Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Philadelphia Flyer Zac Rinaldo was widely criticized last night for continuing to throw punches after scoring a knockdown in a fight with Tampa Bay's BJ Crombeen. Rinaldo was chastised on mainstream and social media for dispensing with the hockey code in favor of the street fight and bar brawl code, which dictates that once you have the other guy down, you do whatever it takes to make sure he stays down. There was a measure of payback when Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier delivered a couple of extra shots after taking down Max Talbot.
Let's be honest - as gentlemanly pursuits go, hockey fights are no more credible than street fights or bar brawls. In none of the aforementioned scenarios do the Marquis of Queensberry rules apply. Hockey fights are unsanctioned, beneath the established societal standards of civilized behavior and against rules of the game. It's difficult to invoke the notion of chivalry without an existing precept of honor, and there's nothing honorable about two guys beating the living daylights out of each other, whether it's on a street corner, in a tavern or during a hockey game, and no matter how much you try to dress it up as noble warriors adhering to an unwritten code.