Once I read the Deadspin coverage of Patrick Kane's recent partying extravaganza in Madison, Wis. last week, I knew what was coming.
This morning on the way to work, an entire sports-talk segment was devoted to the Blackhawks forward and how he needs to grow up. Columnists have taken to Chicago's papers to ripping Kane for his immaturity; the Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom says he thinks Kane will be traded. Elsewhere in the paper, even beat reporters are weighing in with their holier-than-thou thoughts on the matter.
If Kane made anti-Semetic remarks and choked a young woman during his drinking binge, as has been alleged, that a problem. But if the notorious party-boy went and made a complete fool of himself, and did so publicly, it's not the end of the world. I'm sure the Blackhawks would prefer he'd not draw national sports-gossip attention with his drunken escapades, but the righteous indignation from the press corps right now on the matter is a little much.
Kane is coming off a disappointing season, which makes it easy to pile on. But this isn't a Red-Sox-fried-chicken-and-beer type of incident; Kane's season was over before he went a-partyin'. I'm not naive enough to think he never enjoyed a beverage or 10 during the season, but there's no proof that any of his many goalless nights were attributable to him having had a few too many the night before.
I'm not condoning anything. I'm certainly not cool with him assaulting anyone or making ignorant remarks, and I'm also turned off by him wearing a shirt that said "Kaner" and had his own picture on it. If Kane's boozing is more out of control than he says, and he needs help, by all means see to it that he gets it. Otherwise the media should back off a little bit. Kane may not act like it all of the time, but he's a big boy. He doesn't need lectures from talk-show hosts or columnists on how to conduct himself. Personally, I'll continue to worry much more about what he does on the ice than off of it.