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12-22-2013, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
Contact sports have much in common with war--the biggest difference hardly anyone ever really dies so it's not like the Roman sponsored Christians vs. lions spectacles. But even other games like the non-violent board game Chess are about conquest. I don't know what hockey would look like without the hitting, the fighting but I do suspect it would be a lot less interesting as a spectator sport.
Professional sports often involve measured violence with assumable risks, hopefully mitigated as efficiently as possible without ruining the integrity of the game, with willing participants that are compensated, often quite handsomely, for their involvement. That's the breaks. Some players play because they "have" to while others play because they legitimately "want" to. The same goes for the way in which they play. In the NHL, 98% of players clearly want to continue to play hockey with the included element of fighting. Who are we to argue? Well, as the paying customer of course. However we clearly continue to buy the product the way it is, as the NHL continues to bring in considerable revenue. The NFL is a further and more obvious extrapolation of the concept of the global consumer thirsting for constrained physical violence intersecting with exceeding skill.

In a free-market society what happens if fighting or hitting is outlawed? Perhaps the NHL remains but is there any doubt that there will continue to be leagues, or new leagues propped up, to support the fans and the players that choose to consume that brand of the sport? Of course not.

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