Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Whose game is it a part of anyway?

This doesn't quite meet Neate's less than 5,000 views rule, and it certainly won't in a day or two more, but it needs to be watched by anyone that claims to love the game of hockey in this country.

Sadly, you can likely find similar videos out there. When watching I was reminded of a situation in the Madoc, Ont. arena many years ago. A young referee was walking off the ice after officiating an atom DD league play-off game (yes, DD. And don't mistake league play-off with OMHA playoff. This was a game involving teams that had been eliminated from meaningful -- as meaningful as 10-year-olds play, anyway -- games and that were playing out the string).

Said referee had called a penalty with about two minutes left in the then tied game (slashing. Although the referee was not the most skilled in the world, he had never been more sure of a call than he had been of that one). The visiting team scored on the power play to win.

When leaving the ice surface the official was met by a father, possibly drunk, who shoved him hard. Losing his balance (he was on skates, on land, after all) the referee fell backwards, slamming into the boards. Although the official's partner quickly stepped in between to prevent further damage, the man wasn't done. He waited several minutes for the official to come out of the dressing room before arena staff asked him to leave. Then, he stood by the referee's car until he left the rink.

Have I mentioned that the official was 17?

Upon seeing the man standing by his car, the referee swallowed his pride and went back into the rink and did something that he had never done before and would never have the misfortune of doing again -- he called his dad to come help.

Only after his father -- a police officer -- arrived was the referee allowed to go home and enjoy the rest of his day. It would be his last year officiating.

I'm sure by now you've figured out who the official was. It's good to see, he says sarcastically, things haven't changed in the last 15ish years. The great game is still ruined by the morons.

The most telling part of the above video is the voices of those not on the camera. They are quick to place blame on what's happening. Clearly, they are yelling, it's the officials fault they were attacked because they let the game "get out of control" ) something that usually means that their kid's team wasn't getting the calls they wanted to see.

Writing this I'm fully aware that I'm preaching to the choir and that it doesn't matter what I, or anyone else, says about the inherent violence that surrounds the game at all its levels. That violence is on the ice and all too often in the crowd.

And, you know, it's all part of the game. What game, it's hard to say, but it's not the game I fell in love with.


big v said...

One thing i dont miss about minor hockey days is the hockey moms... mine was more guilty than any of em.

sager said...

Yep, brutal. That parent should not be allowed in that arena for a good, long time -- he can drop his child off and go sit at Tim's.

Maybe that can be a commercial.

D.R., I'm sorry you had to deal with that crap years ago. I umped minor softball for 11 years and honestly, could count the really tense incidents on one hand.

It's times such as this that I'm glad I had cold feet about getting into officiating hockey.