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Elizabeth Manley Headshot

Would You Put Your Son in Hockey Today?

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With the way hockey is today, this is a serious question.

I'm a huge hockey fan, but find myself weekly in front of the television holding my breath and yelling profanity at the set every two seconds. WOW.... me... of all people swearing at the set. My husband even says that this year I'm so angry watching one of my favourite sports. To me it has gotten to be like the UFC where I find myself turning my head away because of bodies getting "SMOKED " in the middle of the ice.

I don't have enough fingers to count how many times I have seen a stretcher on the ice this year. It's heartbreaking to see such great athletes crumble to the ice like rag dolls after these horrible hits. My complete confusion is why hasn't the NHL taken control of this? One, two, three game suspensions? That's nothing to these guys. How about one, two, three months? That will make them smarten up when they see paychecks not going into the accounts.

Don't get me wrong, I love the hitting, love the fights, that's hockey, eh, but control your goons. That's all I'm saying.

I know I know... all the men reading this are shaking their heads saying, "Liz , get with the times." But I was in Vancouver to see Sidney Crosby score that amazing goal, and then he returns to his livelihood to get creamed so many times he can't play anymore. Can you even imagine! No Sidney Crosby? The kid has just started and he could be facing a lifetime of problems now. Now frankly, that's just wrong and not fair. The guys hitting him are all still playing, right? Where is the logic in this? How does a player, I won't say who, get away with such a major hit, send a guy to the hospital and get nothing? And others get five to 10-game suspensions? How does one come back from suspension, step on the ice and do the exact same thing again?

I'm an athlete, I'm a house wife. I'm angry to see what's going on. I'm angry as an athlete to see players work a lifetime and give up so much and train their butts off, only to have some 'goon' crush them and end their careers or worse yet, give them life-long injuries. Ohhhh how I would love to say names but I will bite my tongue. See? I'm even wound up writing about it. Can you just picture me watching this? It's like the guy says in P90X, "I hate it but I love it!".

And as a housewife I wonder about that day I have a child -- is this worth putting them into, for fear of injury? Hockey is what every kid wants to do, but the example we are watching weekly on television puts parents in a position of asking, "Would I put my kid in this?"

I don't know. The next time you sit down to watch the game... think about that. We love our hockey, oh we love our hockey. So in reality... we will. We love it too much.

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