Is it just me, or have guys like Draper, McCarty, and Maltby made role players cool?
Ever since the 1997 Cup run, when I played sports, I was ok being a role player if it was a sport I wasn't the best at. If I'm not the star it's fine. Just hustle, make my plays, and help the team win. The stars on the team appreciate the hard work and know you'll be there if they have a bad game.
They have. I've been teaching my ten year old brother a lot about sports. As a kid, he naturally wants to be the ball hog and superstar and when he can't he gets frustrated. I've used Maltby and Draper (he wouldn't really understand using McCarty) as examples of how you can help the team win by working hard and finding what you're good at, even if it's not scoring. He loved both those guys and eventually it'll hit home that being a great role player is just as important as being a superstar.
Maybe its because when I was growing up, guys like McCarty, Draper, Maltby, Kocur, and Lapointe were such instrumental parts to our success, but I find myself liking the "grinders" and "role players" and "enforcers" more than the "stars". They don't get the publicity that the star players get, but their role is just as important. When I look at teams like Washington, many will admire Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Green. I always find myself liking guys like Jason Chimera and Matt Hendricks. It's not that I don't like watching guys like Kane and Toews make amazing plays and split defenses, but I appreciate the guys like Carcillo and Bickell, who work just as hard (if not harder), and don't get nearly the appreciation from the media. Not so say the media hates grinders, but they are often left in the shadows.
It's a lot easier to relate to a guy like McCarty, who plays in a terrible rock band, than to Zetterberg, who owns a clothing line and married a supermodel.