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Right on schedule: The #HamiltonSmearCampaign begins

It's a Boston tradition, like distrust of outsiders and complaining about the weather. The Dougie Hamilton trade is merely days old, and the "reports" have already begun.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston media corps gets a let of crap, not only locally but nationally (and even internationally). As a group, the media corps is sometimes viewed as snarky, vindictive and always willing to carry water for the hometown teams.

In their defense, it's not always true. There are plenty of men and women who are great at their jobs, from the Bruins' beat to Celtics reporters.

However, there's one tradition, a tradition as old as time, that you can always count on the Boston media to carry on: the smear campaign!

If a player or coach is shipped out of town in a move that is remotely controversial, you know how it goes:

  1. Prior to the move, there are general rumblings from "sources" who "mention" that a player or coach might not be very well-liked.
  2. Once those seeds are planted, opinions are floated by columnists and talking heads that confirm these rumblings.
  3. The trade/firing/whatever is made. This is followed by strict reporting, nothing else.
  4. A few days later, the "reports" from "team" and "league" sources begin to trickle in. These are then reported as fact.
  5. The reporters then claim that they knew about these "reports" all along, but just didn't want to report it because it wasn't relevant, man.
And so it goes.

Remember Tyler Seguin and the hotel room security guard? Phil Kessel and the "weight room problems"? Terry Francona and "hey, maybe he used pills too much we don't know lol"?

The latest victim is none other than Dougie Hamilton. You knew it was coming, didn't you? The Boston Herald lobbed the first of what should be plenty of verbal grenades this morning:
“It was surprising,” said one NHL assistant GM. “It’s obvious there’s something going on that we don’t know about. From what I’ve heard behind the scenes, his teammates don’t like him. I heard he’s a loner and sort of an uppity kid, and that his teammates don’t like him and it was unanimous.
Yahtzee!!!! A perfectly executed Boston Sports Media Smear Campaign® has begun.

Let's review:
  • Unnamed league source: 5 pts
  • "Behind the scenes": 2 pts
  • Caused problems in the locker room: 10 pts
  • The implication of the team having no choice: 10 pts
27 points! A wonderful start to the smear campaign.

These things are like clockwork in Boston. Is there a chance that reporters may have known about this before? Sure. But then why not report it? The commonly used refrain is "we didn't want to alienate the team." doing your job?

Truthfully, this was especially easy to predict with Hamilton. We've been seeing it for years now. The guys from ESPN led the charge here, frequently questioning Hamilton's curtness with the media, implying that he didn't give them the respect they thought they deserved, wasn't a leader, had "attitude problems," etc.

Did this have any impact on the frequent pointed criticisms of Hamilton? Gee, I wonder...

Have you ever wondered why guys like Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, etc. get such a long leash in this town? They're good with the media, and are generally nice guys. They give the media the quotes they want, make their jobs easier and, as a result, usually get a pass from the criticism that instead gets sent Hamilton's way.

It's hard to blame them, really. Who wouldn't like a guy that makes your job easier?

Keep your eyes peeled in the coming days. We're at the very beginning of the campaign. Things will pick up.

Here are some other things we've heard about Hamilton:
  • Dougie Hamilton never shared his lunch with Claude Julien
  • Hamilton once passed Cam Neely in the hallway and didn't genuflect
  • Hamilton once kicked the bench after a rough shift. The bench was injured. Hamilton never apologized.
Leave your own "REPORTS" in the comments, or share them on Twitter with #HamiltonSmearCampaign.