C’mon man!

The Compass - - ORTHTE -

As a ref­eree, you get to watch a lot of hockey.

You get to see the good plays and the bad plays, the clean checks and the not so clean checks.

Some­times, you see some­thing that puts a queer taste in your mouth, as they say.

I had full in­ten­tion of writ­ing this col­umn to dis­cuss sta­dium chat­ter and the art of trash talk from the stands.

It was go­ing to cen­ter around one of the Cee­bees faith­ful who de­cided to ig­nore the spell­ing of Dar­ren Lang­don’s last name and whose favourite phrase was “You’re not in the NHL now Lan­glon!”

Any­way, back to the topic at hand.

Ear­lier this month, the Bay Arena played host to a mid­get house league game. Now, house league is usu­ally a tame, fun af­fair be­tween two teams, but what hap­pened this night, in my opinion any­way, makes a trav­esty of the game.

Let me first de­clare my per­sonal in­volve­ment in the in­ci­dent I am about to de­scribe. I am a mem­ber of the Bay Arena ref­eree’s as­so­ci­a­tion, and I was lin­se­man for this par­tic­u­lar game.

With about four min­utes left on the clock, one player, we’ll call him “Bruce,” de­cided he had had enough play­ing against the other team, and wanted to play with them. He fig­ured he’d have a laugh at his team­mates’ ex­pense to set up the play­ers on the other team for prime scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, which they fin­ished.

Within sec­onds, Bruce had “as­sisted” on a hand­ful of goals on his own net. C’mon man! Be­ing that Bruce took the face­off for his team kept him ac­ces­si­ble to the puck, some­thing I tried to rec­tify by kick­ing him out of the cir­cle ev­ery time I dropped the puck.

Some might say to me, “well it’s only house league. It’s not sup­posed to be se­ri­ous any­way.”

Well, I would say you’re miss­ing the point.

The point is that Bruce made a trav­esty out of the game. He showed a lack of re­spect for the game and his team­mates. He was be­ing self­ish — he even cel­e­brated with the other team once they had scored.

Yes, house league is not the most se­ri­ous of skates, but does that call for a mock­ery? No, it doesn’t, and here’s why.

From the time you first lace up skates, you’re taught to com­pete, while hav­ing fun. You’re taught a game does not in­clude com­pet­ing for the other team. You’re taught to re­spect the game and your team­mates.

Bruce failed to dis­play ei­ther of the above points.

Now, it’s un­de­ni­able Bruce plays other forms of hockey — he seems to be a good player. He prob­a­bly plays high school hockey and he def­i­nitely plays all-star hockey at ei­ther the ban­tam or mid­get level.

Bruce prob­a­bly feels like house league is be­low him.

At the Bay Arena, in or­der to play all- star, you have to play house league. It’s some­thing he has to do, not nec­es­sar­ily what he wants to do, and his ac­tions re­flected that.

What Bruce failed to re­al­ize is that while he has other hockey to play, there are play­ers who can count house league as their only game. It is some­thing they look for­ward too ev­ery week, and it is be­ing ru­ined be­cause of some fella try­ing to be “funny.”

I ap­plaud the coach for tear­ing a strip off the player for his ac­tions.

What should have been done? A mi­nor penalty for un­sports­man­like con­duct could have been called, but it is a bit light.

I’d set­tle for a sus­pen­sion.

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