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05-14-2004, 06:00 AM
  #51
VirginiaMtlExpat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smail
You're right in saying nobody has to fight. If that is so, why not allow fighting between the players that are willing to? Also, about the stickwork, I think you got it wrong. If there's no enforcer to back you up, you might want to retaliate with stickwork if you don't want to fight. If you have enforcers to back you up, you're letting them do the job. Even if they don't fight the offending player, they are still sending the message that such behavior won't be tolerated.

Also, stickwork is hard to see and penalize. The smart players have stickwork moves that are hard to notice (as in it will look like hooking, going for the puck or not deliberate). Take Vincent Damphousse, he's known for his dirty stickwork around the league, yet he doesn't get that many calls against him.

About the NFL, it is the nastiest sport around. Players are way more dirty in the NFL than in the NHL. You just don't see it because it happens on the offensive and defensive lines where cameras hardly put the focus on (and where it's tight and hard to see what's happening up close).

About on ice officials, there are only two of them. There's also another official in the stands, but the fact is that official can only communicate to the ice between plays. As such, he can't call infractions.

Lastly, NHL players could play with full facial protection. There's no rules against it. They choose not, which is their choice. You made a comment about Lindros earlier saying he wouldn't have that many concussions, which is not true, Lindros concussions had nothing to do with the type of helmet he wears. In the QMJHL, all players play with full visors, yet there are plenty concussions.
I've always valued your input as that of one of the more interesting posters, Smail, here and on Fanhome, but I don't agree here. I think that your rebuttal is based on the way the league currently does things, not what is easily achievable, but a departure from how it does things. For example, the fact that there is no communication now between officials doesn't preclude the possibility of having it. The technology is there to link all 4, and to use all 4, as well as a possible 5th, and you know it. There are two other guys on the ice who know the rules: I say use them, just like the soccer ref consults with the two linesmen over infractions. What is so wrong in adopting practices that have availed themselves to work well in other sports?

Moreover, many concussions occur with facial trauma (Paul Kariya, a few of the Lindros hits, etc., and hundreds, if not thousands, of pro boxers), so the argument for protecting the face is analogous to the argument in favour of wearing a helmet. Fact is, North American players don't wear visors because of an unwritten code that tough players don't need 'em, so that a kid coming into the league has enormous pressure (from his mentors on the team, from opponents) to not wear facial protection: kids will wear em in juniors and shed them in the NHL because of this pressure. The only way to counterbalance this pressure is to make them mandatory (this aversion to addressing both fighting and this unwritten code about visors is part of the justification for my diabribe about league management). There may still be injuries due to cranial trauma in the QJMHL, but the only question worth asking is how do injury stats compare, before and after the adoption of facial protection?

As far stickwork that goes unseen, the fact that you've seen it tells me that someone officiating could also see it, even if it means a 5th official, with access to video, radioing a call to the refs. The video technology is there, getting enough cameras is easy. Hell, a few years from now, you might even have software that could interpret digital video well enough to at least alert a supervising official that something looks fishy. Is it really utopian to think that we couldn't see, and therefore call, everything?


Last edited by VirginiaMtlExpat: 05-14-2004 at 06:07 AM.
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Old
05-14-2004, 06:14 AM
  #52
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As for justification for fighting in hockey, the only argument that I can think of, and it seems a weak one to me, is that's how the game is played now and has been played up to now. The folklore of the game, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, and so on, involves a lot of fighting stories. If I were making that point before a judge or a congressional hearing, I would expect them to want far more justification than that. If someone like Steve Moore decides to take his attacker, and the more deeply pocketed league, to court, this could be the kind of pickle the league and NHLPA find themselves in.

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05-14-2004, 07:40 AM
  #53
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I agree that the technology exists to call the game as you suggest, but, imo the game is just too fast to have your referees trying to call what they see while listening for reports from the 'eye in the sky'.

I think the problem is referees who decide on their own what will & will not be called. Too often the referee will be right next to the play & clearly see the infraction, but refuse to call it because of the time left in the game or some other obscure criteria. Hell, you can ocassionally hear them call it off the same as a linesman will do on an offside or icing. To me that is where you start if you want to fix refereeing. Players who know that any violation will be called by the officials are less likely to let their frustrations get the better of them & retaliate violently.

