Saturday, October 08, 2005

Of Helmets and Headcases

Well, hockey's back now and the game is undergoing some pretty severe changes. I have to say that I am happy that the ice hasn't been changed as previously threatened. Have they learned from their past errors? Will the new rules help or hinder the game? Will the old players be able to keep up with the new rules? Will the refs finally learn how to make competent calls? All of these are mysteries that only time sill reveal the answers to. One thing that hasn't changed though is certain attitudes on machismo versus safety. The older players still pretend they are special cases and don't required intelligence. Maybe they think they are surrounded by a protective bubble in space and time, or maybe they feel the extra thick skull that obviously the ability to make smart choices regarding certain things will keep them safe.

Hockey in Canada is primarily concerned with safety. Players are required to wear certain protective equipment and the item I'm talking about is headgear. Visors or wire cages are required on their helmets to protect their faces from the flying disc of hardened rubber that is the puck. Children and up and coming players alike all take steps to protect themselves from the puck as it tears across the ice at some pretty impressive speeds, even in the minor leagues.

So why is it that once these players make it into the big league they feel that they are suddenly special and don't need to wear their basic safety gear. If you look at most teams on the ice in the NHL you will see a large number of players without visor of any kind on the ice. We're talking teeth and eyes here people. They wouldn't go on the ice without their pads or their cup would they? So why is it that they feel their nuts are so special that they need protecting, but the concept of chewing their food on an ongoing basis, or possibly being able to see well for the rest of their lives bears no real concern?

My hero!I'll bet Mats Sundin feels like a big man now that he's had his eye socket cracked by a rogue puck (He looks happy about it). I'll bet he's proud that after a year and a half on his ass he now gets to sit out for a month or more while he heals. Don't get me wrong here, I really don't give a rat's ass for the safety and welfare of these guys. If they've had enough pucks to the head or hits into the boards that they are suffering a full blown case of rectal cranial inversion then so be it. I'm worried about the kids that are watching. What are you supposed to do when your 8 year old says that he won't wear a visor because his hockey hero doesn't. Personally I'd let them go out there without their cup as well, let them take a frozen puck where it may land and see how fast they run for their visor, but that's bad parenting. I guess we have to resign ourselves to worshipping our heroes with bad eyes and smiles like old picket fences. At least when their jaws get wired shut they'll still be able to eat dinner through the gaps in their teeth. Kind of makes you proud of them doesn't it?


Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

ACK!!! That picture is awful! A cracked eye socket??? Oh my that must've HURT!!!!

I'm such a wuss.....;)

8:26:00 AM  
Blogger Martini Love said...

Hockey is a very violent and crazy sport... and I love it :)

10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

my god he's looking rough

2:12:00 PM  
Blogger katie said...

Ahh Hockey. Make football look like checkers in terms of roughness.

2:49:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

I don't think hockey players should be allowed to have ANY protection at all. Imagine what the game would be like then!

4:00:00 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

The pros are just to full of them selves when it comes to safty. The opt to wear the short gloves so they could stick hadle better but expose their wrists to being hit. They get the bigger elbow pads so that they could smack some in the face with more effect.
I played goalie as a kid and was one of the lucky ones to try on Plantes goalie mask.
All I remember was the player taking the slapshot and then me laying on the ice bleeding.
Its a tough sport and if the pros want to forgo the proper protection then there will be openings in the future for new hockey players.
One more thing. What they play today I do not concider hockey.
I miss the old days when hockey had style. Today it is a battle field with goons on all sides.

4:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gimpy Mumpy said...

Go Bruins! hahaha, sorry couldn't contain myself, it has been SOOOOO long since we've had hockey.
Only sport I know of that they'll break an ankle and just tape it out and go out and finish the game. Not sure if it's shear stupidity or good sportsmanship but I sure love my hockey!

5:11:00 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

Hockey rules.
I agree about the danger though. When is the NHL going to wise up and insist that all games are played with a puck made out of dryer lint..

7:46:00 PM  
Blogger dan said...

amazingly, we have some canadian players in our very poor hockey league over


but it's nothing like how you guys play it.

2:36:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Any kid of mine that refused to wear his headgear wouldn't be playing until he wore it. Simple.

Maybe someone needs to wire their jaws shut and feed them all their meals through a straw for a month before they understand how they could end up spending the rest of their lives like that?

Can't see any photos on your site at the mo, maybe your image server is down. I'll be back to check out the latest pics of Jacob!

4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

That's why I watch something much more tame. Like Football. lol.

It is sad, isn't it?

7:08:00 PM  
Blogger mrhaney said...

hello rainy pete. if they are dumb enough to do all these things then that is up to them. i would not want to get in front of that puck no matter what i was wearing.

1:21:00 AM  
Blogger PBS said...

OMG that looks terrible! You'd think they would know better, having played the game so long.

10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

Happy Thanksgiving :D

2:50:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Happy thankgiving to you and your family Pete :)

7:53:00 PM  
Blogger L said...

that looks incredibly painful

12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kassi said...

Hehehe ... our national sport involves full body slamming ... and no padding .. hockey ... hah !! we laugh at your protective headgear !!!

8:39:00 PM  

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