Smith and number nine Jones have dropped the gloves and are squaring off to go.
Jones lands a quick uppercut sending Smith sprawling. Jones follows Smith to
the ice and continues to punch the motionless opponent."
Where did this kind of
barbaric behavior come from? I think the popularity of mixed martial arts has a
lot to do with it. Frankly, I don't get it, that stuff looks more like a scene
from Shawshank Redemption than sport. Whatever it is, there should be none of
it in the game of hockey.
In the old days (go
ahead and yawn) when a guy went down, that was it. There was honor in being the
guy that delivered the punishment. Win or lose, the boys left it on the ice.
There's honor in knocking an opponent off the puck, there's not in knocking him
into a wheel chair. It's beyond time to start teaching these young prospects to
respect the game.
There are many that
want to take the fighting component completely out of the game and it is
situations like described above that fuel that fire. I believe that's a
knee-jerk reaction to a problem that could easily be eliminated. Commissioners
from across the entire spectrum of junior hockey can easily address the problem
with heavy handed supplemental discipline.
I can't help but feel
that the game is better off harshly addressing the stupidity individually than
taking fighting out of the game. Let's just take the idiots out instead.
Game officials should
blow the whistle once one of the combatants hits the ice. Combatants that
continue delivering blows after the whistle should have to sit out the
remainder of that game and another nine after the first offense. Do that again
and take the rest of the year off.
The way I see it, the
game does not have a choice. It's either address the situation harshly when a complete
lack of respect for the game is displayed, or risk losing the fighting
component in it's entirety.
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