As far as fighting itself, I would much rather see a good fight than constant elbowing, highsticking, slew-footing etc. The leagues that have automatic ejections for fighting seem to have a lot of these other forms of retaliation. Is there a direct connection? That can be debated, but, I think there is.

I say fighting in hockey is a natural form of venting frustration, that while dangerous at times, is not as dangerous as some of the alternatives. The league, however, could do more to eliminate the strategy of throwing Donald Brashear on the ice with 45 seconds left in a 4-1 game for the sole purpose of 'sending a message' to the other team.

The only message to be delivered in a game like that is "the other team beat you, bring your 'A' game next time."

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05-14-2004, 09:09 AM
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanMontrealExpat
For example, the fact that there is no communication now between officials doesn't preclude the possibility of having it. The technology is there to link all 4, and to use all 4, as well as a possible 5th, and you know it. There are two other guys on the ice who know the rules: I say use them, just like the soccer ref consults with the two linesmen over infractions. What is so wrong in adopting practices that have availed themselves to work well in other sports?

Moreover, many concussions occur with facial trauma (Paul Kariya, a few of the Lindros hits, etc., and hundreds, if not thousands, of pro boxers), so the argument for protecting the face is analogous to the argument in favour of wearing a helmet. Fact is, North American players don't wear visors because of an unwritten code that tough players don't need 'em, so that a kid coming into the league has enormous pressure (from his mentors on the team, from opponents) to not wear facial protection: kids will wear em in juniors and shed them in the NHL because of this pressure. The only way to counterbalance this pressure is to make them mandatory (this aversion to addressing both fighting and this unwritten code about visors is part of the justification for my diabribe about league management). There may still be injuries due to cranial trauma in the QJMHL, but the only question worth asking is how do injury stats compare, before and after the adoption of facial protection?

As far stickwork that goes unseen, the fact that you've seen it tells me that someone officiating could also see it, even if it means a 5th official, with access to video, radioing a call to the refs. The video technology is there, getting enough cameras is easy. Hell, a few years from now, you might even have software that could interpret digital video well enough to at least alert a supervising official that something looks fishy. Is it really utopian to think that we couldn't see, and therefore call, everything?
I'm not arguing for/against the 4/5 ref system. I'm mostly pointing out that it's currently a 2 ref system. Regardless of fighting, the 2 ref system is already controversial and many people advocate for the return of the 1 ref system. I don't agree, I think that the 2 ref system is better. One strike I could think of about the 4/5 ref system would be that it would slow the pace of the game. Anyway, I think it's a whole point to argue by itself that's why I choose not to pursue it. The point is not to think again the whole system but question the fighting.

If I was to play in the NHL, perhaps I'd wear a full visor (a grid), but I must say that I enjoy playing without a visor (at "friendly" games) simply because it puts me in the game. However, players are supposedly less attentive to others when they wear a full visor. That's what is said about the differences in play between the QMJHL and the other junior leagues. BTW, there is special equipment (buccal protector such as the one Karyia uses now) that prevent concussions just as well as a full visor. I take this issue like I take the one about biking helmets. While I'm not against wearing a full visor, you'll never catch me wearing a biking helmet, simply because it kills the desire for me to ride my bicycle. I think the players should see for themselves what should be done. The PA could after all negociate with the NHL so that wearing a full visor be included in a CBA.

About stickwork, it's not necessarily evident that it's stickwork and not something else. As such, it will often be uncalled because you can't call a penalty you're uncertain about. Take Damphousse, I see him sometimes use his stick. However, I don't see him use it often enough to warrant a reputation of one of the dirtiest in the NHL. However, if you ask around the NHL, Damphousse is known to be one of the top guys using his stick as a weapon. He's just extremely talented at when/how to use it I guess.

