Fighting isn't necessary

I'm not a fan of fighting in lacrosse (or hockey, for that matter). The way I see it, there are three kinds of fights - I'm going to call them emotional, retaliatory, and organized. 1. Emotional -- this is the most common kind of fight. Lacrosse is an emotional game, and sometimes emotions run high and the fists start flying. I don't have a problem with that at all. Let the players duke it out, throw them in the box for 5 each, and let's move on. 2. Retaliatory. This is when you hit player A and rather than player A coming after you, player B does instead. If someone hits your teammate with a cheap shot and you're standing right there, you're going to go after him. I get that. If nobody's around, then sure, I can understand sending Joe Goon after him later, but *only* if it's a cheap shot, and once the game's over, it's over. If it's a clean check, even if it's a hard one that knocks him off his feet, then there's no cause for a fight. Back in the 80's, if anyone bumped Wayne Gretzky, no matter how lightly, Dave Semenko would come after them -- this is ridiculous. Gretzky was a professional hockey player -- if he can't handle being checked, he has no business being in the game. And getting back at someone for something they did in the *last* game is just silly. Get over it. 3. Organized. This is the dumbest kind of fight there is. This is when the Bonterre's and O'Brien's and such go after each other for no other reason than because they are good at fighting. They talk about doing it to energize their team, or just "shake things up" or whatever, but if that's what's necessary to get your team worked up, your coach needs to be fired. I remember seeing clips from a hockey game where Donald Brashear and someone else lined up for a face-off, and Brashear simply asked the other guy "You wanna go?" The other guy said sure, and Brashear said "OK. Good luck, man". As soon as the whistle went, they dropped the gloves and went at it. What's the point? I'm there to see a lacrosse or hockey game -- if I wanted to watch an organized fight, I'd watch boxing. There was a fight five *seconds* into the first period of the Rock / Roughnecks game last Saturday. What, did emotions run high during the anthems? That was just stupid. People talk about how fighting is an integral part of lacrosse and hockey, how you can't remove fighting from the game without damaging the game itself. But does nobody notice that fighting disappears in the playoffs? Players whose skill is questionable but are great fighters are all healthy scratches in the post-season, fighting penalties are very rare, and yet the games are still exciting to watch. If fighting is so integral to the game, why does it disappear during the most important games of the season? Football is about as full-contact as you can get, but fighting is not tolerated at all. It's not tolerated in basketball or baseball either, so why are hockey and lacrosse players unable to take it out of their games?

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