Sockem Hockey and Gentlemen’s Disputes

I went to an NHL hockey game last night. Halfway through the game, two of the players dropped their gloves, circled, and closed for a fight. The crowd loved it; the home team scored a goal immediately after, high on the moment.

As I cheered the fighters on, I reflected with surprise that I was enjoying what I think many would consider a barbaric practice – what I used to consider a barbaric practice.

But that was before. It used to seem so horrible and pointless for two guys to go out back and beat each other to a pulp. Why not talk it out? Except these days, it seems that nobody takes it out back unless they have a knife in their hands. Or a gun. As a result, trifling arguments which used to result in black eyes or bruises, now end up with obituaries. Barroom brawls are scary things, these days.

Last night it occured to me that I now view fistfights with nostalgia – the gentleman’s way to settle a dispute. I can’t say that nobody gets hurt – but at least nobody dies. Temporary boo boos for nowhere-near-life-or-death squabbles. Compared to the daily news, two guys fighting without weapons seems like a crazy thing to be upset about. Too bad it isn’t more common. Twisted logic, I know. But then, it’s a twisted world.

2 thoughts on “Sockem Hockey and Gentlemen’s Disputes

  1. Pingback: Hockey » Blog Archives » It's not really about hockey

  2. Gentlemen do not get into fistfights; disputes are settled in a civilized manner. With lawyers – I however, am no gentleman.

    I always knew you were just a little bloodthirsty.

    I know you as an intense competitor and as someone who can get caught up in the moment, it does not surprise me in the least that you were cheering on these two guys. Fighting is part of hockey that at the end of the day is a game – which I think should give you some perspective on this situation. Sometimes the actions of one can result in the better performance of the group overall, that seems to be the case here.

    Given that our world *seems* to be filled more and more with violence the controlled and bounded violence of a hockey fight is a welcome relief.

    I wonder if this is how fell?


    “Violence is the last recourse of the incompetent”

    Just how many penalty minutes did Gretzky have for fighting/hooking/charging/slashing/yelling na na boo boo/ anyhow ?


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