Bobby Clarke and Sweet Schadenfreude

thumbsupSchadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. It's a fairly obscure term, but I've used it twice before when writing about Lenny Wilkens' horrible performance in New York and Justin Gatlin getting caught using steroids. Now, I'm using it again.

Bob Clarke is out as General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. They're off to a horrid 1-6-1 start and have the fewest points in the NHL. After resigning, Clarke said, "I deeply regret not being able to bring a Stanley Cup here. I didn't deliver."

This isn't about Clarke as a player. Although I've only seen clips of him on tape, I'm sure he was a great little player and I know he led the Flyers to two Stanley Cups in the 70s. Although I've never been comfortable with what he did to Valeri Kharlamov in the Summit Series, I'm sure I would have liked Bobby Clarke the player. It's Bob Clarke the General Manager of the Flyers that I couldn't stand.

In the late 90s, he was ruthless with Eric Lindros and continually toyed with Pat Quinn throughout 2001. He's always been a grade A jerk from a previous era who didn't deserve any success as GM. Thankfully, the Flyers never won it all and now they're in the basement and Clarke is burned out.

Germans invented the term schadenfreude for incidents like this. Feel free to use it regularly, but always use it with caution.

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