Times Cannot Say “Sucks” Even in Sports Section


Leave it to the New York Times to print a whole story about “Potvin Sucks!”, the traditional Madison Square Garden chant, without printing the actual words of that time-honored NHL taunt. It seems to be yet another of those amusing cases where the Times‘ standards department gets in the way of reporting an actual fact.

The closest George Vecsey was able to get in his article was to say that “The chant proclaims the sentiment that Potvin stinks.”

The rest of Vecsey’s piece did not itself stink. We enjoyed revisiting the details of the origins of the chant, born of the hit that New York Islander Denis Potvin put on New York Ranger Ulf Nilsson in 1979, which broke Nilsson’s ankle. The story also quotes Nilsson as saying that he believes Potvin was “a great hockey player” and “always fair.” Not that we expect those generous Scandinavian sentiments to change any minds in the 400-level seats at MSG…

Nilsson now works for a Swedish Internet and TV company called Qbrick — unlike another legendary Swede, former Maple Leaf great Borjë Salming, who now runs his own underwear company.

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