Thursday, March 17, 2005

the death of hockey

Irwin N. Graulich


The Death of Hockey
By Irwin N. Graulich
Mar 16, 2005

Baseball is rolling in the dough. The Superbowl is the most watched event in the world. The NBA has become a money machine. And hockey is dying a slow death.

While unions, big business and greed certainly are playing a role in hockey's demise, the greater blame can be attributed to vast differences between American Judeo-Christian values and European ideals. Secular Europe has become the antithesis of America, rejecting our battles, our strengths and our wisdom.

Amoral Europe, the land that gave birth to communism, Marxism, fascism and Nazism, learned all the wrong lessons from The Holocaust and WWII. Instead of realizing that fighting evil is a moral good, Europe has confused the issue by thinking that "fighting" is always wrong. Hence, their opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

These ideas have played out in the once rough and tumble sport of North American hockey. Before 1985, there were vast differences between the way the sport was played here and abroad. The National Hockey League (NHL) was made up of teams that stressed size, aggressiveness, toughness, excitement and adrenaline. European hockey emphasized finesse, beauty, form and the "art" of skating.

Rather than embrace the important concept learned from Nazi Germany that worshipping aesthetics is truly meaningless in terms of character development, Europeans have actually learned the opposite lesson. Pre-WWII Germany, which had the most museums and orchestras in the world, still produced gas chambers. Yet the sophisticated European socialists and leftist intellectuals of our 21st century somehow think that there is some relationship between art appreciation and goodness. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Part of sports today is spectacle, as well as the battle between good guys and bad guys. There is a entertainment and fantasy element built into fan interest, explaining the tremendous popularity of professional wrestling. Since hockey battles were real, they provided the only sports outlet besides boxing, for actual fights, a natural and healthy outlet for men's violent tendencies.

After the demise of the Soviet Union, many Russian and European hockey players began to infiltrate the NHL, searching for greater financial rewards. As Canada opened itself up to European values, everything began to change. Canadians embraced a sports "affirmative action program," where pure skill totally trumped inner heart and desire, important "old" Canadian and American traits.

Toughness, hard hitting and fighting were removed from the sport under the auspices of political correctness. After all, if Europe preferred a ballet on ice with hockey sticks, then the average hockey fan everywhere should want to join the sophisticated crowd. So went the thinking of the Stanley Cup hierarchy. Unfortunately, the entire Canadian political system has embraced similar ideas and is the reason why there is such a great problem with growing Islamic fundamentalism, similar to Europe.

Unfortunately, the NHL in the United States is ruled through Montreal, and thus has become a European outpost. Hockey, a wonderful Canadian invention had turned too American, with players becoming American cowboys rather than "international" figure skaters. The pseudo sophisticates to our North wished to move beyond sports as an entertainment vehicle, setting up new rules and regulations that do not allow the tremendous passion and drive of the less graceful to succeed.

America has shown itself to be different than virtually any other country, with a willingness to fight, when necessary. The progressives up North and across the ocean see physical strength and power as old-fashioned and unnecessary. It has become pc to ban fighting, since the big word around elite circles is "peace."

The fight against hockey violence was actually a battle against America. If a hockey player fights back to protect himself, he was considered too aggressive, just like Israel. Evidence the European and Canadian positions vis a vis the Middle East.

As Canada continues to exercise a misguided foreign policy, its political ideals have transcended down into society, bringing with it the downfall of a once great sport. Its anti-war, anti-fighting ideal presents a wonderful entrepreneurial opportunity for a new American style league to arise. Future Steinbrenners, take note.

The Players Association and the owners have begun to think like Neville Chamberlain, that negotiation and bringing pacifism into the sport will ultimately create success. However, it is simply the rejection of America and embracing European ideals which have become key factors in hockey's demise. Unless hockey Commissioner Bettman goes back to the good old days of "The Broad Street Bullies," the sport will continue to deteriorate, along with most other European ideologies and beliefs.



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