The news that
Mike Milbury He Who Shall Not Be Named was charged with assault at a pee-wee hockey rink spread on the Web yesterday like a topless celebrity photo.
Predictably, Islanders fans were not immune -- we've had four separate FanShots posted and it came up in multiple other threads here. (Note: Before you post a FanShot, check for others linking the same news. Our readers usually post news before we even see it.)
It's natural to have very passionate reactions while processing such news, as it opens wounds from years past and reawakens stress we've tried to bottle. With that in mind, we spoke to post-traumatic stress specialist Dr. Tomas Salosson* for guidance:
Salosson said it's normal -- and even healthy -- to go through several stages when hearing the man who assaulted so many Islanders fans' psyches over the years is back in the news for alleged assault. He suggests these general stages:
Stage 1: LOLing
Satisfying laughter and quips:
"Did he use a shoe?" jokes. A mix of "Was it Tommy Salo's son he allegedly grabbed?" and "Any gutless puking involved?" Perhaps a "The kid must've been pantsifying the game" line or two.
Stage 2: Guilt
Lots of questioning, self-loathing, and guilt for ever laughing at the situation in the first place:
"Wait a minute. A child is involved here. This may be serious. We shouldn't joke. Maybe if our society hadn't enabled him all these years as a mad GM and a talking head commentator, a victim today would not have been harmed. Maybe this is all our fault. I too once hoped Oleg Kvasha would become a useful hockey player."
Stage 3: More LOLing
A regression to our original juvenile reactions:
"But no really, we have to laugh. I mean seriously, He Who Shall Not Be Named? Assault at a pee-wee rink? What's the matter, the kid try to steal your first-round pick without offering a properly declining veteran? A parent demand his kid get the same treatment as his peers?"
Stage 4: Bargaining
Circles and cognitive somersaults within the ambiguous 24/7 news milieu of our times:
"We don't know the facts here ... maybe he's been wrongfully charged ... he denies it was an assault of any kind ... maybe HWSNBN is the victim here and we've misunderstood his temper all these years ... let's let justice play out ... no one wins when hockey parents attack."
Stage 5: Clarity
A clarity of understanding, a reflection upon our stupid times:
"OOooooh, wait just a minute. This sounds less like what you infer from 'Assault on a Child' headlines and more like dumb hockey parents being dumb hockey parents. This man is not just an ex-GM with a track record that still haunts, he's also a hockey parent.
"Sadly, you can find stupid hockey parents at every rink. When enough of them are together -- though it often requires only one -- bad things happen. Sounds like this guy was one, and there may have been others in the incident. Let the courts figure it out. Meanwhile ... it's okay to laugh again!"
Stage 6: The Bright Side
While this is being sorted out, HWSNBN will not be on the air to abuse your senses and aggravate your PTSD.
*Note: Dr. Tomas Salosson may not actually exist. But you should know that when we're in the LHH Zeitgeist section.