The Changing Sensibilities of Canadians
One of the biggest news stories of the past week has been about a bench clearing brawl between two teams of eight-year old hockey players. Those who aren’t Canadian may be surprised to learn that this isn’t a regular occurrence; and by that I mean brawls making the news and not the brawls happening.
I distinctly remember being involved in a bench-clearing brawl when I played hockey at that age. What I don’t remember – because it never happened – is the subsequent hoopla over the situation. We didn’t get any media attention for our brawl. Of course there also weren’t camera phones in every pocket when I was that age either.
But there is also a change in the average Canadian’s opinion on fighting and aggression in hockey. The debate about the role of fighting in hockey has grown louder year by year. One camp feels that fighting has no place in the sport and something needs to be done to eliminate it from the game. The other side runs over to the ‘pacifists’ and proceeds to smack them around in an extremely visceral argument. The pacifists then feel morally superior. And so it goes…
One side feels that Don Cherry is the devil incarnate. The other side embraces Don Cherry for being the devil incarnate. At least the two sides can agree on something.