Friday, December 18, 2009
Hockey Is Too Dangerous.... We Should Ban It
It's the only issue in hockey today. The only issue that any media member wants to talk about.
It's more important than global warming and a bigger menace than the recession.
It's hits to the head. Oh! The horror!
No need to tune in to the Ottawa Senators pre-game shows on the Team 1200 anymore. No need to catch host Steve Lloyd interviewing Bob McKenzie. No need to listen to the roundtable.
If you've heard it once, you've heard it all. Hits to the head in the NHL is the only issue that exists.
And there is no one more obsessed with the issue than Steve Lloyd and his fellow roundtable members. All of us lucky listeners get to hear Lloyd ask the exact same question in the exact same exasperated tone and receive the exact same answer from McKenzie he got the last pre-game show.
Ad nauseam doesn't even come close to describing the conversations you will hear. And I say this with all respect for both Steve Lloyd and Bob McKenzie who are otherwise a pleasure to listen to when they take the rare opportunity to discuss other subjects.
In the old days, when a player got hit with a big check (vicious or otherwise), the crowd cheered the hit and then cheered when the injured player got up off the ice and life went on with folks discussing the exciting play at the water cooler the next morning. People used to understand that hockey was a contact sport and that these players voluntarily seek employment in the league knowing that's the case. They are also compensated quite well for their troubles. This isn't the James Norris era of the NHL.
But that doesn't matter to the majority of the suddenly squeamish mainstream hockey media. When a player gets hit nowadays, there is a panic in the newsroom, grown men and women call in sick from work the next day and spend hours crying over the fate of the poor millionaire hockey players. Radio hosts can barely conceal their outrage. How could this happen in hockey? A big hit? How cruel and unusual!
It's gotten to the point that fans are cheering against players on their own team when they lay a hard hit on a player who just happens to hit his head on the glass as a result of the jolt. There are legions of Sens fans out there crying in their cereal over poor super-rat Patrick Kaleta and tearing up their Ruutu hockey cards.
"It's the principle of the thing", they say.
I'm going to join the flock of sheep.
I'll jump on board.
Let's start by banning intentional hits to the head. That's an easy one.
Next let's start banning hits that are unintentional but still cause an injury to the head.
If we do that, we have to ban fighting as well. We can't outlaw hits to the head without banning fighting. That's just common sense.
Okay, okay. Just to be safe, let's ban hitting. Someone could hit their head and we don't want that.
Now that we've come this far, let's ban slapshots. It could hit someone in the face and cause a concussion. We can't have that.
You might as well ban raising the puck as well. You can't be too safe. We all like shuffleboard. That's a safe sport.
You know what? Let's just ban hockey all together. It's simply too dangerous.
Then we can spend our time analysing Alexei Kovalev in his new office job and complain about how he has so much computer and multi-tasking skills but that he only produces good reports when he feels like showing up.
Now isn't that better hockey fans?