Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cheering for violence – in an acceptable way

stanhope column sig

By
From page A2 | February 24, 2013 |

I don’t know much about hockey.

I realize there’s a puck, for instance. And two goals. And a bunch of ice, with seemingly random lines all over it.

My greatest hockey moment came shortly before the San Jose Sharks played their first game in 1991. An office discussion led me to call the Sharks public relations department to ask whether it would be illegal to simply prop a massively obese man in front of the goal to serve as goalie.

“Well, Ken Dryden weighed about 220 pounds,” the person told me.

“No. I mean huge. I mean a 1,000-pound person. The kind that you need a forklift to remove from their home. Could you simply lay one of those people on the ice and block the entire goal?”

They checked with the league. Word came back that players simply had to be dressed in full uniform – which meant the house-sized man could conceivably be a goalie.

But no one has taken advantage of this obvious loophole in the rules. And I’ve watched very few games on TV over the past two decades.

But going to a hockey game – as I have done several times over the years – is an experience in both ignorance and awesomeness.

Ignorance: When I watch hockey, I understand what it’s like for all the people in my life who don’t follow baseball, basketball or football and are baffled by my interest. The passion of real hockey fans deserves respect.

Awesomeness: The inherent violence.

Last weekend, I watched a minor-league hockey game at the Stockton Arena with a group of friends from my church (didn’t Jesus walk on water? Isn’t ice just frozen water? Couldn’t you make the case that Jesus was the first hockey player?).

The hockey skills seemed good. I was impressed by the speed of the officials as they skated around. The goals (the Stockton Thunder beat the San Francisco Bulls, 4-0) were probably artistic to hockey insiders. The coaching and team play and even the player introductions were all probably well done.

But the violence made it memorable.

The beauty of hockey is that there are a lot of bodies slamming into each other – “checking.” The participants are willing, so there’s no need to feel bad about it – it’s like watching a demolition derby involving people.

And sometimes it’s like a trip to the zoo, as fans bang on the glass that surrounds the ice, shouting at players from the safety of their seats.

But the best part is when players fight.

In hockey, fights are allowed and even encouraged to burn off energy. And as long as the dustups involve just two combatants, the officials allow them to continue until one of them falls down – though penalties are handed out at the end. Players who join an ongoing fight are harshly penalized, so the one-on-one fights continue until somebody goes down.

In the third period of the game I attended, a fight erupted and suddenly there were five one-on-one fights (and there are only six players on the ice!) happening at the same time.

Five fights at once!

As the Christians around me screamed for blood – isn’t that what Jesus would do while watching hockey? – I stood and yelled, lost in the moment. I sarcastically shouted for some players to “stop dancing and start punching!” I screamed like a seventh-grader watching a schoolyard brawl.

The fights ended, penalties were handed out, opponents were booed and play resumed. The Thunder won. We drove home. I can’t recall any of the goals.

But the fights? The five one-on-one fights? That was awesome.

That’s what makes hockey great and that’s why I’m glad my church group went.

Feel free to pray for me.

Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or bstanhope@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope is the Daily Republic's news editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 17 years as a sports editor and three years as the associate editor before spending three years away from the newspaper (though continuing as a columnist). He returned in December 2010 as news editor. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Annoying minor floods are increasing on US coasts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Medicare’s own health looking better, report says

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page:

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Israeli PM warns of prolonged campaign in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5