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)