Why Fighting Is a Good Thing

Walter Gibson www.dbbsports.comContributor IJune 5, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 02:  Jiri Hudler #26 of the Detroit Red Wings fights for the puck against Maxime Talbot #25 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Three of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 2, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

I don’t want to say that the fight in the Stanley Cup Finals between heavyweights Henrik Zetterberg and Evgeni Malkin reminded me of old time hockey, because it didn’t. 

It didn’t even remind me of high school hockey.

Evgeni, you’re supposed to pull the other guy’s jersey over his head, not your own. And Henrik, next time try taking the gloves off.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Probie and Kocur. It wasn’t much of a fight at all by old time hockey standards. But calling it a cat fight might be harsh, because I don’t think I saw any biting—maybe some hair pulling and definitely a little scratching.

In other words, it was more like the kind of fight you’d expect if soccer players fought, which (come to think of it) is a great idea. Fighting should be a part of soccer, just like hockey—accepted and expected.

Why? Lots of reasons.

First, it belongs. Soccer and violence have walked hand-in-hand since the game began.  I’m simply suggesting we take the violence which currently happens off the pitch, and move it on the pitch. Why should hooligans have all the fun?

Second, I just really want to see certain players get smacked. Not naming names...  Cristiano. Robinho. Sergio.

Third and most importantly, just as in hockey, it can be used as a deterrent.

I realize the high brows think the fighting in hockey is barbaric. It’s uncivilized. It’s wrong.


Newsflash! UFC is the fastest growing sport in the world. Actually, I have no idea if that’s true. But I heard it on Versus in between Cialis commercials.

Aside from the obvious appeal (that is, obvious to anyone who’s been to an NHL game but not, apparently, to nearly every broadcaster on ESPN), the fighting, as Barry Melrose will tell you, keeps the game tame.

You’re a lot less likely to wrap your stick around the back of someone’s head if you know you’ll get knocked to the moon by an enforcer’s fist next shift.

It may sound rough, but it’s better than every man for himself in a fight with wooden clubs. After all, this is hockey. 

In soccer, payback is ugly—much worse than a punch to the nose. I know, you think soccer players are a bunch of sissies, that they dive. You’re right about the diving, but not about the sissies. The game is rough, and players break legs like Presidents break promises (What? Guantanamo, what?).

Not convinced?

Dig up the tapes on Hristo Stoichkov, the Bulgarian international. He once broke a college freshman’s leg in a scrimmage game, effectively ending the youth’s soccer career. Stoichkov said it was justified. Did I mention this was a scrimmage game?

But I’m not suggesting that fighting in soccer be used to discourage hard tackles.  Tackling is and should remain part of the game. On the contrary, I want the fighting to be used to deter the diving. I say from now on, when a player dives, the other team’s enforcer kicks his ass.

What’s not to like? Imagine, the beautiful game without the ugly diving. And even if there were a dive, you’d get to see a fight.

When I consider that almost all the players I hate are the wankers who dive every time their jersey gets tugged, I just really don’t see a downside here. They get their ass kicked and I get to watch real men play a real game. It’s perfect.


For more, visit http://www.dailyballbreakers.com/ (Real Guys Holding Sports Accountable), or if you think Man-Ram is innocent, visit www.dbbsports.com .