July 12, 2005

Chris Chelios, : a possible future Hall of Famer, just made the worst blunder of his career, and it wasn't even on the ice. According to TSN, Chelios said that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (who is Jewish) should "get the gas" for his treatment of the players. Poor choice of words? Taken out of context? Just being a jackass? No matter what, Chelios just F-ed himself in the B.

posted by Samsonov14 to hockey at 04:41 AM - 28 comments

Yeah, Chelios has made a career of acting before thinking...it's no surprise this happened.

posted by dfleming at 05:22 AM on July 12

I saw a comment from him yesterday basically suggesting it was over for him. He's 43 and likely too expensive for any team once the cap is in place (at least too expensive for any team he'd want to play for). Well, Chris, do you want to play or not? Yes? Then lower your price and you'll find a place to play. Oh well. While further analysis can construe his comments into an anti-Semitic slur I figure he's just being a jackass and would've said that about anybody, Jewish or not. Who knows what he meant? Does he have a history of anti-Semitic behaviour?

posted by gspm at 06:39 AM on July 12

There's no context in which you can say a Jewish person should "get the gas" without it being anti-Semitic. Chelios has a history with Bettman -- during a labor battle in 1994, he said "if I was Gary Bettman, I'd be worried about my family, about my well-being right now." Last year, he said "Gary Bettman has put the league in this situation ... A guy who doesn't do his job shouldn't be there." I don't think you hate a person as much as Chelios loathes Bettman without knowing the implications of that "get the gas" remark. Here's hoping that Chelios moves further down the Hall of Fame voting because of his minor-league mouth.

posted by rcade at 07:59 AM on July 12

I don't know -- are we saying that Chelios is a complete idiot, and yet we're saying he's smart enough to understand the ramifications of saying "get the gas" about a Jewish commissioner? And why the hell is this worse than what he said in 1994? I mean, that was almost him asking fans to start death threats for Bettman and his family. BTW -- I had no idea Bettman was Jewish. Maybe Chelios didn't either. Is he an anti-Semite if he didn't know?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:41 AM on July 12

He did find a place to play for $400 a week. Only it was for the Motor City Mechanics. Chelios will take a pay cut to play for the Wings and I think the Wings would retain him. Who would take a chance with him with the possible salary cap that they are talking about? Your'e right about him making that statement without thinking- regardless of Bettman's religion. He has always been a jackass and has always used the wrong choice of words in the past. Lately, it just seems to affect someone, somewhere in this delicate, pc world we have.It also makes for great radio topics and something for ESPN to pick at. But that was a bad choice of words-typical of him. Still cannot get used to him being a Wing...

posted by IN75MILES at 09:51 AM on July 12

never a good choice of words....ever. unless you're talking about farting in someone's face. ...and I don't want to be a spreader of rumors, but yesterday on a flight from NewOrleans to NY-LGA I ran into an attache-carrying employee of the NHL. I begged him to have the NHL make some sort of announcement soon. His response: "Any day now." nothing earth shattering, but another sign pointing to the 'soon' direction.

posted by garfield at 09:54 AM on July 12

Not a good choice of words, but I think the lynching of Chelios is a little premature. He clearly is referencing Bettman being fired for gross incompetence. Taken within context, I don't automatically jump to an anti-semitic stance. Neither does the National Post article, written by the guy who actually took the quote, I assume. rcade - your racing to that conclusion as fast as you can.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:02 AM on July 12

Yeah, I'd be surprised if this was an anti-semitic slur, intentional or accidental. Chelios is a little bit of a mouthy knucklehead, but unless I'm missing something, I don't get Racist or Anti-Semite off him. I think Bettman should be summarily ejected from my world (and more specifically, the sport I love most) too, but not because he's Jewish. Tempest. Teapot.

posted by chicobangs at 10:09 AM on July 12

chelios is a jackass always has bben always will be but this is beyond not being politically correct

posted by navy9112000 at 11:09 AM on July 12

I didn't know Bettman was Jewish until this post so perhaps that flavours my comment to give Chelios some benefit of some doubt.

posted by gspm at 11:39 AM on July 12

Not a good choice of words, but I think the lynching of Chelios is a little premature. He clearly is referencing Bettman being fired for gross incompetence. Taken within context, I don't automatically jump to an anti-semitic stance. Neither does the National Post article, written by the guy who actually took the quote, I assume. Reporters don't always recognize the significance of a comment. If the Post reporter did, he or she would have asked Chelios if he really meant to say that someone should "get the gas," which is inflammatory regardless of the religion of the target. Since Bettman is Jewish and actively involved in public efforts related to his faith, and Chelios is a likely Hall of Famer, the press should ask if his insult was an intentional reference to Bettman's religion. Personally, I have trouble believing that someone would innocently use the phrase "get the gas" as a synonym for fired. But we'll see. That quote will probably grow some legs.

posted by rcade at 12:48 PM on July 12

Is "get the gas" a real euphemism for being fired? I've never heard it. I googled for it, but I couldn't find any instances of it being used that way.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:42 PM on July 12

