By Ken Reed
The nation is still abuzz over the great hockey game between the United States and Russia at the Olympic Games last week. The USA scored a thrilling shootout victory over the Russians.
The Olympics are providing us an entertaining hockey tournament that highlights skill over the thuggery too often on display in the NHL.
According to Paul Busch, who runs a great website called “It’s Not Part of the Game,” there have only been eight fights in 500 Olympic hockey games since 1960.
In his blog, Busch builds a rational, fact-based, well-sourced argument for the elimination of fighting from the NHL and other levels of hockey. His recent entry on the difference between Olympic and NHL hockey is spot on.
“It would appear that the difference between the Olympics and the NHL is about attitude,” writes Busch. “One focuses on the sport and attempts to keep the side show out of the game. The other tolerates an activity that has nothing to do with hockey and everything about promoting violence and retribution.”
An apt conclusion, but Busch goes even deeper.
“The Olympics is a truly special event that can be held up as an example of hockey that focuses on skill and reduced violence through enforcement of the rules,” writes Busch.
“The real reason that you cannot compare it to the NHL has nothing to do with the length of the tournament or the higher level of skill involved. It has everything to do with the ideals that are represented and what they believe is part of the game. The NHL and NHLPA cling to the myths of enforcement while what they really want is revenge. They believe that cheap shots and violence is controlled by allowing players to punch each other repeatedly in the head. The discussion should be about attitude, not about rules or the size of the ice.”
Busch asks a poignant question:
“If the Olympics can deliver high intensity and entertaining hockey without fighting, then why does the NHL continue to tolerate it?”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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