I have to say, while the Chicago Tribune has long been my favorite newspaper to read on a daily basis, they really messed up this one.
In Tuesday’s sports section, the Tribune ran the above ad. The style fits a similar theme the newspaper had been doing throughout the Stanley Cup Finals in displaying Blackhawk players in a way that could be used as a poster. Tuesday, they decided to do the same at the expense of Philadelphia Flyers’ star Chris Pronger.
If I were looking at this from purely a fan standpoint, perhaps I’d have a laugh at the image. After all, Pronger has become public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Blackhawks fans throughout the finals. But, of course, I can’t just look at it that way. The journalist in me looks at this and thinks about what a truly pathetic act this was.
In an era where sensitivity is always at the forefront, the message this sends seems cruel and pointless. So you are displaying a big, mean hockey player in a figure skater’s dress. What does that imply? Pronger is a woman? Pronger is gay? Does that mean Pronger isn’t tough so you’re implying that women or homosexuals aren’t tough?
I’m sure the Tribune didn’t mean any of those implications, but you can’t help but wonder what the point of this was. If it was to simply amuse readers and Blackhawks fans, they likely succeeded. If it was to create controversy, they succeeded at that as well.
But that shouldn’t be the point of a newspaper. I think in this case they sold themselves out for a laugh and a headline, and ultimately became the story, something a newspaper should NEVER try to do.
But I also wonder what everyone else thinks? I wonder first, what my journalism friends think about this? I wonder second, what my Blackhawk fan friends think of this?
Does anyone else have a problem with it? Why or why not? I’m incredibly curious.