we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

May 29th 2003

NHL: honor and grit; NBA: …uh….love it live!

NBA: despite an upset stomach, san antonio’s tony parker might play tonight in a crucial playoff game against dallas. what a warrior!

NHL: despite being hit in the face with a slap shot, new jersey defenseman, scott stevens, didn’t even miss the next game in the eastern conf. semis against tampa bay.

“hockey players probably have the highest threshold of pain of any athlete,” said ken daneyko of new jersey. “you see guys play with broken bones, pulled muscles, fractures, knee injuries, all sort of things, that, unless you want to achieve what we’re chasing here, you’re not going to do.”

“it’s second nature. we don’t think of it as heroic, but most players do it without a second thought.”

i lifted the quotation from this article, BTW.

the NHL is unique among the major professional sports. its values are your values. you should watch it for that reason alone. respect and honor among players is foremost in hockey. i recommend this article to doug, in particular, with whom i’ve ‘gotten into it’ a few times over the issue. doug, read this, then bring whatcha got.

6 Responses to “NHL: honor and grit; NBA: …uh….love it live!”

  1. rich

    when the nhl becomes evenly remotely popular south of the artic circle i’ll consider refuting this article

    that’s what i got(even though i’m not doug)

  2. Speaking of hockey you said:
    > “its values are your values.”

    Who are you talking to? Drunken rednecks in a bar fight?

    > “respect and honor among players is
    > foremost in hockey.”

    “Respect” and “honor” are funny things, they seem to mean something totally different to those of us not willing to pay admission to the WWF/WWE Ice Capades.

    But look…some people enjoy watching the genetic mix of Nancy Kerrigan and Mike Tyson put the puck in the goal, others don’t. To each his own.

  3. doug

    when i say “respect and honor,” i say it in the way one might say “respect and honor” about an old fashioned duel, like the famous one in which aaron burr offed alexander hamilton. sure, hockey players fight. but you have surely not studied this intricacy of this game like you have studied the intricacies of your beloved dennis rodman’s tattoos. if you had, you would see the strict unwritten rules that govern this aspect of the game. just as the old pistol duelers would pace and turn and fire, in hockey, players discuss a pending fight and once it is agreed to, they drop their gloves, remove their facemasks, and go at it fairly. nobody gets hurt more than a normal big, strong male can tolerate–and things rarely get as ugly as the doug christie/rick fox tunnel incident. or any game in which ron artest plays. or any practice where latrell sprewell strangles his own coach.

    people outside of ice hockey will always be taking cheap shots at the game because of the problem they have with fisticuffs, but that’s probably because they grew up watching a sport in which, if you touch a guy’s elbow more than five times in a game, you get ejected. sounds like a wussy sport if there ever was one.

    but these issues that you raised weren’t even the ones that the article discusses. are you too afraid to read it? or are you unable to refute the author’s point of view?

    i think one main point in the article you refuse to read is that NBA players are lazy whiners. shaq missed the first 12 games of this year. he had surgery on his big toe. why didn’t he have surgery during the summer so he could begin the season with the rest of his team? “i got injured on company time, i’m gonna heal on company time, too. i’m wasn’t going to ruin my summer over this” SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE CHAMPION! WHAT A WILL TO WIN! WHAT DEDICATION TO THE 4-PEAT!

    or, for another example of laziness, you can take shawn bradley, who hasn’t practiced his dribbling since junior high. at least, it doesn’t appear his skills have improved since he was at that level.

    or these models of morality: wilt chamberlain and his estimated 10,000 one-night stands. that’s just gross.

    shawn kemp, the man who single-handedly out-produced the lineage of abraham for the decade 1990-2000. the man has more kids and more concubines than…well, i guess wilt still beats him.

    even everybody’s idol, MJ, had his little marital indiscretion…

    there’s the guy who shot the limo driver, there’s webber and iverson, who dabble in getting caught for marijuana possession when they’re not doing bigger things to try and get themselves sent to jail.

    i think i’ll stop here. i’m not saying that NHL teams don’t have criminals or lazy whiners on their rosters. there are the occasional lindroses and jagrs (famously lazy and underproductive), but those guys get traded. nobody wants them (jagr will be out of wash. within a year, i predict). and theo fleury has been in drug rehab for a while…but these guys are anomalies in the NHL.

    i’m not saying the NBA isn’t worth watching. its very exciting to watch people run around, sometimes taking 3-5 steps without dribbling before they release the ball.

    in the end, its fine to watch the NBA on TV, but in the case that you ever had to ask an NBAer to house-sit for the weekend, forget about it. in terms of NBA “honor” and “trust,” you might as well trust the clinton white house with your daughter’s virginity.

    so, yes. to each, his own.

  4. and another thing…

    tonight in the stanley cup finals, john madden of NJ took a skate to the face. he missed about three shifts. that’s about 5 minutes. he came back into the game with a huge 20-stitch gash on his left cheek. it was really gross and bloody, but he played great the rest of the game.

    if this scenario occured in the NBA, since they’re all worried about getting AIDS from each other, they wouldn’t have even let him back into the game, whether he wanted to play or not. but chances are, he would have taken the rest of the night off. i mean, he got hurt on company time, right?

  5. Cara

    First of all I want to say that I love both basketball and hockey, but basketball is most definitely my favorite. But…I have to agree with Travis on this one. The NHL epitomizes our deep, innate emotions…it is exciting, fast-paced, physical, suspensful, gritty, etc. Pure competition and adrenaline. The NBA seems superficial in comparison…more of a show. Not as much loyalty.

    Where the NBA has technical freethrows, the NHL has the penalty shot (can’t get more exciting than that). Where the NBA has tatoo art (see Allen Iverson, Dennis Rodman, Cherokee Parks (ugh)), the NHL has goalie mask art (very cool). NBA substitutions vs NHL line changes. Another thing in hockey that is cool is the hat trick and the tradition of throwing hats on the ice. And the octopus thing is cool too. So is the zamboni. When hockey players get hurt they try to do everything they can to prevent the competition from finding out. When NBAers are hurt, it seems like the whole world knows about it. Hockey players seem to be purely motivated by the desire to win and get their hands on Lord Stanley’s cup(definitely the best trophy in sports). Many NBAers are worried about their money, contract, endorsement deals, and their corn rows or afros.

    The hard slap shots, diving saves, and ferocious hits are more exciting and entertaining than the jump shots, blocks, and elbow tap fouls. I can’t really explain why I prefer basketball over hockey. Maybe because the names in hockey are too hard to pronounce (Khabibulin for example)? Especially being a fan of the Colorado teams. You would think I would be all about the Avalanche and not so interested in the hapless Nuggets. I can’t explain it.

  6. read a chicago sun-times article discussing the disappointing-ness of the NBA finals.