I’m not much of a sports fan. However, I do enjoy going to a hockey game now and then. It’s probably because of my Canadian upbringing that I understand the mechanics of the game. It brings back memories of my brother’s team in Calgary piling into the back of my Dad’s 1965 Dodge panel van and driving to the next town. We played outside in sub-zero temperatures only to be clobbered by the team who drove in from the Indian reservation. The players were faster and bigger than us. I stood on the sidelines cheering the players on. After, we all went inside the warm clubhouse and shared a cup of hot cocoa as we talked about the game.
Fast forward to the game I saw at Showare center the other night. The arena was warm and well-lit. No worries about frozen feet at this game. In the heat of the action, two players suddenly dropped their gloves and starting fighting.
“Fight, Fight,” the crowd chanted. I overheard the man behind me state that the referees won’t stop the fight until one of the players hits the ground.
This behavior bothered me. We all have read about players who have had serious concussions. Furthermore, some players have been banned from the game for unprofessional conduct or even worse causing bodily harm to another player. Why is this conduct allowed? Why did the crowd encourage this conduct?
Growing up “Coach Red” always stressed good sportsmanship and to respect your opponent. Enough injuries happened by simply playing the game. I saw many a player be hit accidentally with a hockey stick. Fighting meant automatic expulsion from the entire game.
Allowing players to express their anger through violence on the ice sends a very wrong message. What does this behavior teach our children? What does it tell us about society?
This is just another example of our changing world.
Hot Cocoa anyone?