Strong men also cry. If there's one thing you can learn from "The Big Lebowski" -- and there are many, many important life lessons we can take from The Dude -- it's that: strong men also cry.
Which, we guess, can be Patrick Kane's excuse. The Blackhawks forward was back in Buffalo, N.Y. to plead not guilty to charges of misdemeanor assault, theft and harassment charges stemming from an incident in which he and his cousin, James Kane, allegedly beat a cab driver over a disputed fare. And as he walked away from the courthouse, Kane broke down in tears:
Flanked by his parents, Patrick Sr. and Donna Kane, and attorney Paul Cambria, Kane became teary-eyed as a reporter asked about the emotional toll he's under while facing misdemeanor assault, theft and harassment charges that he and his cousin beat up a cabdriver over a fare.
There are plenty of good reasons to cry. A family member dies. Your dog has to be put down. The Cubs are on TV. All valid excuses to get a little mote of dust in your eye. It happens to best of us. But we'd prefer it didn't happen to our favorite hockey players, and we'd especially prefer it didn't happen because that hockey player (allegedly) was upset about 20 cents of cab fare at 4 a.m. in the offseason.
What's worse, this isn't even the first time Kane's squirted some tears in front of the media. What would Stan Mikita think?
Really, though, it reminds us -- as if Kane's appearance isn't reminder enough -- that no matter how skilled and natural and at home Kane may look on the ice, in real life he's a young, emotionally immature kid. He's practically still a teenager. Which means we should probably cut him a break on the tears ... this time. You're a professional hockey player, Patrick. Don't let it happen again.
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.