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