Sunday, October 19, 2008
Bob Smizik thinks fighting in the NHL is a joke. [PG]
We know what Bob Smizik is trying to do.
He is trying to goad hockey fans by writing a column that just doesn't make sense.
We'll take the bait, because that's what we do.
Tons of hidden gems in this latest Smizik joint.
:: "Fighting in hockey is an absolute joke and the sooner the powers that be admit it -- they already know it -- the better off the sport will be."
Nice to see Smizik is using the word "joke."
To dispute this, we ask, how do the powers that be know fighting is a problem?
That is a guess, at best.
:: "For every new fan fighting turns on in Pittsburgh and other NHL hot spots, it turns off several others in vital areas where the league must gain a foothold if it ever wishes to be remotely competitive with sports higher up the dollar chain."
Once again, a statement based on no facts. Hockey is a violent sport by nature, so to say people are turned on by one aspect and turned off by another doesn't make sense.
:: "At present, the NHL is turning a nice profit and might be content to be the niche league its television ratings say it is. But if it ever wants to crash the big time -- where woebegone franchises like the Pirates turn a profit the Penguins can only dream of -- it needs to appeal to a broader spectrum of fans."Aren't there bench-clearing brawls in baseball games?
Don't they throw at batter's heads and try to break the second-baseman's leg to disrupt a double play?
Hockey doesn't need casual fans anyway.
The Pirates made a profit?
They don't spend money on players. What an organization.
:: "Fighting does not do that for the NHL. As much as it energizes fans in the various buildings around the league, it turns off the prospective fans outside those building. The NHL needs to grow its base. Fighting is stopping it from doing that."
Stopping fighting brings more fans in? Honestly we wouldn't change anything about the NHL.
But if they do need to change things, fighting is the least of their problems.
:: He talks about how the fight between Riley Cote and God in the Flyers/Pens game this week didn't prove anything, then he says:
"It also had the crowd going crazy. If this is what the fans come for, what a sad commentary on the sport. What a sad commentary on the dazzling skills of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin that two players who don't even belong in the league can inspire the crowd to such a level."
Huh? We have been hockey fans all our lives. We know a lot of hockey fans.
Never have we gone to a game to see a fight.
Yes, it is fun to see it happen, but if you're a hockey fan, you know better.
To say it is a sad commentary about hockey fans and the sport is completely irresponsible.
:: To use a football analogy, there is no tougher player than the Steelers' Hines Ward. He backs down from no one and plays the game to its fullest. If the hockey mentality existed in football, Ward would be "afraid" to play his game for fear of retaliation. That is nonsense when it is applied to Ward and it is nonsense when applied to hockey players.
That is one of the stupidest groupings of sentences in the history of the English language.
We can't even describe how ridiculous it is.
Nothing like dumbing down a coloumn so some yinzers can understand.
This is what separates Hines Ward from hockey players:
:: Meanwhile, hockey, which can be a ballet on ice, struggles for far-flung acceptance because it insists, for no good reason, to be best known as a barroom brawl on ice.
It insists to be best-known for fighting?
Are you kidding?
It didn't incorporate fighting INTO the league recently to attract fans.
You're saying something that has been in the sport forever has to leave.
No, Smizik. You have to leave.
Fighting didn't stop hockey from being a major-4 sport in the U.S. in the '90s.
Smizik, you are a joke.
Did you even watch the Stanley Cup playoffs last year, the NHL's biggest stage of the season????
How many fights do you recall seeing? Are you an idiot?
The playoffs were your elusive "ballet on ice."
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