Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Russia declares war on hockey terrorism

Russia has always had a flexible definition of terrorism. For example, Russia refers to its Chechen rebels as "terrorists" but a member of Hezbollah, not so much.

That is why it should come as no surprise Russia is the first nation to stick the
terrorism label on a major sports entity, calling out North America's National Hockey League as such.

In 2006, a self-respecting nation is forced to do more than simply label the terrorist.

So, in a play for self-respect, the Russians have also
"declared war" on the NHL and its sneaky, asymmetric tactic of offering young Russian players, still under contract in Russia, more money to come West to play in large shiny arenas for teams that aren't run by the brother or nephew of the local crime boss.

There will be many in the United States who object to the classifying of the NHL as a "major sports league." But, just as one man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist, one nation's
Outdoor-Life-Network-dwelling, no-longer-relevant professional sports league is another nation's threat to internal stability.

I think the Russians and the NHL both benefit from the current crisis. By turning the terrorist tables on an American sports league-- never mind most of the players are Canadian or come from European countries that didn't exist ten years ago -- the Russians gain credibility on the "Arab street" and should be able to parlay this new cred into a bigger role in the volatile but oil-rich Middle East.

As for the NHL, this could be its best "buzz" since the
glowing puck.


Anonymous said...

Hockey peaked in the mid-nineties when EA’s NHL franchise was better than EA’s Madden’s franchise due to limitations of the genesis and N16, football was still hard to stimulate for all 22 players. Because of today’s advanced consoles, a hockey strike and possibly the rise fantasy football, Madden’s has lapped its label mate several times over. Can you imagine the drop of NHL 2007 being a male holiday? If others feel the same, when did you transition? For me it was Madden’s 98.

JT said...

For me the NHL franchise peaked in 95. I liked using the Rangers. Zubrus trailing the play and eventually driving in for "the move" was pure gold.

Anonymous said...

Zubrus was good, but for play trailing move doers, Chelios on a drop from Roenick was the tops.

Gone to the blogs said...

Somewhere out in the land of YouTube or Google Video, I'm sure these (or similar) game sequences can be found. I wouldn't be suprised to see the "bleeding head" check from Sega there, too.

Note to "anonymous"...hockey also has the advantage of being easier to render in a video game because the player movement is much more fluid than that of running sports.