NHL Hockey: "From a Ten to a Two"

John C. Sease, Jr.Correspondent IDecember 14, 2008

When I was in my early twenties, I coined a phrase amongst my closest friends that is still used today within the group. The phrase was: “She just went from a Ten to a two!”

Like most young men, I have to admit that I participated in the “1-10” rating scale game as it pertained to objectifying women.

You know the scale game.  You or your friends would see a woman and the next question would be:  “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate her looks?”

What made my phrase become popular within the group was the fact that it was synonymous with my passionate disdain of the smell of cigarette smoke.  I have always despised that smell and would never consider dating a woman that smoked.

That being said, whenever I would notice an extremely beautiful woman pull a cigarette from her purse, I would turn to my friends and utter the saying: “She just went from a ten to a two!”

Once I made that statement, it was clear that the beautiful woman could never be anything greater than a friend.

This leads me to hockey…yes…hockey!

Hockey is a sport that was no doubt created to encompass agility grace, speed, and athleticism as components of the game.

The mere fact that someone is able to skate at full speed (either backward or forward) while balancing on a quarter inch thick blade, carrying a stick, and controlling a puck the size of a bagel is mind-boggling!

Anyone that would argue that hockey is not a true sport is absolutely crazy.

Well folks, meet Mr. Crazy!  That’s correct, I’m crazy because I refuse to watch hockey and will not recognize it as a real sport.

The reason for my defiance of this sport is simply one word: FIGHTING!

The NHL has made hockey go from a “Ten to a two” because it is synonymous with unnecessary violence within the sport.  For that reason, I have always despised fighting in hockey and would never consider watching a full game.

How is it possible that such a graceful sport could be turned in to such a ridiculous caricature?

Hockey is nothing more than “Street fighting on skates;” with an occasional game highlight thrown in for good measure.

Oh yes, I have heard the ubiquitous cries of the self-proclaimed hockey purist.  They all utter the same nonsensical statements to defend fighting in hockey.  The statements are as follows:

1.    1. Fighting is a part of the sport.  It’s been that way forever!

2.    2. You never played the game, therefore, you don’t know what it’s like to have a guy “check” you into the boards or “high stick” you.

3.    3. When someone on the opposing team gives a cheap shot to your player, then you have to retaliate.

I could list a myriad of similar responses; however, they would all sound exactly alike and lack merit.

Hockey fans have come to accept (and like) fighting in hockey.  Hockey is the only sport whereas the referee stands and watches the fight, and it is the only sport whereas fighting is actually condoned by the commissioner of the sport.  I assume they deduct that no one would watch if fighting were not allowed.

Anyone that would argue that fighting is a part of the sport need to only watch either college or Olympic hockey.  There, they would witness truly magnificent athletes that encompass each of the aforementioned skills listed earlier in the article without ever dropping their gloves for a round of fisticuffs.

Until the commissioner and referees within the sport decide to let the fans come to the games based upon the actual merit of the game, then hockey will never be seen as anything more than “street fighting on skates!”

It is quite obvious that the major television networks share my sentiment as well; due to the lack of major television sponsorship acquired in recent years by the NHL.

Until then, I will continue to treat hockey in the same context as my coined phrase.  Hockey was a ten until I continued to witness the unnecessary fighting and violence.  In the blink of an eye, hockey went from a “Ten to a two!”