Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I've Heard Enough
Are we all sufficiently happy with the Kings' first cup win? Good, 'cause here comes captain bringdown.
Provocative title aside, there's some genuine stuff to absorb here, so read it through once or twice. Follow the links. Given these facts, I find it exceedingly hard to believe that hockey didn't help push Derek Boogaard down his very tragic path. And if you can convince me otherwise, well, so what? Okay, so pressuring Boogard to fight for some misguided notion of "honor" that will have nothing to do with the final score and nothing to do with ultimate accountability for on-ice infractions didn't kill Boogard. That's supposed to be a point in it's favor? Okay, team doctor's giving him prescription painkillers with no examination didn't form an addiction with him. That makes it okay?
No, these things are shitty regardless of the admitted correlation/causation problem. They are shitty in and of themselves, even if every single player in the league were to end up lucky enough to avoid the most catastrophic and obvious effects of them. What's more, they're both shitty and easy to fix.
It's easy to ban fighting from the game. Every level but the NHL does it. Understand that I'm only talking about "easy" at one level; all you have to do is make a rule, you don't have to alter any other part of the game. I understand that you'll still have to push through some traditionalists, so it should be a slow process. But the solution there is clear, even if the math might get complicated.
It's even easier to hold the doctors accountable; Deadspin alone gives you a rough idea how. Who the fuck would object to that? More importantly, who gives a shit? Anyone that objects, name them, shame them, and move on.
No one is arguing that this will solve all of hockey's problems. Everyone knows that a lot of very serious injuries occur outside of fighting. But- and I'm sick of pointing this out- "you can't make it perfect" is a shitty reason to not make it better.
When these things come up, we hear over and over about how violence is part of these games and we can't have one without the other. I'm convinced that's bullshit in all cases, especially hockey. But even if I'm wrong on that in total- THIS bullshit is not part of this game.