Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Players Go Wild!

Not long ago I saw a short clip on the Prime sports program, The Crowd Goes Wild, showing a couple of ice hockey players slugging it out while all the officials stood around on their skates waiting. Apparently they can’t interfere while the players are fighting. That’s probably a understatement, or shows a lack of knowledge, but to my amazement, fighting in hockey is actually allowed and there are rules relating to it!
The two guys who host the program, Andrew Mulligan and Mark Richardson, thought the standing-aside of the officials was pretty odd – but then it really would be in our national game of rugby. According to a long article on Wikipedia however, fighting in ice hockey has a whole host of rules which take quite some learning. Just goes to show that gentlemanliness is well and truly out of the sports arena, in terms of hockey anyway. And by hockey, by the way, I mean only ice hockey, since that’s what ‘hockey’ means in the States, I’ve now discovered. I don’t think anyone in the States plays what we here in NZ call hockey– at least not at the professional level of ice hockey.
There’s a whole site devoted to discussing the game online called NHL Forums, and it’s jam-packed with people talking about the game. You open it up and there’s no end of discussions, right there in your face. No fancy homepage, no pretty pictures: this is Ice Hockey with a capital I and H, and they’re aiming to reach 8 million posts pretty soon. This site’s been around for 5 years, which probably isn’t bad in terms of Internet life. Each of the posters appears to have a picture of their own on the left side, and there are the usual arguments and comments (how did he get number one post when he posted a reply to himself?) that have nothing to do with the topic in hand. Looks like there are quite a few video clips too – which I won’t watch since I just got told by my ISP that I’m nearly up to my limit for the month. Which seems incredible since I have a gig of usage and don’t really download anything large. Ce la vie.
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