Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Straight Talk

Hi. The format of this blog is changing. It was a satire, but now it's going straight. No more of "I'm trying to be clever, funny and critical at the same time." That didn't seem to make an impact and I feel like it's time to be more forward.

I still think fighting in hockey is extremely stupid so I'm not closing up shop. If you want to revisit some of the articles in this blog, please do. I sincerely believe some of them stand out as good satirical pieces.


Don Sanderson is dead. He played for the Whitby Dunlops. Google his name to find out more if you don't know. This event has re-energized the fighting debate in such a powerful way that the NHLPA is wants to evaluate some of the fighting rules. I won't stop arguing until fighting is completely abolished so I'm not that excited yet.

I want to quote the head of the NHL Player's Association, Paul Kelly, because he makes an unbelievable amount of sense:

"Fighting isn't just there for some gratuitous reason. It's there because there's a need to self police, there's a need to protect those kinds of players in our sport. And I think that if you get rid of fighting, you're going to have some consequences that are very unfortunate."

Gratuitous, eh? That's a word that doesn't get tossed around enough in this debate, because it should! Of course fighting is gratuitous. Let's look at his first reason:

"there's a need to self police"

Why? Aren't refs, technically, police? And why is there a need to have a "self-police"? Shouldn't the players have enough sense not to hurt each other in the first place? Is hockey so bankrupt of sportsmanship that players cannot resist making "dirty plays" and "dirty hits?"

Here's an argument: The culture of fighting encourages dirty plays.

Digest that thought for a moment.

For instance, let's pretend I'm a solid player who makes a "questionable" hit on a superstar. The result is that the superstar is out with a broken bone or some other wonderful ailment for more than a month. The same two teams meet again and some kind of fight breaks out. Fight ends, people get excited and that's the end of the whole cycle.

Unless the league punishes dirty hits, foul play will continue because THE ONLY PUNISHMENT IS A BRAWL. And brawls, apparently, are entertaining. So brawls will never end, and dirty plays will never end.

This, by definition, is what the NHL's brilliant policy of "self-policing" is. I've got a better idea, why not just cut to the chase and call it BULLYING. That's what it is, really. An endless, idiotic, time wasting cycle of adult men bullying and hurting each other. If you're lucky, sometimes you'll see a game without the childishness.

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