Friday, March 23, 2007

More Conversion Experiences

Let me start out by saying it is rather sad that when Kris Newbury was left in a pool of his own blood and carted off the ice on a stretcher that nobody really batted an eyelash.

But now it happens in New York's Madison Square Garden and people start to take notice. People start realizing, "Hey, maybe this isn't the best thing for the NHL. Maybe there is something called "bad publicity.""

JP offers a compromise on this and he gets bombed. He's automatically lumped in with the anti-fighting crowd and stripped of his hockey fan credentials.

Well, Ultimate Fighting on Ice Fans, where do you stand on Colin Campbell? Odds are that he'll have an uphill fight on his hands because of GM's like Brian Burke who are in favor of more on-ice thuggery. But the fact that the NHL "is taking a look into it" at least shows that the NHL understands that there is a problem in the public perception of the league. While the NHL might not (and in all likelihood doesn't) think that there is problem, the fact that they recognize that their reputation is rather low and are concerned enough about that to take at least token gestures marks a big change.

Whether or not you agree with fighting in the NHL there a money quote in there that needs to be understood:

But what's changed is what people find acceptable

We all may not like the fact that we now live in politically correct times however they are the times that we live in. Why in the world UFOI fans think that the NHL can survive without changing when EVERY OTHER PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LEAGUE HAS TAKEN STEPS TO CUT DOWN ON THE GRATUITIOUS VIOLENCE IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS is beyond me. The NFL has increasing restrictions on late hits and shots to the head. The NBA instituted NHL like rules concerning players coming off the bench to join an on-court fight and they throw the book at players who do fight. MLB has taken steps to cutdown on the beanings that lead to bench clearing brawls in baseball.

The NHL has only done away with the bench clearing brawls and instituted an instigator penalty. Oh, and you have to make sure that your jersey doesn't come off. The NHL doesn't want you to have an unfair advantage over your opponent.

That's it. Fighting is technically "illegal" in the NHL because it does get you at least five minutes in the penalty box. Fight in an NFL game, you get ejected and suspended. Fight in an NBA game, you get ejected and suspended. Fight in an MLB game, you get ejected and suspended.

Am I the only one who sees the disconnect here? "Oh well Caps Nut, the fans love the fights. Can't you hear them yelling, screaming, and cheering during a fight?" Yeah I do. I also hear it in the NFL, NBA, and MLB when fights break out in those sports as well. So are you saying that the NFL, NBA, and MLB should allow more fighting because the fans go crazy when it happens? "Well if you were a real hockey fan Caps Nut, you would know that fighting serves a purpose. Fights keep things clean. Fights protect the star players. Fights provide energy. Fights can turn momentum in a game." Uh, huh. And so why bother with the referees and supplemental disciplinarians like Colin Campbell? If "the players can handle it" let's give them carte blanche. Skate in offside, "drop the gloves." Trip the guy with the puck, "here comes the enforcer." If fighting provides energy, why the hushes when a guy gets knocked out and carried off on a stretcher? If fighting turns momentum in a game, how come the Caps are 6-17 in games where they have at least one fighting major? If fighting protects the star players why has A.O. taken another shot to the gonads this season?

"Well Caps Nut, you'll just have to accept the fact that you're wrong. Every time TSN, ESPN, CBC, NBC, Versus, The Mickey Mouse Club does a poll on their website about fighting in hockey, it gets at least 80% of the vote if not 90% or more!" Ok. If you want to be a special kind of stupid and believe in internet based polls that nobody else does (because they are unscientific and unreliable because people have multiple computers on which they can use to vote multiple times. Some users are also computer savvy enough to delete the cookies and open a new browser page to vote multiple times like us Caps fans did last year on the "Goal of the Year" voting on the NHL Network website or the whole Vote for Rory Campaign which allows them to vote forever or create programs that do it for them.) I can't stop you. But I will either shake my head ruefully or just point and laugh at you for being that special kind of stupid.

I'm not going away on this folks. The players themselves aren't speaking out on this because they don't want to violate "The Crock" mean "The Code." But I bet there isn't a single one of them who wants to be carried off on a stretcher after a fight and I am very certain that not a single one of them wants to give up their life in a hockey fight either.

Just remember, there was a point a very long time ago when Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States. Now I don't think any of our UFOI fans would call T.R. a "yuppie," claim "he was beaten up as a child," or just flat out call him a whimp or sissy. When Roosevelt was President in 1905, 18 football players were killed while playing the game. President Roosevelt threatened to ban the game of football if it wasn't cleaned up. Look at football now folks, you can't deny that the continual cleaning up of the game has done nothing but allowed it to grow beyond anything anybody ever imagined in 1905.



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