Sunday, July 10

Ice Hockey Doesn’t Require a Fork

I don’t follow sports, sports follows me. The sports page is everywhere, the kitchen counter, the bathroom floor and ESPN is a permanent fixture. My life is infiltrated by the sports drama du jour and currently it’s the Stanly Cup Playoffs.

Bruins center, Patrice Bergeron

Normally I would feign interest in ice hockey but this year the playoff games have been unavoidably riveting, like a bad train wreck. In game one, the Vancouver Canuck’s forward Alex Burrows bit the finger of Boston Bruin’s center, Patrice Bergeron. Who does that? There were visible bite marks on Bergeron’s finger. The brawl was a channel changer for me. Stanley Cup or not, I can’t watch cannibalism disguised as ice hockey.

I would like to point out that a grown man gnawed on another man’s finger and wasn’t even suspended from the game. I knew a little boy who was permanently excused from preschool for biting. My son bit my daughter exactly one time. I put him in a very long timeout and took away his favorite toy – forever. Burrows didn’t even get a timeout in the penalty box. I assumed it was universally understood that biting, hitting and kicking was unacceptable. I thought as a responsible parent it was my duty to insure that my son never bit again or he would surely be suspended from preschool. Little did I know that this skill would actually serve him well as a professional ice hockey player?
I wish I could say that the biting incident was the only moment of gore during these playoff games but the players continuously slammed each other into the boards like barbarians. Bruins player, Nathan Horton left the ice in a horizontal position, strapped to a stretcher in game three after Canucks player Aaron Rome knocked him onto the ice with an illegal hit. Now Horton can’t say “who” and thankfully Rome has been suspended for four games (I would have taken his car keys for a year). Why can’t the players leave their extra-curricular aggression out back in the parking lot and play hockey on the ice?

The on-ice violence has been so unappetizing that I’ve actually lost weight over the course of the playoff games. Who could possibly drink beer and eat wings when players are trying to inflict permanent wounds and eat each other’s fingers? What is going on in the world of ice hockey? Are the players having problems at home? I simply can’t believe that all of these men were improperly reared by irresponsible parents.
I would suggest anger management training but I think at this stage they all need to go back to kindergarten. Lesson one: don’t run with scissors. Lesson two: clean up your toys. Lesson three: don’t hit, kick or bite.
Sports may have taken up residence in my home, but ice hockey has been permanently ejected.
Boston Globe article does justice to Patrice

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