Recalling his high school basketball days in northwestern Minnesota, Doug Erlien isn't shy about sticking up for Austin Krause, the Farmington goalie who scored on his own net and flipped off his coaches Tuesday night as his unique way of ending his high school hockey career.
It was a case of going big and going home.
Erlien, a producer at FOX 9 television, wrote an opinion piece on Krause's actions for the station's web site: "For those of us who had a problem with their high school coach at some point, what Krause did took courage. In no way am I trying to make him a hero here, but Krause took the 'stand in line and be a good soldier' turned it around and shoved it right back in the face of the entire hockey world including his team.
"Good team guy? Not a chance, but a part of me on the inside is standing and applauding and saying, ‘Good for you kid, good for you.' "
While Krause's actions have brought back a lot of memories for people about teams they walked away from -- or should have quit -- it's hard to find someone who has gone as far as Erlien in his defense.
One of the most common arguments is that Krause will have this incident live with him forever more. Years down the road, owing to the power and memory of the Internet, a potential employer could check out Krause and have reason to question his judgment -- not to mention his ability to be a team player, or whatever buzz phrases will be in vogue in the business world five or 10 or 25 years down the road.
Erlien takes that on.
"Please, people," he writes. "If I were starting a company I'd want more guys like Krause working for me and I'd hire him in a minute. We need more passionate people who aren't afraid to put themselves out there and stand up for what they believe in, popular or not."
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