindling fan base the NHL has.

There was a time in my life where I did not think I could survive without hockey, reading the boxscores, keeping up with my rotisserie teams. The lockout has changed that. I have written in the past about going to games across North America, but I suspect that is not going to happen anymore.

I still plan on staying away. This has nothing to do with jealousy, J.R. This has to do with two spoiled entities -- players and owners -- who have killed off the sport. Just because YOU have a problem with the agreement the players seem ready to sign, go bark at Bob Goodenow and leave the fans out of it.

Oh, and J.R, do me a favor. I know you have been paid handsomely throughout your career. Try working for mid-five figures a year. Try looking for a house with payments you can afford on that. Car payments. Insurance. Putting away something for retirement.

Still think it's easy to drop money for a couple tickets to see you? Guess again. It's hardly jealousy. Just a matter of priorities.

Andy Lefkowitz

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