Sunday, January 20, 2008


This weekend, among other things, I watched and listened to a heck of a lot of hockey. The action began on Friday night, when I witnessed one of the, if not the biggest fight of my hockey-watching career. I mean, I've seen lots of dustups, and on TV I've seen some two or four man boxing matches, but this was all 10 players on the ice, and I was right there.
Let me make two things clear:
  1. I hate boxing. I can't watch it, and seeing people hit each other makes me upset in a generally awful way I can't really describe or defend.
  2. I have officially discovered the drawback to knowing guys on the BG Falcons team.

The fight happened 12 seconds to the end of the game, with BG up on Western 4-1. Western is a chippy team anyway, and BG has had more of a physical presence this year. I have no idea what precipitated this fight; all I know is that for a long time I had no idea who was in a four-man pile, and the other three Falcons became involved in various fracas with some Broncos.

The worst for me was when my favorite successfully tugged a guy away from a Falcon teammate and this Bronco just started maniacally punching anything he could get hold of. He landed some blows to the head, neck, and face area, and I'm just going to admit that I kind of freaked out, quietly and invisibly, but certainly internally, especially since the officials were busy elsewhere. When my guy got up his face was bloody and I couldn't tell from where and as I observed to some friends, when you mess with my favorite, I'm going to get mad. And worried.

Then I finally saw that one of my other former students was at the bottom of the main pile, and that wasn't great either. Another of my acquaintances was stripped of most of his top equipment. The upshot of all this was that all ten players got disqualified for fighting. For Saturday's game, Western was so short that their fourth line had one person on it to rotate in the other lines. BG barely had enough players to make up its lines, and was missing some of its major workhorses, but it was in better shape. Fortunately, BG pulled out an overtime win on Saturday, which I listened to on the radio (along with the Michigan State game, win; the Sabres, in a game I watched on mute while I listened to two games on the radio, sadly did not win).

In any case, I'm anxious to see the guys, maybe pick up some hugs, and reestablish some normality in my brain, making sure they're all right...the first time I've ever felt that anxious about a fight, and certainly due to knowing them personally. I seem to remember a game fight somewhere in which the benches got involved (the people on them, not the benches themselves) but I didn't know the players in that instance. This was much worse. I know it's totally girly, but I worry about my guys, and while I respect that they had to stand together on this, I hope they're not called to do so in quite such a dramatic melee again!

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