Friday, November 20, 2009

There were fights last friday night?

Dear Mr. Hottmann,

Over the past five years, I’ve only seen one actual “fight” during a Badger Men’s Hockey game. This occurred last season when gopher Patricia White collared Badger Ben Grotting from behind, and was subsequently beat down for his cowardly act by Mr. Grotting. THAT was a fight; nothing last Friday against UAA remotely resembled this.

As an adult who claims involvement w/ youth hockey, I’d expect that you’d know more about hockey, and what a fight is and what a fight ISN’T. Nothing last weekend against UAA remotely resembled a fight, but extra curricular activities after the whistle that is a somewhat regular occurrence during WCHA games due to the official’s poor handling of most games. There was shoving, a lot of “hugging,” some smack was talked and a few players might have traded a few “blows” w/ their gloves on. This is hardly fighting, no gloves were dropped, no actual fists connected w/ any faces. Had there been any actual fighting, game disqualifications would have been accessed, players would have been ejected and suspended for an additional game by the NCAA and possibly further depending upon the severity of the transgression.

There are rules to punish players for fighting in NCAA hockey, and these rules would have been exercised if any actual fighting occurred. In the opening example, Ben Grotting was ejected and suspended for the Badgers’ next game.

I’m somewhat confused on your involvement in, but lack of knowledge of, the game of hockey. Fighting is part of the game, and has been for a long time.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of fighting, but I feel it has its place, and actually wish that the NCAA would allow it. I abhor when two NHL players just decide to “drop the gloves” for the sake of fighting and getting the crowd excited. I like fighting as a self policing part of the game when the opponent pulls some shit and needs to pay for it. In the WCHA, the on ice officials are so horrible that it would help clean up the game; they lose control sometimes before the puck even drops. If the opponent is taking cheap shots at your goalie, and a few shifts later one of those punks is getting the crap beat of him, the cheap shots would stop. Fighting should never be a regular occurrence in hockey, but can keep the game “clean” when the officials aren’t doing their job.

In addition, I’m disappointed that the WSJ would allow this stupidity to be posted in their paper. Not only did Madison papers decide the wise decision was to re-assign their best hockey beat writer at TCT and leave us w/ the senior and barely passable Andy Baggot, but they paint the college hockey game in a misleading light. The picture chosen to include w/ this opinion is a prime example of misleading. I don’t remember Ross Carlson ever receiving a 5 minute major for fighting, a game disqualification and additional game suspension for fighting in his career. Come to blows at the Kohl Center? Come on WSJ.

Lastly, Mr. Hottmann, if you can’t enjoy the game of hockey for what it is, and what it has been for many, many decades, I suggest you find another sport to enjoy. There is no reason for a sport to change because a minority of fans don’t like some aspect of it, especially when you don’t include the proper facts about what is currently occurring in NCAA Hockey. Fighting is outlawed in College Hockey, has been for a long time. Instead of jerseys, would you like the players to come out in dresses instead?


A non-disillusioned Badger Hockey Fan