Debunking a huge myth

The picture to your left would be an example of what the Hanson Brothers in "Slap Shot" would gleefully call "old time hockey," when they're not puttin' on the foil.

Fights, especially the bloody kind, as you see here with Darren McCarty of the Calgary Flames as he battles Sheldon Souray of the Montreal Canadiens, are among the rarest.

In the newsroom, we enjoy the fights -- George "Porn 'Stache" Parros of the Anaheim Ducks and Donald Brashear of the Washington Capitals last Friday, for example, was one that got the juices flowing. But much like the foods you may have loved as kid, it wasn't quite the same now.

It was more WWE and less NHL.

But there also is a perception among non-hockey fans that fighting is what the game is all about.

Using that logic, I should be able to say -- as a non-auto racing fan -- that NASCAR events and the like are all about crashes and nothing more. If I did that, every hick from every hoot and holler would be telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, how auto racing is the fastest-growing sport, yadda, yadda, yadda, et cetera.

To the non-fans, the ones who've never seen a game but have this view of what it is, try this: Go to a game live or watch one on television and look for these things ...

Watch a game as it goes into a shootout, the ultimate one-on-one test. Watch a future Hall of Famer like goaltender Martin Brodeur as he continues to rack up records toward becoming the best ever at his position. Watch the young stars -- Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Malkin, Crosby, Kopitar -- as they become among the best of this generation.

The names and even some of the places will be unfamiliar to you now -- sure, you know where Talladega is, now find Edmonton on a map -- but give it a chance, a real chance.

Now, someone get me down from this soapbox.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Love the picture. Frighteningly, it actually looks like you.

So have you officially gone All Hockey, All The Time?