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Hey Barry, a word please?

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Thanks to Kukla, I caught this little jem from the great mind of the ever fashionable Barry Melrose. Long story short, B-Mel (now relegated to the backest of back pages known as ESPN's NHL videocasts) had this choice statement about the Prudential Center, the new home for the Devils:

"Don't go outside if you have a wallet or anything else, because the area around the arena is just horrible."


OK, before I jump in, let me give the clown credit for apologizing quickly though that shouldn't negate a more thorough examination of just how poor his comments were. Another disclosure: I work for a company associated with the creation of that arena. Yet, as a mere web monkey, I had no role in creating it nor have I even stepped foot in the place yet.

You know where I have been on several occasions? The area outside the Prudential Center. And I did so with my wallet intact. In fact I managed to enter and leave every time with my wallet, keys, cell phone, f'ing Blackberry and all that my pale Caucasianess bestows on me.

Most of us in the TriState area know Newark is not the best area. It's also come a hell of a long way in the past five-ten years. Is it 100% safe? No. Then again, no part of this region is and that includes all of NJ, Manhattan, Long Island and Philly. And I guess Continental Airlines arena was safe because it sits next to nothing except swampland.

The fact Melrose admitted he's never been to the area and was trying to make a joke makes me (a) positive he's not now or never will be a funny man and (b) smash a damn goalie stick across his face. This passes for MSM commentary? Hey, I've never been to Detroit, so is it cool if I just guess (based on seeing Roger and Me & The Crow!) that it's an awful area so, hey guys, enjoy the Joe but if you walk 100 feet away you're a dead man?

If Melrose had 120 seconds to spare, he could have popped over to any number of Devils blogs (who have ZERO reason to lie about how it is) and could have learned a bit more about the area. Or he could have looked at his own website and seen that Frei tomed a far more level-headed piece on the same subject. Or, better yet, used 60 more seconds and could have found the stuff for a far worse but valid story that people should know about?!

Look, he apologized. I can let it slide because, amongst other reasons, Melrose is no where to be seen these days. But I get my 30 seconds of anger at just how moronic his comments were....AND....I'm spent.

Nucks V Flames tomorrow night. Let's kick that winning streak to an Ottawa-esque...two!