Five for Fighting is a group that derives its name from a concept that most Canadians, or at least Canadian boys know all too well. In hockey, if you fight, you get a five minute penalty for fighting and have to sit in the penalty box.
In the above video, one of their most popular songs, Superman, questions his existence and why he is Superman.
But we all know that Superman does have a purpose. He is there to right wrongs and use his powers for the greater good against perceived or actual evil.
Superman's powers are there for a reason. He has these powers so he can fight evil. They are not aimless or wasted.
Last week I was out at a bar listening to live music. As is the custom these days, there were multiple big screens everywhere. I hardly ever watch hockey anymore, something I did religiously back in the day, but I still know the game well enough that I watch closely when I do happen to watch.
One thing has become obvious in the last 15 or 20 years that never existed when I grew up.
There has always been fighters, or enforcers on every team. The job of these players is not to score goals, as is the goal of most players. In fact, most of these players rarely score any goals or even create chances to score goals. They are there for one purpose and one purpose only: To fight.
Each team has one or two. Now, this is not a new thing. These types of players have been around almost as long as hockey has been around. Talented, highly paid goal scoring players need protection. They are, for the most part, not fighters and you cannot let them be bullied by the other teams tougher players. That has always been the way and always will be the way.
But the noticeable change is that even when there is no seeming threat to the better players, and there is no friction that causes fights, the enforcers are now sent out to just fight each other. Before any play even happens, they line up next to each other and just hammer away until one falls down or the referee seperates them. After that, in many cases they skate off like nothing happened and sometimes even acknowledge each other like warriors or prizefighters at the end of a battle.
In essence, the fight has become the show.
I am not really in favor of fighting in hockey. I can do without it. But I do understand that it is part of the game. At times it is necessary. But in my mind, that has to come within the flow of the game. Just sending two goons out to fight with each other without any regard for the play is not hockey. It has nothing to do with hockey. It demeans the game and panders to fans who don't really watch or understand hockey.
I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out. ~Rodney Dangerfield
Secondly, if a guy is there to protect the star player, but only fights other goons, what is there to stop anyone from bullying the star player..if someone else does his fighting for him? At some point the only way to deter the bullying of star players is to make the bully accountable for himself by having to fight for that privilege.
I say what's the point? If people want to watch hockey fights instead of actual hockey playing, then why not just hold the fights between periods, while the rest of us go get popcorn or check our emails?