I have heard the term "get gassed" to refer to losing one's job on many occasions. I've used it myself on numerous occasions. I've worked for several professional hockey teams and it's a very common term among hockey players. Perhaps he was misquoted and actually said "get gassed" rather than "get the gas", which does sound worse than I believe it was intended. I also didn't know that Bettman was Jewish, but I would bet that Chelios did due to his familiarity with Bettman. Still, I've met Chelios and know several people who are close to him and I've never heard him say anything or heard anybody else say anything that would leave me to believe that he's an anti-Semite. It was a thoughtless thing to say, but I don't think there was any anti-Jewish sentiment behind it. I do think that Chelly should redirect his anger, however. I agree with many of his brother NHL players that the majority of the blame lies not with Bettman, but with Bob Goodenow. This deal has been a long time coming and the NHL could not survive much longer the way things were going. Bettman did what he had to do and probably not only saved the game, but in the long run I think the game will be better for it. But then...that's just me.

posted by SmokeDogg at 01:53 PM on July 12

You haven't worked in the right places. I think what Chelios meant was he gave Bettman the Gas Face.

posted by yerfatma at 01:54 PM on July 12

I think its just a way of him saying to kill bettman off....and I dont think that Chelios is really even smart enough to put it all together that he made an anti-semetic comment, just coincidence.

posted by gregy606 at 01:56 PM on July 12

Damn it, Yerfatma! Beaten to the punch ... now post the video to "Pop Goes the Weasel". I've heard athletes used the term "gassed" a lot also, referring to being completely wiped out at the end of a game. It's also been used as a phrase for being cut from a team. It's tough to know how Chelios meant it exactly here, but let's face it -- he's not exactly Ring Lardner.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:24 PM on July 12

I didn't know Bettman was Jewish until this post so perhaps that flavours my comment to give Chelios some benefit of some doubt. Neither did I. So did Chelios know Bettmann is Jewish? There's no context in which you can say a Jewish person should "get the gas" without it being anti-Semitic. Yes, there is, namely the context in which the person using the phrase a) uses it to mean 'fired from the job' and b) is not aware that Bettmann is Jewish. Do both of those conditions exist in this situation? I don't know.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:00 PM on July 12

Now we're getting somewhere. I couldn't find squat on Google where "get the gas" was a synonym for being fired. But here's some places where "get gassed" was used that way: Boston Herald story in 2003 on Bruins GM Mike O'Connell: "It's hard for anyone to get pumped up right now about a guy who's bound to get gassed in short order like many of his immediate predecessors." Toronto Sun column on Ron MacLean quitting the CBC and Hockey Night in Canada: "... it's nice to know that should anyone get gassed at a newspaper mere journalists are now worthy of huge outrage; there will be parades of protest, people outside with pickets and sports radio callers demanding ... oh, never mind. Been there, done that ... didn't happen. " Internet discussion from 2003 on Pat Quinn in Toronto: "Quinn is safe for now after back-to-back victories over the Canucks, I would think. There would have to be a heck of a losing skid for him to get gassed now." Now that we're getting closer to understanding what Chelios might have meant, I'm going to turn my attention to what Samsonov was referring to when he said the guy F-ed himself in the B. Fondled himself in the backyard?

posted by rcade at 03:27 PM on July 12

You know, I'm just going to say it -- fucked himself in the butt. NOW let's see who finds us using Google!

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:53 PM on July 12

Found himself in the Bastille?

posted by insomnyuk at 03:53 PM on July 12

Fried himself in the Bacon?

posted by garfield at 05:05 PM on July 12

Whether "get the gas" is a common euphemism for being fired, in the context he used it that is certainly what he meant. Please disperse...nothing to see here.

posted by pivo at 05:37 PM on July 12

Getting gassed or getting the gas is a commonly used phrase for getting fired. Why does everything anyone says need to be taken out of context. Get a clue.

posted by Rolly22 at 08:20 PM on July 12

Getting gassed will probably be new to some people who read the Chelios still gunning for Bettman story in their papers tomorrow. The only time I'd ever heard it was when hockey players talk about being winded after a long shift. I wonder if we'll get some people wandering in from Google, like we did when SportsFilter was early on the Reggie White sarcoidosis/steroids discussion.

posted by rcade at 08:32 PM on July 12

I wonder if we'll get some people wandering in from Google, like we did when SportsFilter was early on the Reggie White sarcoidosis/steroids discussion. I am waiting anxiously for the GoogleAds on this page to turn ugly. We've got a lot of loaded keywords in here...

posted by qbert72 at 09:57 PM on July 12

I am waiting anxiously for the GoogleAds on this page to turn ugly. They've already turned fictional. "NHL Games live on TV..."

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:37 AM on July 13

I'm sure this ruins a wonderful friendship between the two. I don't know if Chelios intended the comments to be anti-semitic, and neither does anyone not named Chris Chelios. Will anyone remember this next year? Not too much. More important for discussion-will guys like Chelios have a place in the new NHL world? Older guys with high cap numbers, specifically. That's what we should be worrying about.

posted by Bonkers at 05:05 PM on July 14

Maybe he meant that Bettman should try some of his chili?

posted by IN75MILES at 02:21 PM on July 29

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