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Now what?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by huntsie, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Bit of a dilemma here. Talked at length to a minor hockey dad who said the kid quit the team after parents circulated a petition saying the kid didn't try out, he's not a competitive player, blah, blah, blah.
    The guy presented a copy of the document, with 19 signatures from parents on it. Spoke to him, tried to reach the two coaches and the president of the minor hockey association. They declined comment and referred me to the director of minor hockey.
    Director says the kid could have stayed on the team, the dad pulled him out. The dad later admits he pulled him, but "it was a hostile environment, why would we stay?""
    The minor hockey association offered to have the kid play peewee rec (same age group, lower calibre team) or atom rec (one age group lower) if he wanted to play. The dad -- a crazy, letter writing hockey parent who keeps track of the number of shots on goal the kid gets, how the goals are scored against him, how many he gives up, and so on, and has had issues with the coaching staff before -- says no, "the kid needs to grow as a child."
    He's not playing hockey at all now.
    Anyway, the dad seems like he has an axe to grind because he believes the kid is getting screwed. He says he'll move his family out of town if he has to to make sure the 11-year-old kid gets "a fair shake" next year.
    Told the guy I would do the story. Wanted some art for the story. He doesn't want the kid's picture taken, which is fair enough. Thought I'd get a shot of him, since he's the main voice in the tale anyway. He won't do it.
    The story is like 50 inches. It's written, but it can't run without art.
    What would you do?

  2. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Not run the story because it's obviously about the nut-bar dad not the kid.
  3. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Could you do something with the league's logo, if it has one? How about something to do with the 19 signatures on the petition?
  4. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    I've considered both ideas, believe me. Thought perhaps the petition as art might work, and have wrestled with the idea of dropping the whole thing. But if the dad is a wacko, maybe it should run as an example of how crazy hockey parents can be.
    And, as crazy as he is, there's something shameful about the fact that 19 parent -- including the coach, the assistant coach and the team manager -- would sign a petition suggesting than an 11-year-old kid doesn't belong on a hockey team. I'd like that to come out too.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't understand this at all. Why would the parents be pissed about this? Does the kid hog someone's playing time?
  6. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    But did they sign it because this whack-job dad harrassed them? Caused trouble? Called the coaching into question? Made a scene in the stands? All of which, if he's as nuts as you and his "keeping-track-of-shots" story suggests, are likely possibilities.

    It may be more about getting rid of the dad rather than the kid.
  7. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Beyond the whole petition aspect, I'm wondering why readers would care about an 11-year-old being booted off the team if he's not good enough.
  8. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    The kid is a goalie, a first year kid at this level. It's a small minor hockey association. He didn't make competitive tryouts due to the death of his grandmother and the fact the dad has had previous issues with the assistant coach of the team and wasn't going to sign the kid up at all.

    Anyway, four goalies, two teams. One kid went to tryouts and made the team legitimately. One kid is a first year player and a first year goaltender and so not a candidate for the competitive team. They offered the position to one kid and he turned it down, deciding to play recreational. That left this kid as the second goalie on the competitive team by default.

    Apparently, these 19 parents resent the fact that the kid was directed to their team without the benefit of a tryout. So they circled the wagons.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    No offense, but it does not seem like a 50 inch story.

    Interesting that the parents are so wacky.
  10. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    I'm looking at ways of trimming it now. There are some quotes from the petition itself in there that I could carve, I guess. That's the thing that makes it even half interesting -- the wacky hockey parent father and the 19 parents who are just as crazy for signing the thing to get the kid removed.
  11. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Why does this belong in a newspaper? These are fifth graders? I feel bad for the kid--his dad is making him look pathetic, and a 'news' story is going to make it worse.
  12. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Sixth grade, actually ::) Suspect the kid will be OK. It's the parent who will bear the brunt of it, but he's prepared. I asked him directly if he was prepared for backlash and he said "there might be, but who cares. We're not going back."
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