Violence In Hockey Essay

1842 words - 7 pages

Violence in HockeyConn Smythe, one of hockey s most respected figures, once said, If you can t beat em in the alley, you can t beat em on the ice. So, how can hockey be a clean and respectable sport if one of its former presidents tells us the only way to win is through back-alley violence? Obviously there are a few problems that have to be addressed concerning hockey in today s society. These problems are causing the downfall of a beautiful game. With a few simple revisions, the downfall can be remedied. First, hockey is loosing its meaning. Second, violence is detrimental to the success of hockey teams. Third, hockey players are misleading the youth by acting as faulty role models. Fourth, hockey players are frequently being injured. Therefore, premeditated acts of violence must be eliminated from hockey.The National Hockey League (N.H.L.) needs to further continue the fight against deliberate acts of violence to uphold the integrity and prosperity of hockey. Hockey writer Jerry Sullivan suggests that the N.H.L. supports and condones violence within the game (Sullivan). In accordance with that, hockey expert analysts Jim Hunt and Don Cherry, also agree that the N.H.L. needs to be tougher in the policing its players (Hunt). As a result of acts of ruthless violence in the past, the N.H.L has started handling acts of violence that occur on the ice (Gordon). The efforts have been rewarded by a higher quality of hockey that appeals to a larger fan base (Gordon). Since fights have dropped in the N.H.L., the leagues popularity and profitability have risen 18% from 1998-2000 (Westervelt). Hockey games have also started to appeal to a wider spectrum of people (Westervelt). With the extra revenue from larger the fan base, there is of a more opportunity for hockey to grow and progress (Westervelt). League officials are now truly beginning to understand the new breed of hockey fans that would prefer to see skating and passing as opposed to holding and fighting (Westervelt).Unnecessary acts of violence are desecrating hockey. Hockey is meant to be a fast paced, exciting sport that focuses on the skill, finesse, and team work (Ronberg). Instead, it has degraded itself to the level of a major wrestling television show (Ronberg). Unfortunately, illegal play is common place in hockey games at all levels (Ronberg). According to statistics, there are approximately 40,000 acts of deliberate violence in the N.H.L. each year. With this in mind, Sportswriter Larry Wigge speaks of a nasty factor that certain teams use as a crutch for short-term success (Wigge). This, nasty factor , is characterized by an aggressive style that encourages players to intimidate through acts of violence (Wigge). Referees often feel that to protect their own integrity they must ignore the nasty factor (Wigge). The reason for this is because referees fear that they may be accused of throwing a game, as referee Rick Alterec was in 1987 (Wiggie). There is a lot more to hockey beyond the bully...

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