Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On fans of fights

Before YouTube, before the message boards and the Internet and all things digital and easy, there were guys like Nicky V. The pioneers. The old-school fight fans who devoted countless hours to recording and trading and compiling footage, going from icebox-sized VCRs in the 1970s to standing on the roof in the middle of 1990s ice storms, aiming dishes by hand. The guys who racked up $300 phone bills calling to Canada at 25 cents a minute, who scoured old Hockey News box scores for penalties, who developed sore thumbs from hitting RWD and FFWD over and over again. The guys — and let's be honest, they're all guys — who spent three months waiting for fight tapes from Philly, then tore open the UPS packages like snakebite victims fumbling for anti-venom.
A great story.

Thanks to Sig at Two Minutes for Blogging, who helped out the writer a bit on the piece, for the heads up.



At 12:25 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger poploser said...

As someone who used to do similar things to get Gretzky highlights, I can appreciate the effort, even though I think fighting in hockey is dumb.

At 12:25 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Like most (90+% last poll we've seen) hockey fans, we don't watch the games just to see fights, BUT we do LOVE them.
2) Just the possibility gets the fans out of their seats/excited. We challenge any of the anti-fighting pansies out there (Damian Cox) to show us a quiet building when players drop their gloves.
3) Is it any wonder/coincidence that most teams' favourite players among fans are the leading scorer and leading fighter? Which is why the apparent thrust by Bettman to reduce fighting is misguided and ultimately will hurt the game.
4) We're not necessarily advocating a return of the 1970's/Slap Shot type games, but neither should there be rules to discourage fighting either (instigator rules).

At 1:33 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger Daniel said...

Cool story, it is good to see someone with a passion go so hard.

As for people loving fighters, they generally are loved by everyone. They get paid a lot less and do a job that seems pretty brutal. I would say fans appreciate and respect the fighters, not love them. Then again, you have 'Parros Nation' shirts here in the OC, so that might be wrong.

I personally think that players like Brendan Morrow and Jerome Iginla are the players we want to see. Players who can also stand up for a teammate. No wonder they both carry the 'C'...

At 1:37 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger danae said...

Two things I love about the playoffs:
-The fights aren't superfluous. I love a good scrap for the right reasons, not just because Boogaard and Parros happen to be on the ice at the same time.
-After the blood, sweat and choice words of a hard-fought best-of-seven, the teams line up and shake hands.
Hockey is the only sport where the handshake is a tradition at every level. IMO, that speaks more to what this sport teaches kids than the argument over fisticuffs.

At 2:10 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

We challenge any of the anti-fighting pansies out there to show us a quiet building when players drop their gloves.

That's the same argument people trot out in favour of the shootout, but I don't like that either.

At 2:25 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger BlackCapricorn said...

A great article. I wish the author was a little bit more knowledgeable about hockey going in but still, what a great exploration of a subset of our hockey culture!

At 2:31 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) OK Adam, lets solve both our issues: Instead of a shoot out, how about a fight-off to determine the game's winner. ; )

At 4:03 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

Finally, a reason to miss Wade Belak!


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