Wesley Korir vs. Brendan Shanahan

MAN CRUSH OF THE WEEK: WESLEY KORIR

Running a marathon is probably the hardest thing to do in athletics, other than score in the fourth quarter if you are LeBron James. And it is even more difficult if it is 84.8 degrees out, which it was at the Boston Marathon this year.

The guy who won is named Wesley Korir, who it turns out is not a butler, but pretty much the most interesting man in the world.

So he grew up in Kenya where he would run five miles to school in the morning, five miles back at lunch, five miles again to school, and five miles back. Every day. Probably uphill both ways too. My day is ruined when I just miss the subway. When his brother was 10, he was killed by a black mamba. So he’s opening up a hospital in his honor in Kenya.

He moved to the United States and went Louisville and graduated with a pre-med biology degree. He took a job as a maintenance man at the dorms at Louisville after school while winning the Los Angeles marathon. He would help kids with homework as he plunged their toilets like he’s Will Hunting or something. If that isn’t enough, on every race day he buys a sub from Subway for before and after the race. Although sometimes he gives out the sub to a homeless person. He’s a superhero.

This year his time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, and 40 seconds was a good 10 minutes off of last year’s winner, but still good enough to win this year’s race and probably earn himself a spot in the Olympics.

In the world of sports full of generally terrible people who do generally terrible things, Korir is actually a role model. He’s the American dream. I mean, if he can overcome everything he has, really anyone can (granted, being Kenyan helps with the whole marathon thing).

DOUCHEBAG OF THE WEEK: BRENDAN SHANAHAN

When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to play hockey. But my parents wouldn’t let me because it was “too dangerous.”

They might have had a point.

The playoffs so far have been completely out of control. Starting with a smashing of Henrik Zetterberg’s skull into the boards by Shea Weber and leading up to Marian Hossa somehow surviving a hit from Raffi Torres, the NHL is now more dangerous than Detroit (the city, the Red Wings is pretty harmless).

I understand hockey is a physical game. And I know hockey isn’t for everyone (or apparently the ESPN viewing audience since they never cover it). But I don’t think even hockey fans can stand to watch players get knocked out of games and face long-term injuries before of a lack of discipline. If only the league had a man whose sole job was to discipline players.

So it turns out that’s the entire point of Brendan Shanahan’s job. When Shea Weber actually broke Zetterberg’s helmet and Shanahan laid down the law in the form of a $2,500 fine, it was pretty much fair game on any sort of violent play. Which is basically what happened. Nine players have been suspended so far, the Blackhawks are out their best player, and the league is facing a situation where it’s not so much a question of if players will end up getting paralyzed or even getting killed, it’s a question of when.

The NHL lost its best and most recognizable player for about a year and a half to concussions. This isn’t sending much better of a message. Weber’s hit was malicious, while Andrew Shaw got three games for a collision was much less intent to injure. As Jonathan Toews, recovering from a concussion himself put it, “I don’t know what to expect anymore. I don’t think anyone does.”

It’s time for Shanahan to start coming down on the players like they actually want to stop goons from taking out star players, something they need to be vocal about and actually make it so it stops.

And now they have $2,500 to start the ad campaign.

 

Follow Scott Bolohan on Twitter: @scottbolohan

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Man Crush vs. Douchebag: Bubba Watson vs. Sports Fans 
Man Crush vs. Douchebag: Sterling Moore vs. Everybody Else

 

 

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