One of the reasons I prefer to watch hockey to other sports is because of how much easier it seems to be to like the players. They keep their nose pretty clean, and stay out of "tabloid" publicity. NFL and NBA are notorious for employing foul-mouthed hoodlums who know they will not suffer any substantial punishment for antics while outside the playing arena. I specify "outside" because its a better gauge of the players personality than during the "thick of battle." In Dallas, owners Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban disgrace their respective sports for how quickly they turn a blind eye to their players' public and blatant flaws.
By way of contrast, Sean Avery of the Dallas Stars is now suspended indefinitely. After making some off color remarks regarding his ex-girlfriend now dating a Calgary Flame on Tuesday, the NHL suspended Avery pending further inquiry. Stars owner Tom Hicks stated afterward that had the NHL not suspended him, the team would have. Now Stars coach Dave Tippett suggests that a good team cannot be built with Sean Avery in the mix. In this way, the league, the owner and the coach all seem interested in maintaining the dignity of the game. This value is certainly in short supply in professional sports, and I applaud them for upholding it.