As for fighting, I'm a non-fighter myself (especially since I've always played in leagues where fighting is prohibited and severly punished). One time, a guy on our team had a small scrap with another player. I didn't feel it was that bad, both were prepared and the refs took out the fight real quick. No one was injured, the delay in game was minimum. The guy however missed 10 games and he was one of our top dman. We probably missed the playoffs because he was out those 10 games (on a 20 games season). I felt punished because he was suspended. It was against the rules and all, but I felt that was no big deal compared to some actions that put guys on stretchers. At the same time, fighting would have bailed me out at least once, and even though I wasn't injured seriously in the end, other players clearly tried to injure me during that game. They weren't successfull, and none of them got a suspension, which is a contrast because I wasn't really willing to play their "injure game". I've pointed out early in the thread how I feel fighting can "add" to the game by evaluating Langdon's role on the team. Once I was the "tough guy" on my team simply because I dish out the hits (at the time I was 5'11" weighting a whole 140 pounds). On that team, I sure wish we had a bigger guy, a tough sob that would get the kind of attention I was getting.

My last point: who's the most popular player between Donald Brashear and Anti Laaksonen? Those two players are 4th liners, yet one is a "star" while the other is relatively unknown. Same goes for Laraque or Worell.

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05-14-2004, 09:39 AM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash13
Okay? Sure? My avatar. Yes because my Bruce Lee avatar means....Okay I am lost, I just like Bruce Lee and his philosophies, really, i fail to see any point you are trying to make.

Although when one can't even respond and give mature feedback to a post, and results to my avatar, it raises some big red flags about said persons capability to do so.
Nash13 there is some irony in your avatar and your stance on fighting. The post was actually intended to be lighthearted. Maybe I should have added a "smilie" face.
Anyway, it was not intended to be taken personally. Please lower the red flags.

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05-14-2004, 09:59 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash13
I bet guys like the "human punching bag'' Dwyer could come up with a good reason for hockey needing fighting.

Also, right now because fighting is already allowed, I want someone to persuasively tell me what is wrong with fighting in hockey, and prove to me it would lessen injuries, and actively debate how it could lead to more stickwork for example. You have said a lot about how it might not be needed, but little for why it should be removed.
JapanExpat makes a terrific point about the way hockey fans think in a "hockeycentric" way. The non-hockeycentric reason for removing fighting from hockey is that it is contrary to the tenets of a civilized society to resolve disputes with physical force. In the real world society starts the non violence education in kindergarten teaching children to resolve disputes in non physical/non violent ways. In the real world fighting is not an accepted method to resolve disputes. Non violence is considered the acceptable norm. Hockey places itself outside the boundaries of societal norms. Hockey places itself above the society within which it functions. This is profoundly "hockeycentric" and indicates both the ignorance and the hubris of "management".

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05-14-2004, 10:55 AM
  #57
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I think it all comes down to personal hypocrisy, which we all have. Intellectually, do I think boxing should be a professional sport ? Probably not. Have I paid money to see fights ? Yes and I may again. Should fighting be used to resolve disputes in hockey ? Again, probably not. Will I be up on my feet when Langdon nails Domi ? Oh yeah. I can't argue that fighting should be part of hockey, but its a part I'll admit to enjoying. If I had to vote as to whether fighting,esp. players who exist only to fight, could be reduced, I would say yes though.

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05-14-2004, 11:31 AM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Istvan
JapanExpat makes a terrific point about the way hockey fans think in a "hockeycentric" way. The non-hockeycentric reason for removing fighting from hockey is that it is contrary to the tenets of a civilized society to resolve disputes with physical force. In the real world society starts the non violence education in kindergarten teaching children to resolve disputes in non physical/non violent ways. In the real world fighting is not an accepted method to resolve disputes. Non violence is considered the acceptable norm. Hockey places itself outside the boundaries of societal norms. Hockey places itself above the society within which it functions. This is profoundly "hockeycentric" and indicates both the ignorance and the hubris of "management".

Many sports are inherently violent. It is not hockeycentric, for the most part it is sports-centric. Also factor in televion, movies, and video games. To say hockey places itself outside the societal norms is completely false. We as part of society have accepted violence and consentual fighting, to say hockey has placed itself above society just isn't true. We as society decides this, not hockey.

