On fame, privacy, and Jonathan Toews' health

On fame, privacy, and Jonathan Toews' health
Source: pdclipart.org

There’s not much privacy about being sick, especially when you have to call the office. There can be lots of extra questions: “What’s wrong? When will you be back? Are you going to the doctor?” Most of that is none of coworkers’ business!

Generally, I think the easiest thing to call in sick about is a sore throat. When I have to convince someone that yes, this is Margaret, I know my throat is bad enough to keep me home. If I can’t even sound like me, then my throat’s bad. Then I really hate the extra questions and I start coughing.

I’ve been thinking about this since I got the word that Jonathan Toews, the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, is not going to start the new hockey season in January because he is ill. That’s “calling in sick” in a very public fashion.

I’ve loved following the Blackhawks for decades, and Toews, a.k.a. Captain Serious, is so much my favorite player that he has affected the naming of certain things in my life. (Ahem.)

So when I saw the headlines that he’s ill, I started looking for confirmation — it’s the sort of story I want to see in more than one place before I believe it. Some stories are calling it a mysterious illness, some an undiagnosed one.

I started out thinking “I need to know!” But then I read the part about his request for privacy and I realized how silly my earlier reaction is.

I don’t need to know what’s wrong.¬† He needs to know, and I hope he finds out soon and gets help.

Just because someone is famous for one thing, even when it’s leading a team to the championship three times in six years, that doesn’t give the world license to see everything about that person’s life. Surely privacy is more precious when work is more public. Jonathan Toews deserves whatever privacy he needs. So do other celebrities. We don’t need to be told as much as some people want to know.

I hope Toews comes back to the Blackhawks, but mainly I hope he comes back to good health.

Take care of yourself, Captain Serious.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

Start 2021 well — subscribe today!¬†Type your e-mail address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam-free, and you can opt out at any time.



Filed under: Expressions

Tags: Chicago Blackhawks


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  • Some would say that loss of privacy is the price paid for fame.
    But I do agree with you. Privacy is everyone's right.

    BTW, one of my favorite sayings is 'Obscurity is security.'

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Thank you. I like that saying very much.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I don't know if Canada has the equivalent of HIPPA, but I chalk this up to similar to Justin Morneau sitting out about 1-1/2 years because his bell was rung, with it only later coming out about the seriousness of concussions. So, I'm sure that if Toews could hit the ice, he would, so he can't.

    Hard to believe that he's 32, which is old in hockey years.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes, I've learned a lot of sad things about neurology through hockey. I just hope this won't add to them. You're right, if he could hit the ice, he would. As for age, I was startled to see his age, too -- and I've been paying attention every year. I can remember when the 18-year-old rookies were "just other grownups," and I'm glad now that my dad talked me into going to see what became Gordie Howe's last game in Chicago in his mid-50s.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Points out that while we still think of Toews and Kane being 19 years old, they aren't.The issues now are that the Hawks didn't really rebuild during the past 5 years (for instance letting Panarin go, and a reason given by the pundits for McDonough being fired), and now don't have a center nor an apparent goalie out of the group of 4. i don't know if the IceHogs operation has been productive (similar issue with the Cubs).

    The latter has confused me on when the Wolves and IceHogs play each other, which team I am supposed to support.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack. I keep thinking of the veterans from the '10 championship team mixing with the young newcomers in '13 and '15. That could work again... or I could just be as spoiled as I've accused other teams followers of being.

    As for the IceHogs, I will never understand that name passing any sort of a review. Haven't other people hear the expression "like a hog on ice"? I just Googled it, for crying out loud, and dictionary.com says "A person who exhibits an air of haughty confidence and independence but is, in reality, utterly inept, powerless, or insecure." Go, team, go?

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    This also reminds me of the 13 cup, when Toews was out with "his bell rung" but came back in the middle of the next game, and the main Hawks strategy was having Charra skate with a punctured lung. None of that would be allowed today.

  • In reply to jack:

    That's a bothersome memory, Jack. I remember finding out later that several Boston players were skating wounded, and I think that was the year that Marian Hossa was also playing with a leg injury. From what I can see, the hockey habit of keeping injuries and illnesses secret is still active.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    To use an overworked cliche. that's a good question. I'm sure the upper body and lower body descriptions were sort of to avoid the wrestling strategy of "attack in the injured body part," but the opponents knew what to attack. But just like the NFL didn't like losing concussion suits, I don't think the NHL wants to either.

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