Hey all, hope all is well with everyone on this dreary Tuesday in late March. Hope everyone had a great "March Break" for those Canadians and everyone around the world enjoyed their St. Paddy's Day celebrations! I know I did on both accounts.
Anyway, today's blog is going to be straight forward on an issue that happens to be very prevelant right now in sports, but most mostly in the hockey world. Because of an influx of head shots taken lately in the NHL it has become a hot topic once again. Last week the NHL took a new stance on the topic and sent some video out to every team so that everyone in the league knows and understands what a head shot is.....WHAT A JOKE!
Again, keep in mind this is my opinion, but what a joke. There is so much being made of head shots in sports and how concussions are so much more occuring lately and how leagues should change the rules of play to make things safer etc. Everyone is making their voices heard on what changes need to be made and excusing the play because the players are bigger and faster and stronger. Okay, I don't totally disagree that some changes could be made, but the bottom line is simple. Those giving the head shots know they are giving head shots...end of story. If you want to change that, you need to look a bit deeper than changing the rules or the suspensions. The fact of the matter is that players playing proffessional sports today have very little respect for their opponent or for their sport itself. Lets use hockey players for our example. Anyone who saw Matt Cooke's hit a few weeks ago can see that it was no accident. He knew outright that Savard was vulnerable and he finished it regardless. He also finished it high. What does that tell me. Well it is simple. Cooke has no regard for hockey and absolutely no regard for Savard. It wasn't a spur of the moment decision, or a hit that got away from him. It was simply a dirty hit, "inside" the rules. They couldn't susupend him because it did not break any rules. Fair enough.
The fact still remains that in today's sporting world, from the young players right on up to the pros there lacks a significant amount of respect. That is why there are so many more issues that we hear about in the bigs as well as in minor sports. Any adult will tell you that the youth of today have less respect for things than those of their era. The fact is, it is true. Not only in society do these rules exsist they also exsist in the sporting world. Respect is the block that sports used to be built on. You respect the game, the players, the refs, the fans etc.. That kind of respect is gone. Very few players still abide by it and even less care to think about it. If I want to hit someone from behind, I will. If I want to take a head shot, I will. I will suffer the consequences (there are very few) and move on. I DON'T CARE. What can they do to me? Same reason there is less respect in society. What can they do to me?
Without dwelling on this any longer, there are some suggestions that would help. The first is have the pros respect the game enough that it can rub off on today's youth! What kind of message does that send to the kids of today if the pros act irresponsibly? Secondly, get the enforcer back in the game. Not the kind of enforcer that fights the other teams tough guy. The kind of guy that will deal with the Matt Cooke's of the game. If the insigator rule was out, it would make every player instantly more accountable for their actions. Simple enough in my world. You have a lack of respect for my teamate, you are going to be dealth with. Accountability breads respect, get back to the proper way of "earning" respect. Lastly, and this was a point that was brought to me. Teach these young hockey players how to skate with the puck, with their Heads up! Too many players, even the good ones leave themselves vulnerable because of the simple fact that they can't skate with the puck and see what is going on around them. Yes, the players are bigger and stronger and faster. Adapt, and be more aware of what is going on around you. Mabye spend more time with the puck on your stick then in the weight room....just a thought.
Regardless. As a proffessional athlete myself I have a tremendous amount of respect for the game I play and for those I play with and against. There are certain things I'd like to do, but don't because of that respect. I know for a fact, that that respect does not always work both ways. Simple as that. Those looking for a name in the game or those that simply don't care will play reckless until they are dealt with. Players like this have exsisted as long as sports have been around, the difference is, in the "old days" those players were dealt with. They either changed or were ousted from the game. Get respect back, decrease the amount of injuries due to reckless play.
Anyway, now that my rant is over I can get back to the business at hand. The Rock travel to Orlando this weekend in what has turned out to be a first place battle. With Calgary knocking them off last weekend, we can take a share of the lead back with a win this weekend. Fresh off a week off, we WILL be ready to go. Stay tuned for your NLL update first thing Monday. I will get you to speed with our weekend and the rest of the NLL action!