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05-14-2004, 07:10 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash13
Many sports are inherently violent. It is not hockeycentric, for the most part it is sports-centric. Also factor in televion, movies, and video games. To say hockey places itself outside the societal norms is completely false. We as part of society have accepted violence and consentual fighting, to say hockey has placed itself above society just isn't true. We as society decides this, not hockey.
The DEPICTION of violence has been accepted in society as evidenced by violent video games, movies, tv progrmas etc. I don't think society has accepted punching the boss in the mouth if he gives you an unpopular task or *****-slapping your teacher for giving too much homework. So i'll stick by my point that society does not accept violent behaviour as a means of dispute resolution. Keep in mind that the VAST majority of society doesn't follow hockey and the idea that society has accepted hockey fights is in itself hockeycentric.

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05-14-2004, 07:22 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Istvan
The DEPICTION of violence has been accepted in society as evidenced by violent video games, movies, tv progrmas etc. I don't think society has accepted punching the boss in the mouth if he gives you an unpopular task or *****-slapping your teacher for giving too much homework. So i'll stick by my point that society does not accept violent behaviour as a means of dispute resolution. Keep in mind that the VAST majority of society doesn't follow hockey and the idea that society has accepted hockey fights is in itself hockeycentric.
The difference is that society accepts violence when it's within a limited spectrum. Society accepts violent/extreme sports. Also, some shows not only depict violence but show real violence. Like Jackass.

What goes on in a rink stays in a rink. You don't see the players fighting outside the ice (or rarely and then they'll get suspended). Just like you won't go to your job and fight your job. It's limited and regulated and accepted as is.

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05-14-2004, 07:23 PM
  #61
Istvan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
I think it all comes down to personal hypocrisy, which we all have. Intellectually, do I think boxing should be a professional sport ? Probably not. Have I paid money to see fights ? Yes and I may again. Should fighting be used to resolve disputes in hockey ? Again, probably not. Will I be up on my feet when Langdon nails Domi ? Oh yeah. I can't argue that fighting should be part of hockey, but its a part I'll admit to enjoying. If I had to vote as to whether fighting,esp. players who exist only to fight, could be reduced, I would say yes though.
I think personal hypocrisy is everyman's conflict between intellect and emotion. Do we slow down to see a car accident? Sure. Did we want the accident to happen? Nah.
[I like your blatant honesty.]

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05-14-2004, 07:33 PM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smail
The difference is that society accepts violence when it's within a limited spectrum. Society accepts violent/extreme sports. Also, some shows not only depict violence but show real violence. Like Jackass.

What goes on in a rink stays in a rink. You don't see the players fighting outside the ice (or rarely and then they'll get suspended). Just like you won't go to your job and fight your job. It's limited and regulated and accepted as is.
Would you classify hockey as an extreme sport?

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05-14-2004, 08:08 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Istvan
Would you classify hockey as an extreme sport?
Most sports other than baseball are "extreme" imo.

X-treme sports are marketing gimmicks. I mean, it's much tougher and harder to play a tough hockey game (or football or basketball) than to skateboard on some kind of track.

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05-14-2004, 09:26 PM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Istvan
The DEPICTION of violence has been accepted in society as evidenced by violent video games, movies, tv progrmas etc. I don't think society has accepted punching the boss in the mouth if he gives you an unpopular task or *****-slapping your teacher for giving too much homework. So i'll stick by my point that society does not accept violent behaviour as a means of dispute resolution. Keep in mind that the VAST majority of society doesn't follow hockey and the idea that society has accepted hockey fights is in itself hockeycentric.

But the difference is hockey fights, 99% of the time, are consentual. You are depicting blatant assualt with these examples.

We are not a utopian society. Frankly, everyone isn't equal and we don't share the same beliefs, thus hypocrisy is going to result. Society is inherently hypocritical. We say we don't want violence but accept it in many mediums anyhow. If we are talking violence, then violence should be violence. Any contact sport should be looked at like hockey. Why do I say this? Because it shows the different accepted levels of violence, and how hypocrisy reigns again.

I think "smail" is right, we accept violence within certain limits. Is it hypocritical? Probably, but until we as society, which includes hockey fans say its unacceptable at this limit, then our collective silence and lack of action shows acceptance.

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