After glancing through twitter today a particular tweet caught my eye and put me into a bit of a rage. So obviously I'm eager to get a blog out there, hopefully this one gets some hits and a little discussion.
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"jamescybulski James Cybulski
I love that Sidney Crosby supports an outright ban on head shots in the NHL. 81% of our responses on our twitter poll @TSN1050Drive agree"
My first thought to this tweet was why would I even care what someone who throws way less than a hit per game thinks about hitting?
Second of course was, what on earth do dangerous head shots and Crosby have to do with each other?
Sure Crosby was "hit" by Steckel which caused his first concussion and was followed by Hedman "Smashing his head into the boards" (actual article quote.) Now I may have been watching different footage, but neither of those hits were suspension worthy. The Steckel hit looked more like an accident than anything, and I have watched a thousand hits like the Hedman incident go without injury. So how can someone put Crosby and ban headshots in the same sentence???
Simple, you start putting out that Crosby may never play again which was never ever ever validated yet the media wrote it like it was plausible. With a little skewing the casual hockey fan already knew blind side headshots are terrible and are corrupting "our" game, now _________ headshots may end one of the best current NHlers careers?!
Just like that, blindside was thrown to the wayside. The new problem with NHL are headshots and the only way to stop them are to ban them all together.
Now hold on here, What do you classify a headshot? The ruling would be even less clear than it is now, how many of you got sick of hearing "blindside" or "headshot" every time a player was hurt by a hit? or even just hit hard, it was the new coined phrase. So does any contact to the head turn into a match penalty if the ban goes through? If I drop my head a bit into lets say the opposing teams best defensemans hit is there going to be a good chance its ruled a headshot and he is ejected? it certainly appears that way.
Who is speaking out about this terrible trend of violent headshots?
Two players that I will note that have spoken up about the headshot issue are Crosby and recently forced to retire Paul Kariya (never would have guessed eh?). Doesn't this seem a little odd? two players with concussion issues, one was a undersized NHLer that didn't hit and the other is the face of the league.. that also doesn't hit. Maybe we should let those who oppose this issue speak up? has anyone heard the other sides arguments? seems to be taboo to oppose the direction Bettmans NHL is heading. The one that allows players to skate free thus faster, and then punishes players because they are making harder hits... The two will always go hand in hand if you think about it for more than a minute.
"Ban all hockey headshots, four in five say: online poll"
"More than 80 per cent of Canadians favour a total ban on headshots in hockey, according to a recent online poll."
quotes like this are piling up, sounds legit right? Canadians its our game, and more than 80 percent of the country opposes headshots?!? maybe they are onto something...
But the problem is they aren't, that was a poll of 1000 people on the internet, a completely random sampling that doesn't give us any info on the people taking part in the poll. Yet Star went with it and posted an article about it like there was a shred of credibility. the internet is getting flooded with so much misguiding info its easy to make a big deal out of nothing.
Reading past the first paragraph (there may have been 2 more...maybe) showed that it was a piece that should have been scrapped, but they got the desired results and went with it like it was something more.
The bottom line is this, there are problems in the NHL, and we can all agree with that, things need to be tweaked here and there. but to all out ban something that isn't completely put into context seems completely near sighted. The blindside headshot rule was muddy and hard to follow, now the "general consensus" is to make it even more murky. Something has to give here and I sure hope its not to abolish something that isn't even understood. Banning headshots is going with an idea, but before one can ban a headshot they should be more worried about defining what a headshot actually is.
to end off here is a joe smoe from NHL.com on his definition of headshot:
"Well the definition of a head shot would be if you injure someone, to put them out of action for any period of time means you get a suspension. "
The first step is understanding.
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