Friday, 14 June 2013

What is and what should never be

A lot of the time I post about how things should be, not how they are.  Insofar as I'm ranting about hockey, I'll whine about the refereeing, and rue what could have been had the Canadiens not drafted Terry Ryan, or yes, Alfie Turcotte.

People will often roll their eyes, and tell me, for example, that pro hockey is a business, and if I don't like it I should stop watching.

So, agreed, the NHL is a commercial venture, but it is also the highest expression of our national sport, and has a responsibility to protect and promote our game.  The fact that they're doing a very poor job of it doesn't invalidate that duty.  The fact that it relies on public subsidies for its arenas and funding for special events and on Hockey Canada to supply it with players cements it.

We've seen various degrees of government scrutiny or even outright direction when a putatively for-profit league or sanctioning body wasn't satisfactorily acquitting itself of this duty.  Think of the Black Sox Scandal, college football being forced to introduce the forward pass (horrors!), or criminal charges and imprisonments in match fixing incidents in international soccer.

It's the same as if a local opera house or ballet company used all the grants and civic funds and the fund-raising and tax-deductions to put on Cats musicals or resorts to 'pie in the face' gags.  Misappropriation of funds shouldn't be allowed.

Or, Jeffrey Loria.

So go ahead if you want, go with the flow, be cynical, don't rock the boat, but I'll be over here, kicking the money lenders out of the temple.

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