In a great find by James Gordon of Hockey Capital, Ray Emery apparently has come forthand madecomments that depict himself as a victim of unfair media and public scrutiny. More interestingly, he draws a riveting comparison between himself and the Queen of Pop.
“It was like Britney Spears leaving her house. It was different. It’s the only sport in the city and people feel like they know you. It wasn’t fun to leave my house. I felt comfortable at home. Every time you get me in public, people were staring and you know what they were saying.” ~ Ray Emery, Douchebag
On the surface, it's easy to dismiss the comparison since the aforementioned Spears is a world renowned slut recording artist and Emery is some guy who couldn't regain his starting goaltending gig from Martin Gerber, even though John Paddock gave him every opportunity to capture the job. (And really, what's a better condemnation of Emery's career in Ottawa than this?) As crazy as Ray was/is, maybe there is some merit to what he says. So being the unbiased and intellectually stimulating website that we are, we've decided to look into whether there are any legitimate similarities in the respective careers of Emery and Spears
Without further ado.
Friends and Family:
To properly gauge the accuracy of Emery's comparison, it's important to judge both celebs on who they choose to surround themselves with.
With what we know, Ray Emery has typically enjoyed the presence of two former teammates -- Jason Spezza and Brian McGrattan. As recently as this summer, Ray Emery was a groomsman in Spezza's wedding. It wasn't long ago that Spezza was denounced by fans for his turnovers and neglect for defence. As a lightning rod for criticism, Spezza was often lumped into the same conversation as Emery when discussing late-night antics. However, given the public nature of his wedding and the way Dany Heatley has handled his trade request, Jason has come off smelling like roses. In fact, the Heatley request might have been the best thing to happen to Spezza' career.
Like Emery, Brian McGrattan is trying to rejuvenate his career himself.In the summer of 2007, Brian was dealt by the Ottawa Senators to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a 5th round pick. After playing just five games with the Yotes, Brian pulled an Amy Winehouse and checked himself voluntarily into rehab and helped validate and rekindle some of the off-ice rumours that had perpetuated the Senators organization for the past four or five years.
Conversely, Britney's inner circle has consisted of family. Jamie-Lynn, Britney's younger sister, got her acting career started by riding the coattails of big sister in the movie Crossroads. After four years of starring in her own show on Nickelodeon, set a great example for her fans by admitting that she was pregnant at the age of 16. Pundits, who weren't from the state of Alabama, slammed her for glamorizing teenage pregnancy.
Perhaps more disturbing than her younger sister's pregnancy is the fact that Mel Gibson helped counsel Britney when she was going through a rough-patch. If you need a barometer of how rough things must have been for Spears, she sought the advice of an anti-semetic drunk.
Even though he wasn't amongst the best puck-stoppers in the League, Ray Emery was a renowned entity because of his antics. Whether it was his bleached hair, driving a pimped out hummer, wearing a mask featuring the visage of a convicted rapist, inviting the media to tag along as he got inked, or making it rain in Vegas, Ray Emery sought to be the center of attention...unless his team wasn't winning.
After leaving a rehab facility less than 24-hours after she had herself admitted, Britney went to a hair salon the next night and had her head shaved. Consider it a classic case of having the drapes match the carpet.
Dealing With the Media:
"There was a lot going on in Ottawa, media-wise. There's not a lot of breathing room there. It was a welcome little vacation for me (in Russia)."
Was that a crack at Bruce Garrioch sucking the air out of the dressing room with each inhale? Poor form Emery. It's no surprise that Ray disliked the media here. Hell most Sens fans hate the media here. He often blamed the Ottawa media for exaggerating his off-ice behaviour and fueling rumours. That's not to say that Emery wasn't media unfriendly. He could portray himself to be candid and personable whenever the media had the word syndicated, televised or national preceding it. I think that's part of the reason why he loved making bi-weekly appearances on OTR featuring that mannequin of a host, Michael Landsberg.
Britney Spears dated and slept with a member of the paparazzi. Trump that Emery.
Dealing With The Authorities:
But it wasn't just the partying or his fiery demeanour on the ice that sparked Emery's troubles. Emery, who is black, was repeatedly pulled over in his white Hummer by the police - he once said 30 times in two years. A senior citizen claimed Emery threatened to kill him in a road-rage incident. ~ Fan 960
In 2007, police were called to Spears' home because she refused to give up custody of her two kids to K-Fed. In a similar incident during the same calendar year, photographers captured Britney attacking a member of the paparazzi with an umbrella.
Edge: I'll give the edge to Emery. In the Spears situation(s), authorities were probably looking out for the best interests of the children. In Emery's case, they were looking out for the best interests of Gerber.
Unlike Spears, we won't be able to gauge the success of Enery's comeback until the 2009/10 campaign is over. We'll give him credit though, thanks to Michael Vick, Emery's no longer the most controversial athlete in Philly.
Edge:Spears on the basis that's she making hit records and got her body back. She also has two distinct advantages to aid her performance -- One, she can distract men and pundits with her breasts. Two, she can half-ass it by lip-synching while working. Ray can't even get away with half-assing it during practice.
Final Tally: 3-2 for Spears and it's not really surprising. The pop culture sex icon has more staying power and has tasted more success. As a proven commodity and regardless of her troubles, she's never been exiled to perform on the Juno's for a year. Emery should grow a set and quit comparing himself to Britney. She can handle TMZ. He can't even handle the Ottawa Sun.