Sunday, November 3, 2013

More Flyers. Sorta…

I know that I had promised to write about the time Joe Rosko beat up a referee between periods of a Kenosha Flyers game. But after seeing what the Philadelphia Flyers did to the Washington Capitals on Friday night, I cannot do so in good conscience. In fact, it makes me wonder why I got such a thrill out of seeing Rosko kick the crap out of that game official back in the ‘70s. What was I thinking? Allow me to tell you why I had a change of heart.

Facebook friend, Herb Lawrence posted this comment Friday night: “All fighting in sports is dumb. What did this prove? Fighting should be punished by suspensions and fines.” Along with that comment, he provided a link to the incident in the Flyers/Capitals game that motivated him to make that comment. Herb is a producer at 670 the Score in Chicago. While I don’t always agree with his take on things, I always enjoy hearing how he feels about issues; and not just sports. He is an intelligent young man.

Ray Emery pummeling Braden Holtby
Okay, back to the incident that caused me to question my feelings. You can click right here if you would like to see it what went down. If you don’t care to, I will give you my account of what happened.

The Flyers were getting destroyed; the Capitals went up 7-0 in the third period. This ignited a “line brawl.” A hockey term for when all the morons on the ice square off in an attempt to prove their manhood.

This is when Flyers goalie Ray Emery, who was torched for four goals in relief of starter Steve Mason, skated the length of the ice to punch Capitals goalie Braden Holtby. Referee Francois St. Laurent chose not to break it up. In fact, he shooed away anyone who was thinking about protecting Holtby, who wanted no part of Emery.

At this point, I was having a hard time deciding who was a bigger asshole – Emery or St. Laurent. But wait; there were plenty of individuals to choose from for this not-so prestigious title. Like his teammate and even the Philadelphia radio broadcasters who tried to justify the melee because the “Flyers were frustrated.” I guess it’s acceptable to take out your frustrations on some other human being’s face.

Perhaps these jerks had a basis for their bizarre reasoning. Here’s what Emery had to say, rather matter-of-factly, to reporters after the game: “Holtby didn’t want to fight, but I basically said, protect yourself.” When asked why he and his teammates did it, he explained that they were frustrated that they were getting worked, and at home, no less. “As a group, I think it’s a frustrating night,” Emery said. “Fans are frustrated, and we don’t accept that. I think frustration sometimes shows that way.”

Okay, let me see if I have this straight. You suck at your job; you’re a total failure. Your lack of success causes the people that care about you to be disappointed in you. The way you remedy this situation is to physically assault the people competing with you in your chosen profession. Brilliant! I challenge any of you to try this at the office or plant where you work. And, please, let me know how it goes. I promise to come visit you.

A few remaining items on the lunacy that occurred Friday night. The referees handed out 114 minutes in penalties, with Emery receiving 29 of them. The Flyers goaltender was given two minutes for instigating, two for leaving the crease, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct to go along with a game misconduct. Four other players received the distinction of receiving game misconduct penalties.

Ironically, Emery was voted the third star of the game. Nice sport. Way to reward thug mentality. Oh ya, unfortunately Herb’s wish that fighting should be punished by suspensions and fines was not realized. For all of his nefarious actions, Emery did NOT receive any additional suspensions or fines. I guess it’s just a “part of the sport.”

The final reason that made it impossible for me to write a blog glorifying the moronic violence connected with hockey is in the graphic at the top of this blog. Scroll up and check out the young boy in the Flyers jersey using his smartphone to record the action on the ice. I wonder which is his hero – Ray Emery or Francois St. Laurent. I am willing to bet it’s not Braden Holtby.

Thanks for providing the incentive, Herb. Until Next time…from the booth.

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