Why I Dislike Hockey or Congrats Russia!, by j

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I know that my assertion that hockey isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be won’t be accepted gracefully (especially by one woman I live with, in particular), but I stand behind my statement.

The country that I live in loves the game, and dare I say, glorifies the game.  The essence of the game, I get.  The ice, the outdoors (in the good ole days), the commeraderie, the thrill of victory.  I get it.  However we’ve managed to transform the game, the experience and especially the players into something I don’t understand or like.

First, in my limited experience the hockey experience does not enhance a child’s life.  From what I’ve seen playing hockey makes kids overly competitive, sore winners and bad losers, bullies and arrogant*.  And how could you blame them?  They’re congratulated when they check others and are encouraged to be aggressive.  The tired excuse that hockey is a “physical” sport.  Yes, of course it’s physical.  What sport isn’t?  Using this as an excuse for hurting another, I don’t understand (and I’m grateful for my inability to see the value in an effective check).  

I argue that the culture of hockey that we have right now is not creating a game that we can be proud of.  It’s creating a harsh, competitive (yes I think that’s bad) environment that creates kids that I don’t like (who then grow up to be adults I have to put up with)*.

Unfortunately instead of better hockey players we have jackasses being created with closed head injuries.  You know what happens when you give an arrogant asshole concussion after concussion?

This is what you get:

(For those of you who think that Bobby Hull is “just a great hockey player” think again.  Allegations and arrests for violence against women were multiple for Hull.  However I get why we’d want to gloss over the violence off the ice…we’re only interested in the violence on the ice, right?)

And unfortunately we have a new generation of idiots coming down the pipeline. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Sean Avery).

The best case scenario is that these kids get into the NHL.  Worst case scenario kids get out of the Canadian Hockey Machine and don’t make the NHL.  Then they’re forced to live and work with people who won’t satisfy their need for ego stroking.

But I’m not completely devoid of sentiment.  My heart does go out to those Canadian kids who lost the World Juniors tonight.  I’d like to repeat that.  My heart goes out to those Canadian KIDS.  I think collectively we’ve forgotten that those hockey players in Buffalo are kids.  KIDS!  Is no one else concerned about this?  I saw how devastated they looked, and in truth I couldn’t blame them.  They’ve been working the majority of their young lives to winning the World Junior title, and in the wake of losing (and losing hard) I don’t want to think about what they’re feeling right now.  But it doesn’t seem to even register for anyone.  I’ve read multiple articles about the tonight’s big show and tournament in general and none seem to touch on the fact that they are kids. 

Whatever.  Just my opinion.  Bring on the hate.

* Take a deep breath, I know not all kids are transformed into little shits because of this game (but I think a lot are, we just don’t want to acknowledge it)

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8 responses »

  1. J, I’ve locked A in her room until she calms down. Did you know A had a potty mouth? I’m getting out the soap!

    Run, as far and as fast as you can I’m told she’s freakishly strong….

    (;->

  2. WOW..shocking. I totally disagree with you. I think like any team sport hockey is good for kids. The kids actions on ice can stem from so many things , but when u have a good coach who encourages u, an reminds you that your there to have “FUN”. Hockey does enhance there life. Yes it teaches them its great to win…but also that its ok to lose. Fact is most minor hockey leagues these days r no contact, an there are better odds of the parents fighting then they kids. How many kids hockey games have you attended that u witnessed this “overly competitive, sore winners and bad losers, bullies and arrogant*.” behavier ? Of course its competitive… would u have considered A over cometitive for trying to take the soccer ball away from the other team? GRRRRRR I’ve been attending kids hockey games for 9 yrs now an i dont see this sport to be anymore aggressive then others.An if there a bullie or arrogant…odds are they were that before they even stepped on the ice.
    Atleast u are ready for the backlash…but i gotta defend Sarah…cause i dont think she is any of what u say..other then competative agains the team there playing.

  3. j, you are dead to me. Your punishment- watching all four episodes of 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic. enjoy.

    ~ a

  4. Whaaaaa? Hockey isn’t an innocuous exercise in convivial team building? Our toothless youths are learning that puck proficiency equals privilege? Way to go Jess, messing with national mythology! What’s next? A firm trouncing of our national police force? A critique of the dominant notion of peace, order, and good government? An exposé on the brutality of the beaver? Is nothing sacred? Have you no shame?
    -E

  5. Yes, grrr all around. Perhaps I should have called the post “Why I Dislike All Organized Sports”. Chris, I will agree that not every kid has a negative experience playing organized hockey. For some it builds character, friendships and positive life experiences. However, I have had 20 years of watching, interacting and living with folks who have not fared so well. There are kids in my life (Sarah is excluded from the list) who have been morphed and manipulated by organized sport. The spirit of competitive play and fairness has been drummed out of these kids and traded for a promise of greener pastures (whether that be NHL hopes, or just the approval of the important adults in their lives). It’s sad, and I think that it’s wrong that more people are talking about the darker side of competitive hockey and our kids.

    (case in point: the youth hockey coach in Peterborough who was suspended after taking his kids off the ice because the opposing team launch racial slurs at his kids…the nerve).

    So…I accept all “grrr”s and other irritations at my belief that hockey ain’t all that grand. Are there exceptions to my generalizations? Of course (we all know a couple of kids who are exceptions ;-). But I still think I’m right.

    (further proof: http://www.thestar.com/sports/gthl/article/734837–violence-and-racial-slurs-on-the-rise-in-kids-hockey )

    ~j

  6. I’ll agree with you about the coach. He should have never been suspended, The kids throwing with words around should have been suspended from the league. The fault of those kids actions fall on the parents. These kids taking part in “Organized Sports” could be doing alot worse things , but playing hockey keeps them off the streets 3 or more days a week. An i would bet anything there is more positive experience that come out of organized sports the negative. But when all your looking for is NEGATIVE i guess thats what u get. Question..have you ever played a organized sport? If so what happened to make u so jaded.

  7. Pingback: Why I’m Rooting for the Packers or Please Don’t Let the Rapist Win the Superbowl, by j « Weyward Sisters

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