Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Black Sheep of the Sharks

Every teams has a black sheep. That one guy who seems to stick out like a sore thumb.Maybe fans still like him, maybe they don't, or maybe the media hates him but fans love him, he comes in many combinations.

On the San Jose Sharks, that player is Alexei Semenov. By all accounts he's not only a nice guy but beloved in the locker room. Players like him, the coaching staff likes him, but the fans, well, they don't like him.

On a team full of apparent stars, Alexei is just an average guy. He never seemed to find his place last year and ended up being in the wrong place at that wrong time in a few games. Unfortunately for him, those wrong places leads to goals being scored off of him. This year he stuck a hand up to block a puck and deflected it in. Nabokov may have been able to forgive him, but the fans weren't. At practices and games people yell "get off the ice" at him. Many of us, myself included, have referred to him and a "traffic cone", something that gets in your way. While I realize that it's mostly a way of getting frustration out I feel badly for doing it. He's still a Shark. The latest fan snub was by far the most impressive, and the most heartbreaking.

Players will do team scheduled signings at the Sharks store attached to the HP Pavilion. Despite being in the middle of the work day these draw large amounts of fans, many of whom show up hours before the event. It's a madhouse and lines snake around the block just to get 30 seconds with a player and a signature. Not for Semenov.There were no lines at Semenov's signing. About and hour in, there weren't really any fans. There was just a man, seated a lonely table inside the store, waiting.

I don't know how I'd feel if I were him. I'm sure he knows he's not the most well liked guy on the team, but to have very few people show up to meet you? That's just sad.

*thanks to Mr. K for providing the report of the signing.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

That's sad. If his teammates like him, and they spend that much time with him, he's clearly legit. The fans are stupid sometimes.