Did Gary Carter Invent the F-Bomb?

It’s fitting, I suppose that a player who had stopped cursing would introduce f-bomb into common parlance. Someone who generally refrains from profanity is probably more likely to use such a profanity-avoiding phrase. And a converted non-swearer is also, perhaps, more likely to recognize the awesome power of that particular four-letter word, and thus to verbally grant it metaphorically explosive powers.

My favourite catcher growing up and the best player to ever wear a Expos uniform.

Via Next Draft

NY Times Article on Fighting Featuring Saskatoon

An article today in The New York Times features Saskatoon as the focus in a discussion on fighting in hockey, particularly junior/midget hockey.

I like hockey. I love the sport, the intensity, the speed, the talent it takes to play it, the head games that go on with coaches and teams, the tradition. Watching Saturday night games with my dad – initially being more interested in watching the commercials than the actual game. Now watching games with my sons while we play mini-sticks, arguing about whether we should be watching the commercials or the actual game.

I hate the idea that fighting is necessary in the game.

I’ve gone on record before as saying I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that hockey still has fighting in it. The fact that, in 2012, “men” who play hockey are somehow so unable to control their emotions that they just have to punch each other, bare-knuckled, until someone falls down is such an archaic thought at best. At worst, it’s among the dumbest things to try and argue for today in sport.

Football has way more contact in close quarters and somehow the men manage to avoid having to fight on a regular basis. In basketball players are often nearly elbowing and punching each other, and yet aside from the occasional fight, also manage to control their emotions and play the game they’re supposed to instead of pretending to be boxers.

Speaking of boxing. As much as I’m not a fan of the sport, at least they are required to wear headgear and gloves to avoid doing as serious damage to the other combatant. In hockey you’re hitting with bare fists on someone’s bare head/face.

Anyway, back to the article. There’s so many great quotes to pull out, I’d recommend reading the whole thing yourself:

“The year before, if someone called you something, you’d punch him in the face. I believe there was a lot more respect in the game back then than there is today.”

“Put the half-visor on,” he said. “Now all of a sudden you’re not as brave, and there’s a lot more respect in the game.”

Right. Respect meaning you won’t say bad words about me because I’ll hit you. That sounds like a great way to explain respect to your kid.

Across the street from the Palace is the city’s old arena, where Boogaard, at age 15 and playing for another Melfort team, became enraged and went into the opposing team’s bench, throwing punches. The outburst impressed scouts from the W.H.L.’s Regina Pats, who moved to add Boogaard to their roster.

Emphasis mine.

Impressed.

Impressed?

The fact that a young man was so angry that he couldn’t control his emotions and went into the opposing team’s bench to fight impressed scouts.

Right there is what’s wrong with hockey.

Despite his no-fighting rule, Seaman said that for older age groups, fighting is needed to govern hockey. “If you take it right out, it’ll change the game,” he said.

This idea that the game of hockey is this thing that’s out of anyone’s control and if we do X, Y or Z that it will become chaos because of a lack of respect for other players is ridiculous.

If coaches would teach real respect to their players, starting at a young age, then you would get laughed out of hockey if you started throwing around racial epithets and did the kind of things that today supposedly warrant fighting someone. You just wouldn’t last if you didn’t respect your fellow player or opponent.

If refs actually called the game the way it is supposed to be called, then chippy, dirty play wouldn’t last. If you hook a guy, you get a penalty – regardless of whether it’s the last 2 minutes of a game or not. If the refs started calling the game by the books, the players would adapt. The game would change. But it would be for the better. Skill players could actually show off their skill instead of the game being dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

It’s time for the old boys club to move on and retire. I find Don Cherry entertaining as the next Canadian who’s chugging a beer & eating bacon in their igloo – but it’s 2012. Times change and so should hockey.

The worst thing that happens? Maybe a guy like Derek Boogaard doesn’t make the NHL and is still alive.

Why the NFL Won’t Show You Everything

Jason Kottke links to a Wall Street Journal article that talks about why the NFL won’t allow TV broadcasts of their games to show a tv angle known as the “All 22″ – a view that’s zoomed out and shows all the players on the field so you can see what’s going on and where & why players are where they are on a given play.

By distributing this footage only to NFL teams, and rationing it out carefully to its TV partners and on its web site, the NFL has created a paradox. The most-watched sport in the U.S. is also arguably the least understood. “I don’t think you can get a full understanding without watching the entirety of the game,” says former head coach Bill Parcells. The zoomed-in footage on TV broadcasts, he says, only shows a “fragment” of what happens on the field.

I assume the CFL does something like this as well – though I’m sure they’re not as militant about it as the NFL would be because I can certainly recall more full field views on a CFL game.

I think this is one of the reasons why hockey1 appeals to a certain type of person. You can see what’s going on in the whole field of play, minus the goalie at the other end of the ice. By being given the opportunity to see the whole play, you can appreciate the aspects of the game that someone like the NFL doesn’t want to release for fear that someone might figure out a secret.


  1. And I suppose basketball and many, many other sports that I don’t care to list here. 

How to Enjoy Hockey

when you really don’t understand hockey.

Just like the beloved sport of baseball, there are beer and hotdogs and players with giant egos and teams in financial distress. But unlike the beloved sport of baseball, hockey is a game that needs to be watched. You can read a book while you are watching baseball. You can vacuum the living room, play Angry Birds or enjoy the intimate company of a loved one while a baseball game is on. Chances are, you won’t miss much. You can’t do that with hockey because it moves too fast. And therein lies the enjoyment.

One Reason the Jets are Still Going to Be The Jets

From the best new sports blog in America, americanmccarver.com:

True North, the corporation which bought the Thrashers, did not buy the name rights so they had to come up with a new name for the team. There was much controversy and gnashing of teeth prior to the official announcement. The people wanted their beloved Jets back. Which at first I thought was weird. I mean, imagine you’re dating this girl named Darleen and you really love her and she leaves you. Then years later you meet a girl that’s similar to Darleen and you fall in love with her and she says she’ll move in with you. You say “OK, but change your name to Darleen.”

That was my first reaction, at least. But the more I thought about it the more I realized why it was the right thing to do. Remember when you used to scream out Darleen’s name during sex? How good would it feel to do that again? Even if the sex wasn’t that great sometimes? Even if this isn’t Darleen but someone who sort of looks like her?

So I’m happy to see the name Winnipeg Jets back in action. I’m happy for the city, for the hockey fans and for people like me who are stuck in the past and wish everything old was new again. Now if we could just get the Devils to move back to Colorado, Dallas to head back to Minnesota as the North Stars, give Hartford back their Whalers…there are so many cities that would love to call Darleen’s name out again.