I was initially going to write this post about the team I have been cheering for (for the past 8 years since moving to Ottawa)the Ottawa Senators. But I told a friend that I would give them 10 games before passing judgement, so I'm going to hold to that, but I doubt my views will change.
Instead I want to comment on the Arron Asham-Jay Beagle fight. People were in an uproar over, what Asham himself, called a "classless act". Jay Beagle, who is trying to prove himself to his team, was being a bit of a pest to Pittsburg defensemen Kris Letang. Asham, one of Pittsburg's enforcers, took issue with this and called Beagle out to drop the gloves. Punches were thrown, and Asham ended up knocking Beagle out.
Now if you're new to watching the sport of hockey, and have been inundated with Brendan Shanahan's videos cracking down on head shots, you'd think that the uproar is about the fact that a player was knocked out (clearly some kind of head trauma causes you to black out). Well, you'd be wrong.
The issue comes with what happened after the fight. With Beagle out cold on the ice, Asham celebrated the knock out with a lights out gesture. THIS is what people have issue with.
Now I enjoy a good hockey fight as much as most hockey fans do. I stand up in the area, move from side to side as people who are taller than me continually block my view, by jockeying for a view of their own, and give the applause at the end of a fight for a job well done. And I want to be clear that I DO NOT want fighting to leave the game.
However, my problem is that people's issue is with the knock out gesture, rather than the knock out itself. In a time when people are calling for tougher punishments for head shots, shouldn't it be looked at when someone gets into a fight and does have their lights punched out? Yes I think it was unnecessary for him to make the gesture, but seriously who cares?
If we're going to take great offense to gestures, that frankly cause no harm, then why are we not taking GREATER offense to things that actually cause people harm, and in some cases, SERIOUS harm?