MARCH 25, 2008

Hockey parents too rowdy
(Also titled "Adults too rowdy at teenage hockey games")
       
       Two goalies fighting in hockey is a rare occurrence. Earlier this week in Quebec, the son of former NHL star Patrick Roy was in an on-ice brawl that shocked spectators.
       Media outlets are alleging that in video footage, Patrick can be seen encouraging his son to go after the opposing team’s goalie. I flash back to a few weeks ago at my little cousin’s hockey game.
       Most of the family was at the arena to watch my 13-year-old cousin play in a tournament. I’m not much of a sports fan but I enjoy watching my young relatives play. It had been a few years since I last saw him on the ice and, my, how things have changed.
       It’s the age when many aspiring hockey stars show off their moves to impress their parents in the crowd. This game was no different. My cousin was excited he was in the spotlight and had everyone watching. That’s right, we watched him spend a total of almost 10 minutes in the penalty box.
       I’m not a hockey expert, but I know the puck is a vital piece of equipment. Several times during the game I thought I was the only one watching the puck and I wasn’t even on the ice.
       Players were more concerned about hitting each other and “rocking” the others. (I picked up that term from some hockey parents standing beside me.) I learned other terminology too: “Lay the boots”, “Check him hard” and “Drop him like an egg.” I’m not sure I need to explain, but they are all euphemisms for hitting someone.
       Much like the Roy case in Quebec, I was shocked by the reactions of hockey parents in the crowd. Heckling and yelling at referees and saying to each other, “Quiet down, you wanna get tossed outta here?” One man even wanted to “take that bastard referee outside.”
       Where are we? This is teenage hockey. Since when is it fun to see your child hitting people and getting hurt? Maybe I went to the wrong gym classes in school, but last I heard hockey was about getting the puck in that big red net. But what do I know? I’m a no-contact kind of writer.
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