Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: sportsmanship
Adam Sherlip, formerly responsible for digital marketing and amateur hockey development for the New York Islanders, is now heeding his life’s calling. An idealistic New Yorker, Adam is looking to travel around the world teaching kids hockey, as well as write a variety of books based on the culture of sports. You can continue to follow Adam at his blog, hockeyvolunteer.blogspot.com.
By Adam Sherlip
[Special to Kukla’s Korner]
So, you’re sitting at the arena watching your favorite team play terrible hockey. The fans around you are shouting detailed & violent profanities at a roster of over-paid, under-performing athletes, some of which have questionable reputations. The players are spending more time staring at the door in the penalty box than they are on the sheet of frozen, painted water. When they’re on the ice, they’re beating the guys in the opposing color until they’re red with blood. It’s hard to see why anyone would enjoy this sport.
One of those fans is a hockey dad with his kids wearing their youth hockey jersey, and you can only image how intense he is when his kid is playing hockey…forcing his child to play, arguing with the coach - believing he has greater (rather, no) coaching experience, making deals with youth clubs, and taking all of the fun out of the game.
This is the type of situation that drags the entire sport of hockey down, and it’s something myself and many others are passionately trying to change.
Two years ago I was hired by the New York Islanders to handle a well- intended, decently covered initiative called Project Hope - a youth hockey development program in northeastern China - directed at the time by Team USA star Angela Ruggiero (3 time Olympic medalist, all-time games played leader, top defensive player, great person). Almost two years to the day, I assisted her in running the Project Hope Invitational in New York, hosting one of our teams from China to play against three teams from the New York area. A few weeks later Angela and I visited Heilongjiang Province to see the kids at the schools in which Project Hope installed outdoor rinks, and my life officially changed for the better.
From Mark Emmons at the Mercury News,
No matter how intense, physical or downright dirty a series becomes, hockey players suddenly discover their inner-Miss Manners, rein in their raging emotions and shake on it - win or lose. A rugged contest will come to a civilized conclusion.
“We’re probably the most violent sport where you can get hurt at any time,” Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said. “And it’s just an incredible show of respect that when it’s all done, you can leave it right there and shake hands.
“Maybe it’s because we’re a classy sport. Unfortunately, sports can be about chest-bumping and pointing at myself. But that’s not what hockey players are all about.”