There’s an old joke: “I went to the fights last night and a hockey game broke out!”
Well, last night that joke was not only made true but the hockey game that ‘broke out’ was sub-sub-par, stupid and just a minor part of a glitzy show that included, of all things, a sensory assault of lights, noise, advertisements, uber-marketing efforts, booze, louts, mascots and hokey audience participation gimmicks. Hockey never really showed up.
“We was robbed!!”
Well, we would have been had we shelled out the $280.00 each for the tickets we had been given. The seats were great! I could see the Tim Hortons ad and the McDonalds ads so clearly! With parking, it was a $600 mugging of sense, time, mockery of the game and disrespect for the audience. It was a fraud – plain and simple. It was a crime.
Typically teams send out their best players (first line) to open the game. But, strangely, last night a fourth line for both teams were on the ice for the first puck to drop. The Vancouver Canucks had brought up a 6’6″ rookie (Laine) to take the face-off. ‘That seemed weird. Where were the Sedins? Kesler? Burrows?’
With the clock showing a generous two seconds spent, the teams were in a full Donnybrook. The choice of opening line-up was thus explained. It was a staged fight! Like the WWF. It was not a fight that came from two teams competing to the best of their ability and escalating out of frustration and minor cheating. It was an arranged-by-the-teams beforehand brawl. It was a set-up from a cheap B movie, not Hockey.
Even the hockey movie, ‘GOON’ was more real.
How can a society prosecute young drunken louts for participating in a hockey riot and still condone the debased debacle of a massive fraud inflicted on the gullible audience of same-louts by gazillion-dollar so-called stars of the game? Makes no sense. There is no logic……….well, except that one group of professional louts makes money and the larger group of infrequent louts actually cost some money…..
So……I guess it is just about the money, eh? To hell with sport, integrity, justice and common sense.
If it makes a buck, it is OK. If it costs a buck, it is not.
I remember Guy Lafleur literally flying down the ice with Yvan Cournoyer at unbelievable speeds demonstrating brilliant stick handling and poetry in power as they combined to score a goal when I was at the forum in Montreal in the 60’s. It was awe-inspiring. The multi-million dollar players of today may have those same skills but they don’t bring them to the game. Throughout the ‘show’ last night there were fewer than a half-dozen ‘plays’ that included passes that worked and shots taken at speed. Most goals were the result of scrambles in front of the net.
Louts can do that!
Vancouver won the melee against the Calgary Phlegm 3-2. The audience lost millions along with any self-respect they may have had.
The sport of hockey? DOA. Collateral damage.