Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hockey and The Evil That Men Do.

This will be, without a doubt, the only time I'm ever going to blog about Hockey.

This may startle you, but I'm a Canadian and not a hockey fan. I could care less about the Stanley Cup. In fact I spent last night's final game of the playoffs watching LOST re-runs. But this morning I get to witness Vancouver, the sore losers of last nights game:

This really got me thinking about our WIN / LOSE culture and I believe this is why I have such an aversion to institutionalized sports. The concept of Good Sportsmanship, humility and grace are ideas long since abandoned in our society. 

Hockey is a game, not a religion. Games were at one time meant to be fun and challenging. Somewhere along the lines the notion of "Winning is all the matters" took over and is now seems to be the primary psychological motivation behind coaches and fans alike and not the basic love of the game.

The problem with institutionalized sports, as opposed to say chess or Scrabble, is that while an individual player my take their loss with grace and humility the external forces of fandom are beyond that persons ability to influence and as such you see the results in the above picture. A few bad apples ruining it for the rest of us.

Now, I'm not particularly good at sports in any way but I enjoy playing them provided it's fun. If you only Play To Win against me the fun has left the game.

So here's a radical idea: what if players and fans alike could win or lose with grace, respect and humility towards their other team? What if the defeated side can feel disappointment yet cheer for the success of the opposition? Why have things degraded to such a neanderthal clubbing match with victory the only point of the endeavor? 

People have a very messed up perception of what success means in this world.

Until things change, and I don't ever expect that it will, I'm going to keep my nose out of Hockey lest it gets broken but some idiot and be thankful I don't live in a town where my car gets set on fire when the local sports team loses. 

Make love, not Hockey


A Koszis said...

The only time my family ever watches hockey is usually during the winter Olympics. The sport does seem pretty cool, and since there's so many teams, after each match we just start cheering for a different team again in the next game.

This whole rioting thing doesn't seem to happen as much in America. In fact it doesn't happen at all. The only extreme case was a man recently hospitalized for being a Giants fan at a Dodgers game.

Troy Little said...

Some Canadians get stupid over their hockey.

For a while I was into basketball and it was fun to follow but I still can't figure out the attraction to it when the players change teams every year. How can you love a team brand? At least in basketball people score points and there's some real athletics involved, hockey is a lot of skating in circles and a goal or two if you're lucky but the end. It's fast but boring I find.

A Koszis said...

I don't know much to say about sports since I'm not all that into any of it. My family is though, so I learn a little tiny bit from them.

I don't know about other teams, but the San Francisco Giants actually use their players as part of the team brand. They don't have one star player. They have 5 goofy ones. Really helps with people connecting with the team. That and the fact that they try to get the whole family involved.

meku meku said...

Why can't teams lose with humility? Hell, that's a philosophical chestnut. The answer to your question would be the same as the answer to questions like 'Why do people murder?' or 'What causes men to rape women?' or more generally, 'Why would a human being inflict harm and suffering upon other human beings? The day we answer these questions, would be a day where mankind would evolve into something bigger, better. Till then, lets kill each other.

Troy Little said...

Interesting that you've lumped sports in with murder, rape and human suffering in your analogy!

meku meku said...

sports? what sports? It's a battlefield! remember, it's not about playing the game, it's about whether you win or not.