Thursday, March 8, 2007

Damian Cox Loves Tough Guys

Seriously, who writes more about enforcers and fighting in hockey than Cox? The guy lives and breathes, and I would ventures to say, dreams, about hockey fights. Who else would bring up the Todd Bertuzzi incident some two years after the topic has been exhausted and filed away under “not a fight?”

Cox’s latest tirade centered on whether or not tough guys were capable of actually policing the game. Cox conveniently, and not surprisingly (that is what anti-fight supporters do) uses the examples of Chris Neil and Cam Janssen for his cause. While most realize that the Chris Neil hit was clean and the Cam Janssen hit was simply late, Cox can’t help but tie each incident to his belief that enforcers are not capable of policing the game. Cox also can’t help but conveniently point out that fighting is up… from last season. And finally, Cox can’t help but try to discredit published research by pointing out a few random examples that he hopes will discredit the study’s methodology.

Cox is a puke. Trying to debate with a guy like this would be like carrying on a conversation with a wall. Anyone that tries to discredit proven facts, research, and fan polls has an agenda and/or a screw loose.

Here is what Cox fails to mention in his lengthy pile of drivel. The players want the instigator rule removed; they even approach the league about this every year. That is the players. Go ahead Cox, tell the players they are wrong. Fan polls display that over 80% of fans want the instigator rule removed completely. Go ahead Cox, tell the fans they are wrong while you are at it. The General Manager’s voted to have the number of instigators bumped to five displays that the GMs, and as an extension, the owners and our puppet Commissioner, want players to have more say in on-ice incidents. Go ahead Cox, tell the GMs, the owners, and our puppet Commissioner that they are wrong while you are at it.

And Cox, enough with the spin zone. We get enough of that from our Commissioner. Fighting is down 38% since 2003-2004. Wouldn’t that be a more interesting number to "reveal" to fans than fighting is “back up again” since last year? Are you that biased that you cannot even note the minute percentage that it is up?

And let me ask you a question Cox. What has been the most talked about story in hockey this year? If you say anything other than the Senators/Sabres brawl than you should be fired. Even Brett Hull (not that he isn’t a talker) stepped up and admitted this last weekend on NBC. As a matter of fact, he said it was the most coverage the NHL has received in two years. He also said that fighting increases ticket sales and t.v. ratings, something I have been writing about for some time. All of this is, of course, validated in published research.

So while Cox can grasp on to his pathetic couple of examples of anecdotal evidence, he should realize that he is so far in the minority that he registers like the Neilson ratings for a Devils/Panthers game on a Tuesday night. I wonder if he was looking in the mirror when he typed his last sentence (“Notoriety, it appears, will do if popularity remains elusive.”). Cox, you have to be noted before you can be popular. You, actually, are both; but not for the reasons you would like.

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