Athletes With Spears!
No, not javelin throwers. These guys are flying around on a field of ice armed it seems with ‘spears’. They call them sticks but they are not exactly that either. But they must really be spears because Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins just got fined five dimes for ‘spearing’.
Check out the video on the internet. Danny DeKeyser really took a hit, in the worst place. But let’s be frank here. What Lucic did was to whack him hard in the nuts with his hockey stick. Blam! It almost hurts a little just to watch the replay.
One would think that such a blatant act caught on camera, would warrant at least some sort of suspension or something. Five grand to these guys is like a parking ticket to the rest of us. What did that prove? Worse yet, what message did it send to the players and fans in the NHL?
So now if a guy gets mad at another player and he has the $5,000 to spare, he should feel free to just whack away at that guys private parts in front on thousands of people young and old not to mention a nationwide TV audience and the worldwide reach of the internet these days.
Is that the message that the National Hockey League’s Commissioner’s office is trying to send? Because it sure seems so. To quote the popular television phrase, “Come on Man!”
But this must be a fairly common occurrence because there is even a name for the assault around the league. They call it a ‘cup check’. Now, in Hockey, ‘checking’ an opposing player often involves slamming him against the Plexiglas retaining wall with as much violence as possible without drawing a foul.
We all know that Hockey is a violent game, perhaps the most violent team sport there is. Yes, I know, Rugby. But ball whacking does seem a bit extreme. I mean, haven’t these guys ever heard of ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’? Or do they have to be constantly on guard against such assaults? Seems like that would distract them from the game, at least to some extent.
So the Bruins forward gets a slap-on-the-wrist and the game goes on. But has anyone thought about the young hockey fans around the country and the example that this ludicrous practice sets for them to follow?
If the custom is allowed to continue and the kids pick it up, I foresee a fine NHL soprano choir singing the Star Spangled Banner someday.