Saturday, January 1, 2011

I am a hockey fan.

I am a hockey fan.

I believe that the game of hockey should be treated by fans first and foremost as a game -- not the be-all and end-all of all existence.

I believe that the game of hockey, when played correctly, fairly, and with passion, is one of the most beautiful exhibitions of skill and competition available today. I believe that such exhibition of skills and plays should be cheered, even when performed by other teams.

I believe that every one of todays players, on their worst days, could skate rings around me on my best day.

I believe that every one of todays players is a human being. I believe that just like all the rest of us, they have their good days and bad days, and that some days "their best effort" isn't as good as other days.

I believe that the three stars of hitting, hooking, and holding are an impediment to the game, both as-played and as-intended. When I say "hitting" I mean cheap, dangerous, and/or late hits. I believe hockey is, and should be, a physical game.

I believe that the refs are human, and that honest mistakes on their part will even out over the long run. I believe that the refs are hamstrung by both the league (which means the owners) and by the vagueness of the rulebook, but that they do their best to call a fair game.

I believe that reffing playoff hockey games different from regular season games is fundamentally dishonest. I believe that a ref's choice to not call an infraction at a critical point is just as much as, if not more of, a decision to influence a game's outcome.

I believe that fans who boo their home team are fair-weather fans, but I believe that someone who pays their money to sit in their seat can cheer or boo as they like and are answerable to no one else.

I believe that the third-point for an over-time loss is a bad idea.

I believe that the shoot out method of determining the winner of a game is inferior to sudden death victory overtime, but I also believe I have to go to work tomorrow.

I believe that the current playoff seeding method renders too much of the regular season meaningless. However I also believe I don't like "playoff hockey" so on balance having more regular season games works for me just fine.

I would rather watch my team lose a spirited, fair, and skillfully-played game 3-2 than watch them clobber another team 8-0(*).

I believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the Ottawa Senators will one day hoist the Stanley Cup. (I believe that day will not be in 2011).

These things I believe. I know that there are others who do not share these beliefs. I believe those who disagree have the right to disagree.


(*) == except if it's the Leafs