Monday, February 2, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Is HNIC offensive?!

A gay rights group made headlines last week by complaining about a word they heard on Hockey Night in Canada.

The term in question? Pansification.

As in, “if you take fighting out of hockey, it will lead to the pansification of the game.”

Egale Canada thinks Mike Milbury and Don Cherry are in the wrong for using what they call “stereotypical terms against a group in society.”

And what group would that be?

Lets see, well when Don Cherry uses words like pansification, one million percent of the time he is talking about Europeans, French Canadians or just other players he deems to lack the toughness of the stereotypical hockey player.

Come on, there are pansies in all walks of life. Gay, straight, undecided – we all have ‘em. I think it’s a bit broad by Egale Canada to claim them all as their own!

Is this “Pansification?”

Along with the “pansification” of the game, a lot of people figure if fighting is banned, players will fill that void with cheap shots and sucker punches.

Here’s a recent example of that from NCAA puck, where the rules have made fighting a fairly rare occurrence:

Michigan State’s Andrew Conboy is out for the rest of the season after he sucker punched a Michigan Wolverines player in the last minute of a game his team was losing 5-3.

It all started when Steve Kampfer smoked Michigan State’s Corey Tropp with a clean open-ice hit with about 54 seconds left in the game.

Conboy, a Montreal prospect, took offence and clocked Kampfer from behind, throwing him to the ice. After that, Tropp came in and slashed Kampfer in the neck as he lay on his stomach.

Along with Conboy, Tropp was also suspended for the rest of the year. After the suspensions were handed out, Conboy announced that he was leaving school.

That’s an instance where an enforcer-type player’s first reaction is a sucker punch. That’s just not right, and maybe that’s what happens when you remove the fighting component of the game.

In another twist to this story, Kampfer’s dad came into the Spartan’s dressing room shortly after Corey Tropp was escorted off the ice and the two had a bit of a wrestling match, according to an interview Tropp did with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

With the 5-3 win, the Michigan Wolverines sweep the season series with their state rivals. I’m sure that was just salt in the wound for Spartans fans though!

Just Ray bein’ Ray?

Ray Emery’s Eurotrip just got violent.

Since packin’ up and moving to Russia to play in the Continental Hockey League, Emery has pretty much stayed out of the headlines…but thanks mainly to YouTube, he’s back!

The former Ottawa Senators and current Atlant Mytishchi net minder was involved in a little altercation with a team trainer the other day – over a hat.

There’s a video circulating that shows a team staffer trying and trying to get Ray Emery to put a hat on as he stands on the bench after being pulled. That guy then takes a face full of goalie mitt.

There’s a long stare-down that follows (Emery described it as the guy giving him a “tough guy stare”) and then Sugar Ray starts throwin! He stuns him with a left and then backs him down the hallway before he’s restrained.

He even went back down the hall for some more!

Emery was yanked after being lit up for three first period goals in a 5-3 loss to Lokomotiv Yaroslav, and I swear it almost looks like the trainer is trying to pick a fight. Know your role buddy!

Mr. Emery is a love-him-or-hate-him kind of guy who got a lot of bad press last year, but I have to say I’m a fan. I was sold when I saw him fighting Buffalo’s Andrew Peters (who is 6’4, 247lbs) with a big smile on his face.

He’ll be back in the NHL soon, he’s one of the top five goalies in the KHL right now with a 20-6-0 record. And it’s good to see he can still fight!

What a Super Bowl!

From the 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by James Harrison to end the first half to the last-minute heroics of Santonio Holmes at the back of the end zone, this one had it all!

Cardinals fans had stuff to cheer about too, like Larry Fitzgerald pulling in a pair of touchdown passes and Kurt Warner passing for 377 yards, the second highest total for a Super Bowl (he also holds 1st place in that category).

But in the end, Big Ben and the Steelers went ahead with 35 seconds to go and forced a Kurt Warner foul with under 10 seconds left to cap the victory.

The Holmes TD catch marks the second year in a row that a player caught the winning touchdown with 35 seconds left in the Super Bowl. Last year it was Plaxico Burress for the NY Giants.

Also…doesn’t Ben Roethlisberger sorta look like Will Ferrell?

GSP Does it Again!

If you’re a BJ Penn fan, I feel sorry for you. I really do.

George St. Pierre made it look easy against the UFC lightweight champ on Saturday night, defending his welterweight crown with a fourth-round TKO.

I’ve got to say, GSP was the fighter that turned me into a UFC fan. A lot of my friends love MMA, so by association I started watch the pay-per-views and we all get up for St. Pierre fights.

I don’t think any of us expected him to mop the floor with Penn like he did in the later rounds before the fight was stopped. Did Penn even land a single quality punch?

It was just total domination by GSP, the guy who seems to get better and better with every match. The discipline and work ethic of that guy is unbelievable.

On the heels of Saturday night’s win for the Canadian, the UFC announced that they’re coming back to his hometown of Montreal this year for UFC 97.

It looks like a pretty good card too – a middleweight bout between title holder Anderson Silva and Thales Leitis, and former light-heavyweight champ Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell versus Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

I just can’t wait until the next George St. Pierre fight though…

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