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Some athletes are just good guys. You can tell by the way they carry themselves; what you hear through the grapevine, and little hints reporters give about their good-guy personalities.
As fans, we immediately gravitate toward these guys.
Patrick Kane seemed like one of them.
Kane was charged with beating a cab driver at 4 a.m. when the cab driver couldn't give the 20-year-old Kane and his cousin, 21-year-old James Kind, 20 cents in change. Both Kanes were charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor counts of theft of services and criminal mischief. According to a police report, the driver suffered cuts to his face and damage to his glasses. In other words, he got punched in the face a few times.
Kane has yet to comment on the arrest, and the Blackhawks have merely issued a statement of support.
We're not sure that Kane or the Blackhawks can say anything to bring we fans back from the brink. People make mistakes, yes, but we assumed that Kane wasn't an aggressive, petulant athlete, that he didn't feel the need to assert his authority over a guy trying to make his living by picking up drunk people at four in the morning. We thought Kane was a nice kid. A little brother type. That was all we knew of him, and we must now admit that we were wrong. Maybe Kane is a good kid, but we don't know anymore. We don't know.
That's what we'll take out of this right now. Maybe more details will surface; maybe Kane will apologize for making a drunken mistake, and we'll all move on. But right now, our faith in Patrick Kane is slightly shaken. We feel like we know our pro athletes. We're really only guessing, aren't we?
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.