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10-25-2008, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Newhabfan View Post
The debate over fighting or no fighting in hockey may belong to another thread but I must say that emotions getting high and crowds cheering happen in other sports like football and soccer, yet any open intention to fight an opponent is strictly forbidden by the rules and enforced by referees.

This, from the history of soccer:

"There is a story which places the first football game in the east of England - where the locals played 'football' with the severed head of a Danish Prince they had defeated in battle!

In medieval times, towns and villages played against rival towns and villages - and kicking, punching, biting and gouging were allowed.

The object of the game was to move the ball to an agreed spot which had been marked out before play commenced.

Hundreds of people took part and games could last all day.

So violent did these matches become that many attempts were made by the authorities to ban soccer.

In England, King Edward III passed laws in 1331 to try and suppress football. In Scotland, King James 1, in 1424, proclaimed in Parliament, "That na man play at the Fute-ball" (No man shall play football/soccer).

Good Queen Bess, Queen Elizabeth 1 of England, had a law passed which provided for soccer players to be " jailed for a week, and obliged to do penance in church." "

There is no authorized fighting right now in soccer (though many fans would love to see some) simply because it has evolved, just like ape evolved to man.

Fighting in hockey belongs to the dark ages of the sport. The only reason it is still authorized is because Betman and the NHL use it as a marketing tool. It would be perfectly feasible for referees to control and eliminate cheap shots.

I would rather see skilled players then enforcers, I'm more pleased to see Kovalev score a goal then Laraque win a fight...and indeed, I never played the game. Does this make my opinion worthless ?

It's a sport where the purpose is to put the puck in the net not to break the enemy's face. At least that's what the rules say. For face breaking there are other well regulated sports like Boxing and TKO. And even wrestling, or the circus, if you are into that kind of show.
Just to point out a few flaws in this logic.

1. Hockey is played at a considerably faster pace/speed than any other sport, like football and soccer, thus leading to much larger collisions. Since these collisions occur at a faster rate wouldn't it be justifiable to say that athletes have less time to react to said collisions. Due to the fact they have less reaction time more of these hits/plays will be deemed cheap shots. There is absolutely no way that a referee can eliminate cheap shots. There are cheap shots in every sport including football and soccer, the fact that more occur in hockey IMO is due to the faster rate of play.

2. Since there is in essence no way to eliminate the cheap shot in hockey, players will always fight. This comes down to the fact that every player/team views a play differently. They even occasionally fight in baseball and basketball, although not very well.

3. There are plenty of skilled players that still throw the fists. If you wanted to eliminate fighting from the game guys like Iginla, Lecavalier, Morrow, Chara, Horton, Mike Richards, Phaneuf, Getzlaf, Doan, etc. wouldn't be able to play their game. Heck even the greats like Howe, Orr, Gretzky and Lemeiux dropped the gloves. The greatest Hab of all time, Rocket Richard, fought when need be.

I just don't see how it is feasible to eliminate fighting from the arguably the most physical game on the planet. Sometimes it comes down to the fact that a message has to be sent and I personally do not want to see a player miss an entire game just to send that message.

Also as a point I would like to make. Hockey players are generally very proud people, when called out they answer 90% of the time. I myself have been in several hockey fights, not because I picked it, but because I was called out and respected the player/team enough to answer for previous plays. I expect the same of all players playing professional hockey.

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