Combining Senators hockey with a contempt of the human condition since 2007.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
A Fight Fan's Measured Response To Sanctimonious Drivel
Ordinarily, I have nothing against Dave Hodge. Anyone who can sit that close to Steve Simmons and listen to his clueless stammering every Sunday morning without succumbing to the well nigh irresistible urge to drive an icepick through his own eardrums just to make it stop deserves a measure of respect in my book. But sometimes...
For those who may have missed it, dear old Dave went off on a wee rant between periods of last week's Sens/Caps game on the hockey topic du-jour, fighting and the possible banning thereof. In a nutshell, while decrying and tut-tutting the specious arguments and not-so-subtle name calling that has marked the debate from both sides of the issue, he helpfully adds his weighty oppinion by...giving us specious arguments and ever-slightly-more-subtle name calling before slapping on a coat of condescending sanctimony for good measure (full transcript here).
So to turn Dave's argument on its head, I too would like to propose a change to the debate "that might make the dinosaurs and the granola eaters agree on something."
I want the proponents of a fighting ban tell me that the game is more entertaining without a fight than it is with one, that the 18000 or so ticket buying souls who stand and roar during every single fight have been wrong all along. I want them to swear to me that now that fighting has been eliminated, they will flock to the rink and buy jerseys and beer and pizza and car flags in numbers never seen before.
I want them to tell me that in no way whatsoever should a player from their team seek to administer some kind of retribution on a fourth line call-up nobody from the other team who took a run at their star player and knocked their star player out of the game or season with an unpenalized cheap shot because it makes them feel bad.
And as long as we're engaging in stereotyping smear campaigns (Dave), I'd like to hear that they want fighting banned in hockey because it's too long to wait for the next UEFA Cup soccer game.
I want them to state, catagorically and without any doubt, that banning fighting will not cause an increase in stick infractions not only because the officials will always catch those fouls, but also because the NHL has such a stellar reputation for imposing subsequent fines and suspensions based, not on the name on the back of the jersey, but on the severity of the infraction.
I want them to finally admit that the "but nobody fights in the playoffs" argument is a canard, a red herring aimed at those who can't see or won't admit the difference between a regular season game in February and the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final.
But most of all, I want them to watch tonight's All Star Game and tell me that that's the way they ultimately want to see the game played, bereft of physicality or emotion.
Do that, and I'll have no argument with them. I like hockey. They don't. But at least we'll be able to agree on something.
Unapologetic sports fanatic (blessed with an incredibly patient wife...and my own Man Room). If they keep a score, if there's a winner and a loser, or if the participants stand a better than average chance of bleeding (especially that one), I'll watch it. At least once. Well, except for cricket. I'll NEVER understand cricket.