Sunday, November 04, 2007


Although I name a specific example, I see a trend this season.

Passion… for the game of hockey. Comes in a whole lotta degrees and expressions. There are a whole lot of words that substitute for it. Fervor, zeal, ardor, excitement and enthusiasm to name a few.

We fans are examples of the ardent nature of passion for hockey. We follow our team with an exuberant enthusiasm. We watch the games and cheer (or boo) with great zeal and excitement. It often carries over off ice for us and we blog about it, we argue incessantly about all of its aspects on message boards and in discussion groups. We’ll even show up to meet the objects of our sport obsession at the official events, brag about casual meetings in the mall, movies or local Starbucks.

There is another side to passion. Not exactly a ‘dark’ side but definitely a side in sports that has negative connotations and often a dangerous and perilous side affect on the game we love. That side is described with words like fury, ouburst, rage and furor.

Daniel Carcillo has a deep and abiding passion for the game of hockey. Anyone who has seen him play can see it (he practically vibrates with it).He needs to find a way to keep it under control. His passion can erupt in outbursts of fury. We saw it last night, we’ve seen it before, he is fairly well marked by the refs and (as we saw last night in the Duck’s game, by the players).
We all love that he plays the game with that edge but it is a VERY fine line to walk and he hasn’t mastered it yet. Hopefully one of the most passionate players from hockeypast (Tocchet) will get here in time (early February) to help young Carci channel, control…whatever, his passion before he or someone else gets hurt.

Some of the worst hits, injuries in the history of our game have been caused by players whose passions overflowed. It happens. Daniel hasn’t got a mean bone in his body…when he’s under control. Last night he wasn’t in control. He truly deserved the ULC he got for refusing to disengage from the fight where he clearly had the player down on the ice (hell he was sittin on the guy and still pummeling) it appeared like the refs had to talk him out of his fighting fugue and off the player. That is sooo not good.

I was not a fan of Carcillo at first. Too chippy, too mouthy, cost us too many penalties. But I have come to love the kid for his energy, his never-say-die attitude and his willingness to step thru the gates of hell (this kid doesn’t back down to any one, no matter what size they are) for his team mates. He has talent (in spades) and contributes regularly to helping us win.

The beginning of the season showed us the huge impact this kid can have on the team (he didn’t play any less passionate….just waaay more disciplined) what the hell happened to set him off? I want him to stay whole, I want him to stay in the games and I want him to succeed in the NHL.

Carci has to learn to pick his battles better (play smarter if you will) and to recognise the point when his emotions are overriding his common sense ( and HEY WAYNE! you need to learn that flash point too, Carcillo probably shouldn’t have been on the ice in the last minutes of the game in his state). I just hope he can learn….soon… for his own sake and for the sake of the team.
Glad to have gotten that off my mind.

It probably isn’t as bad as it appears but it does need to be addressed before it escalates (another side affect of passion). Does anyone else see this (specific players?) on their teams? or am I crazy?

xposted to CoyotesHipCheck


Tracy said...

I agree 100%.

Carcillo (god love him) was completely outraged last night at something and was flying off the handle at things that shouldn't have been such a huge deal. Oy vey, my poor baby.

Dare said...

I think it's inherently problematic to label problematic behaviour as "passion". If I get angry with my thesis, my students, or my supervisor, due to the "passion" that I have for academia (as an out-of-sport example), and snap and kick the crap out of someone, break some windows, or vandalize a wall, there are consequences for these actions. "I was feeling overly passionate" doesn't fly in such circumstances. In a way, I feel like allowing it to fly in sporting situations (and especially in hockey, where we continue to accept behaviours like fighting as "part of the game") becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts; consequences (or the fear of consequences) quell problematic behaviour. Negating blame doesn't really.

Just thinking aloud (or a-type)...

Z4Dfense said...

Daniel fights because someone wants a go at him or vice versa (aand whether we are fans of it or not it is an accepted behavior...within a broad set of limits)his 'passion' is more exhibited in his refusal to stop defending, arguing his point, talking shit to the refs. These are controllable things.

In hockey it is 'acceptable to fight... not to deliberately brutalize another player though.

I think you over dramatise being overly passionate in your comment. Snapping and doing major damage is not acceptable in any venue (although we have seen some really ugly 'snaps' in the NHL... Bertuzzi and McSorley both come to mind)
I do wonder if you aren't right about the selfulfilling part though... not that 20 or 25 game suspensions seem to be quelling the kits from behind and head shots still prevalent in the game.

Z4Dfense said...

damn laptop! I wasn't finished LOL

Somebody goes knee on knee deliberately on me and yeah...I'm pissed and fighting too, the Ducks game is the first time I have seen the physical outburst thing from this kid. The fight I could understand, the refusal to let it go once it was over is what made me think about what 'emotions?/passion?' can lead to if not kept in check someway.

Anonymous said...

At the Bears game last night, we had a Bridgeport Sound Tigger smack the glass with his stick in frustration and actually break the glass... the elderly man behind it was hurt, and bleeding from his face and his hand.

I think that's a good example of passion gone awry. Yes, you gave up a dumb pass and we scored, but honestly, if you have to hit something in frustration, make it the boards, not the glass.

(Of course the scorer was my baby Bear, so I'm not too heartbroken for the damn Tigger.)

What's interesting is that later one of the Bears butt ended the same guy in the side of the helmet and the whole arena cheered. I think it was a "you hurt our fans, we hurt you" thing, but it was interesting that such a blatant opportunity for head injury got cheered.