When word leaked out about Patrick Kane's Wisconsin weekend exploits, I started to get annoyed---but not for the reasons that you would think.
My initial reaction was leave the kid alone. Haven't any of you haters been 23 before?
I remember 23 vividly (kinda).
I thank God everyday that social media and cell phone cameras were in the distant future.
If you know what those mean then chances are we can sit and talk about the good old days of tearing ass out of work on Fridays at 5:00 to drink free beer.
My point is we've all been there.
Overserved, acting inappropriately, falling asleep in public (*cough* passing out *cough*)---I'd argue that's what your 20's are for, learning and establishing your limits with respect to drinking.
Yes, I know there are many other life lessons & habits of greater importance that one goes through in their 20's but now they call it a work/life balance. Twenty years ago it didn't have a name and we had to figure out how to negotiate being a newly minted drinking adult with the responsibility of working everyday.
Granted, young Mr. Kane is not a typical 23 year old.
Professionally he has accomplished much in his short life than most people twice is age.
But when the Deadspin post hit the blogosphere recounting Patrick's alleged Madison shenanigans, my initial feelings of the situation changed.
Yes I have an opinion but I'm not going to sit here and lecture the kid. I'm sure his parents, agent, close friends and the Hawks will do enough of that.
Yet as I was reading the post, it occurred to me that Patrick is the new Kyle Farnsworth.
In a city known for hard partying, playboy professional athletes Farnsworth is still the gold standard.
And that is *NOT* a good thing.
Just mention that name to anyone who's over 34 and lived or frequented Lakeview or Lincoln Park watering holes and you may either get a good bar story or an eye roll.
Have no doubt that Kyle liked a good time. So much so, that his pursuit of a good time may have been a factor in his trade from the Cubs to Detroit.
Like Farnsworth, Patrick's drinking and love of a good time has generated more than a few headlines.
I'm not a hockey fan. If Patrick Kane walked up to me right now I probably wouldn't know who he is. Our lives and circumstances are as different as night and day but I would like to offer a piece of advice: If you're gonna rage, find a trusted place with private facilities and only act like that around a select group of people.
You are not the first young, wealthy professional athlete to enjoy Chicago's world class nightlife. The difference seems to be that when you do go out there's no buffer between you and your partying.
From what I've been reading, you need a buffer.
Sober Patrick is worth millions and is good at what he does. Drunk Patrick has bad manners and is might wind up taking a perp walk.
If drunk Patrick won't (or can't) change his behavior, then sober Patrick needs to hire people (and no, your "friends" and "bros" don't count) who will sit you in the upstairs party room at Bernie's and bring the girls to you. In short, you need to hire a real adult who has been there, done that and knows better.
You could be losing endorsement deals.
You could be eroding your standing with your employer and the rest of the National Hockey League.
More importantly, you don't want to have Kyle Farnsworth's Chicago reputation.
Despite the fact he's embraced sobriety and is a family man, no one's forgotten him in Chicago---not one little bit.
Don't be that guy.