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Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Code is Dead

As a fishing expedition riding the tails of "The Gaborik Incident," I'm curious exactly how "The Code" fit into Philadelphia's Saturday afternoon tilt against Carolina.

So, I'm watching the game. I'm being dazzled by Daniel Carcillo's offensive prowess. Then, out of the blue, Andrew Alberts and Ian Laperriere get into a fight - right in the middle of a hockey game, if you can imagine.

Now, neither Eric Staal or Scott Hartnell (the two superstars for their respective teams, obviously) had been hit by some unsuspecting or cheap-shot hit. There didn't seem to be any undue momentum swing - the Carcillo goal was just a dumb neutral zone giveaway and a few minutes of game time had passed since then anyway.

So, how does "The Code" fit into Laperriere and Alberts trying to beat each others' brains in fit into a hockey game, exactly?

My own suspicion is that the code doesn't exist. It used to exist, when there were superstar players not large enough to fend for themselves against monstrous, Ogie Oglethorpe types. But modern hockey involves years of physical training, year-round workout routines, and a level of physical demand never imagined by players in hockey's "Golden Age" when on-ice policing was a useful strategy.

These days, fighting is useless except for entertaining the brain dead fans of a few select North American cities whose teams haven't enjoyed the gleam of the Stanley Cup being carried through their streets for more than 30 years.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, "more than 30 years," hey? I wonder who that could be...

    I agree, fighting is for the masses, and it's fans more than anything that keeps Bettman from banning it outright. In that fashion, we have players that want fighting because they believe a "code" is at work, and they believe it's "tradition," and owners who know that fighting puts the asses in the seats.

    In the meantime, fighting will be the main draw, because who wants to see the awe of athleticism that is doing everything all the other pro sports do, except on ice?


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