Patrick Kane’s legacy, Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup era hang in balance

SHARE Patrick Kane’s legacy, Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup era hang in balance
SHARE Patrick Kane’s legacy, Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup era hang in balance

Oh, boy, this could be, and I say, could be — if things turn out in the most negative way possible — the worst thing to happen to a star athlete in Chicago history.

It could be the worst thing to happen to a star athlete in, well, any pro sport in recent memory. Maybe ever.

The report is sketchy at this time, but various reports from Buffalo are saying police are investigating Patrick Kane, and a woman is involved.

Oh, boy.

If this investigation takes a left turn for Kane and goes straight off the cliff, I don’t think it’s too much to say the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup era is over and the NHL is badly wounded.

Kane is the wild child with the magic skates and a sushi chef’s hands who has captivated Chicago and much of the hockey-loving world with his skills on ice.

His previous drinking exploits and public misbehavior — including punching a cab driver over a fare dispute in Buffalo and showing up in a photo apparently passed-out drunk in Madison, Wisconsin — were glossed over because he was ‘‘a kid.’’

He’s small and cheerful and has a mischievous smile, and he looks, dressed as a citizen, as harmless as the kid hunched over his laptop in Starbucks.

But he’s 26 now, a kid no more. And nobody is babysitting him. There was constant comment this past season about how Kane had ‘‘matured,’’ not as a player, but as a human being.

At the Hawks’ Stanley Cup victory rally in June, TV play-by-play announcer Pat Foley complimented Kane for learning from his off-ice incidents.

“It’s been a joy to watch him grow and grow up,’’ Foley told the crowd.

When he arrived at the microphone, Kane said, “I know you said I’ve been growing up, but watch out for me the next week.’’

Maybe he meant all summer.

There’s no way he could have meant watch out for something like this. This could be the end of everything.

That’s what friends aren’t for

Alot of star athletes aren’t quite sure what the word ‘‘friend’’ means.

Remember when wide receiver Brandon Marshall came to the Bears in 2012, and it was a wonderful thing because he and quarterback Jay Cutler were such good friends?

Remember when in that Oscar-winning movie, “No Country for Old Men,’’ killer Anton Chigurh called the trembling guy in the desolate gas station, “friend-o”? Those two weren’t what you’d call best buds.

Maybe that’s what Marshall, now a New York Jet, was thinking. Because if he’s Cutler’s friend, an enemy would be impossible to ponder.

To wit: Marshall said on ESPN on Thursday that he was the only one in the Bears organization with the Spanish word for eggs — huevos — to hold (Cutler) accountable during their time together in Chicago. Eggs are oval, sometimes round, it’s all colloquial, so you know what he meant.

That wasn’t all.

You see, friends means we win games. When you go 5-11, as the Bears did last season, you’re just friend-os. If there was a knife somewhere in your sock, you might stick it very softly into your pal’s liver.

How close are Cutler and Marshall since the trade that sent the wideout to the Jets?

“We didn’t talk much during the year. We still haven’t talked,” Marshall said to ESPN hosts Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. “That is sad.’’

So what is the problem with his, uh, buddy?

“I don’t know if he has been hit too many times,” Marshall said.

Nice, huh? Marshall wouldn’t possibly be the problem himself? Nah. He’s sane as anybody in the asylum. So there you have it, the essence of friendship in the NFL.

Head blows and snark.

Just friends.

Justino trying to rouse Rousey

Istill don’t know if I like to see women fighting. Yeah, yeah — equal rights. Equal chance to be a savage.

But I’ll tell you this. When it comes to pre-fight trash-talking, women got it all over men, pound for pound, arm bars included.

Let’s take everybody’s favorite MMA female fighter these days, Ronda Rousey. Why her nose hasn’t been splattered all over her face I do not know, but because of her lack of obvious boxing or kicking or judo or wrestling damage, she is — when not snarling in the octagon, and made up for the red carpet — a very attractive woman.

You see, we still separate sports competition by sex, and Caitlyn Jenner’s muddying of the gender issue notwithstanding, we still like to see male and female champions who are physically appealing.

So Rousey has been rudely challenged by Brazilian fighter Cris “Cyborg’’ Justino. “The fight has to happen,’’ says Justino. “Of course, I’m going to win. She already knows it.’’

Countered Rousey: “I fight in the UFC, in the 135-pound division. She can fight at 145 pumped full of steroids or she can make the weight just like everybody else without them.’’

Well, well.

It is true Justino normally fights at 145. And it is true Justino tested positive for anabolic steroids four years ago and was banned for a year and fined $2,500.

Justino, who says she’ll drop down to 140 if Rousey will come up five pounds to fight, didn’t like the taunt and has said she’ll sue. The thing about her is, she looks and sounds quite a bit like a man.

Hormones are incredibly powerful, especially male hormones given to a female. And their effect can last long after the drugs have been taken, possibly forever. And a man has a physical advantage over a woman in almost any sport except those emphasizing grace.

So this was Rouseys’ haymaker, delivered to Yahoo! awhile back, when asked about a Justino match: “She’s a big old cheater. … I’ve said before, I don’t care if she’s injecting horse semen into her eyeballs, I’ll fight her (if she comes down to 135)… This girl has been on steroids for so long and [has been] injecting herself for so long that she’s not even a woman anymore. She’s an ‘it.’ It’s not good for the women’s division. It’s not good at all.’’

There you have it. Or rather, there you have women. Doing the guy thing better than guys.

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