The natural succession of seasons has been tossed off-kilter for fans this fall with the sudden absence of basketball. This chaos extends deep into the world of journalism, as well, where underemployed basketball writers have been showing up around some very tough hockey beats all over the continent.
Territorial ire came to a head on Tuesday when Tribune basketball writer K.C. Johnson accidentally dropped his gloves in the chilly press box at the United Center and Chris Kuc seized the opportunity to pull Johnson’s sweater over his head and begin throwing right hooks. The rest of the writers jumped on the pile and a melee ensued.
U.C. staff broke the fight up and sent the sides to different boxes for the rest of the game.
“It’s pretty well known that the rules of hockey apply up here, as well,” said Tribune hockey writer Chris Kuc. “I hadn’t seen a good-old-fashioned glove-drop in a while, so maybe I lost my cool. The rule most often enforced is interference while approaching the snack table.”
The angst over two sets of writers covering one sport has been noticeable around the Internet. Prior to this episode, Kuc and Johnson had already sparred over Twitter when it became apparent that Johnson thought the Hawks had an entirely new roster from the Cup-winning team of two seasons ago.
NBA writers have also been ridiculed for their genuine surprise that body-checks in the NHL are real, and not like the showy “flops” of the NBA. One basketball writer in Phoenix even got in trouble for comparing hockey’s blue line rule to the National Socialist movement.
“It’s kind of a pick-your-evil, at this point,” said Johnson, explaining his career move. “Whether I’m covering the NHL, NBA labor talks or European basketball – they all end in a drug-addled brawl.”
By Dan Bradley