Michael Rosenberg is a fine columnist for the Detroit Free Press and, generally speaking, is a columnist I tend to read more than some others. I was reading his column in today’s online version of the Free Press entitled “An inside look at ugly incident on and off the ice.” The column is in reference to the vicious on-ice attack of University of Michigan hockey player Steve Kampfer by a pair of Michigan State University hockey players (Corey Tropp and Andrew Conboy). Rosenberg, overall, does a nice job with the column although he does seem to attempt to play P.C. Police (writers in the state some days feel they need to in stories about U-M and MSU) and attempt to balance the incident out as much as possible (which isn’t an inherently bad thing since you should always attempt to give the other side of the story to make the overarching argument stronger). For the most part, I was kind of bobbing my head in agreement through much of the column … before I hit one minor speed bump.
Here is the small speed bump that slowed me up just a tad:
And then there is this: As wrong as Tropp was — as seriously, unequivocally wrong as he was — how come most of the media attention has been about Michigan State’s players and so little has been about the Michigan parent?
The players did what they did in the heat of the moment. Bruce Kampfer, a longtime hockey parent, had a few minutes to cool down before he got to the MSU locker room. Yet he still apparently went after Corey Tropp.
I don’t condone what Mr. Kampfer did, but I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that I might be tempted to want to do the same thing if I was in his position. But, Rosenberg’s point is that he feels the media attention has been less for the parent chasing after the MSU player. Michael, come on, of course there will be substantially more attention when you have an attack of that magnitude that is caught on tape and in a televised game. Rosenberg knows better than what he wrote in those two paragraphs. But, I do believe he was attempting to play P.C. Police to try and appease the Michigan State side of this ugly incident (a side that has to feel like it, and its reputation, is being beaten up by local and national media as a result of the incident). I would argue that Mr. Kampfer’s actions have been investigated not only by the media, but also by the police (I doubt neither Tropp nor Conboy will be investigated by the police, and I am not saying they should be). Also, unlike Tropp or Conboy (at least based on what I have seen, heard and read), Mr. Kampfer did issue an apology for his actions. I think Michael Rosenberg knows the answer (hints: YouTube, live broadcast on cable television) to his own question, and I think it’s rather obvious.
This was something positive about the incident that really caught my eye. I picked this up fron the Detroit News and it involves goaltender Jeff Lerg, a senior and the team captain of the Michigan State hockey squad. Lerg said that he and his teammates had signed a get-well card and sent it to Steve Kampfer. That is good to hear and hopefully the great hockey rivalry between the Wolverines and the Spartans will be back to good, clean and competitive hockey in the seasons to come.