Thursday, March 11, 2010

Head-hunting in hockey

I was out for dinner with my mom, and she was eager to make conversation - so she asked me what I thought about all the hooplah surrounding the head hits across the NHL that everyone's talking about? I believe she said something like: "Do you hate those head shots that everyone's talking about?"

well - I thought to myself - no. Not really. I don't hate them. Frankly, no Maple Leafs have been taken out of the game by a headshot recently, and even if any of them did, none of them are any good these days anyhow. Plus they're not playing for anything, so it wouldn't really matter.

Then I thought some more about it: frankly, head shots make the game way more interesting. After a head shot, there's big drama all around the league. Everyone talks about it - people want to see the highlights. What makes for a great story is big conflict - watching villainous players be defeated by the good guys. Watching good guys come back from injuries to succeed. Watching the retribution getting paid out.

When Pittsburgh and Boston play each other next week (in like 10 days) I'm desperately interested to watch the highlights to see what happens. I imagine thousands of people will be. And imagine, who would bother caring about all that drama if the league suspended Matt Cooke. Hell, there'd be no villain to watch - no drama left. The star player is out, the villain is out - it's like watching an episode of Superman when Lex Luthor and Superman aren't in it. Who's going to watch that? Nobody.

The chronicles of Clark Kent's day job? There's a comic book that would rot on the shelves.

In fact - NHL - don't change any rules. More importantly - don't suspend players anymore. Let the players police themselves. I think the COACHES or General Managers should be fined for a player's misdeeds. I guarantee this would add huge drama to the league and you'd definitely see players respecting each other allot more quickly.

That's what I think, anyhow. It's not very humanitarian - but ... who cares? It's TV. It's not figure-skating with hockey sticks, it's hockey. There is no other sport in the world where people lose teeth, get black eyes, and move at the speeds that hockey players do. If anyone can take it, it's these guys.

"... but what if they can't take it because the hits are too dangerous?" you say?

I don't see anyone taking crashes out of Nascar ...

No comments: