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The "success" of the NHLPA

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  • Craig
    I am wondering now if this latest issue surrounding the NHLPA may prove to be its death knell. Out of all the various pro sports players associations it may
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 8 3:47 AM
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      I am wondering now if this latest issue surrounding the NHLPA may prove to be its' "death knell." Out of all the various pro sports players associations it may have had the most "issues." For example their first leader Alan Eagelson turned out to be an outright crook and the members of the NHLPA paid a very high price for that in that their salaries and pensions were way behind other major sports. Bob Goodenow seemed to turn things around however no players association has ever suffered the total defeat that the NHLPA did in resolving the last strike/walk-out. They were crushed by the owners. Even when the NFLPA caved in during the 1987 walkout they didn't lose an entire years salary like NHL players did. Now, there are issues around their current leader and the players seem spilt over how he was selected and possible "spying."

      I am now thinking of the following:

      1. Do the players even need the NHLPA. Let's face it what does it really do for them that players with their agents could not do? The NHLPA does nothing for player safety, and doesn't negotiate salaries. What is it needed for? Even with pensions there is no reason why a team cannot have an individual pension plan or any halfway decent agent could set up a solid retirement savings plan for a player.

      2. Should they consider "ditching" the NHLPA and possibly joining a "real union." This would be a challenge as the players in the US would have to certify under the NLRA and in each province under each provinces labor relations act. This would also mean numerous versions of collective agreements as things that are allowed under the NLRA are not in Canada and vice versa. But, many North American wide firms are in this exact position and function fine. (While they are not "booming" right now the Big 3 automakers are a fine example of this.) This would force the players to make some changes however. For example in Ontario under the Ontario Labor Relations Act the union must be the sole bargaining agent for the employee. That means players for the Leafs and Senators could not have agents act on their behalf. On the other hand if you are paying union dues and the union is representing you why do you need an agent? Just a thought.....This would give players full protection under the various labor relations acts that they do not presently have as the current NHL collective agreement "if push came to shove" is not enforceable at least in Canada. Also if I am a player do I want an "agent" representing me or perhaps an experienced business agent from say Teamsters who has taken on numerous labor relations (LR) battles in the past. Having spent much of my professional life in LR on the management side I can say the big unions are a real challenge to deal with and go all out to protect their members. The NHLPA cannot say that and I question the ability of an agent to be as effective.

      3. In Quebec and B.C. "scabs" are strictly banned under their labor relations legislation. This means owners of the Canadiens and Canucks, could not use replacement players if their players went out on strike.

      4. In the US the majority of states are "Right to Work" meaning an employee cannot be forced to join a union. So you could have teams based in the US based team who have many players in the union and others who are not. Again not a big deal as firms deal with this every day.

      Anyway just some thoughts here......

      Craig









      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William Underwood
      Do they need the NHLPA? I d suggest that you ask some of the old timers what life was like without it! Without it there would be no CBA.owners could craft
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 8 10:25 AM
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        Do they need the NHLPA? I'd suggest that you ask some of the old timers what
        life was like without it! Without it there would be no CBA.owners could
        craft systems such as the reserve system that would make life difficult at
        best for players. Keep in mind it was an arbitration hearing and a
        subsequent CBA that stuck down the reserve clause NOT the Curt Flood case
        which actually upheld the clause. No PA..no end to the reserve clause.If the
        owners wanted to impose say a 20 million dollar cap, what would stop them?
        If they wanted to end unrestricted free agency, who could stop them? There
        are NO LAWS against these things! In fact courts have more than once implied
        that to create parity leagues SHOULD have caps and NEVER stated any number
        on them. Courts have SO often ruled in sports cases "we are NOT ruling
        change here, if you want it get it via collective bargaining."



        To take each matter in hand.



        1-What does it do for them? As I stated above it negotiates a work
        environment where the player has some degree of control over what a team can
        and can not do with him. If the owners had their way there would be NO free
        agency. The cap would be lower and only change when they saw fit. Guys could
        go up and down to the minors with impunity and less restrictions. There
        would be less benefits. Player safety? Why does the NHLPA do nothing more
        for it? Simple the players DON'T ASK THEM TO! If we are talking visors.most
        guys don't WANT THEM. If we are talking your pet baby the Moore-Bertuzzi
        scenario.Bertuzzi is ALSO a player and the game is violent by nature. NOBODY
        is going to touch this except the league itself. Hell, do you REALLY think
        that the other players are going to do a "gang up on Todd" thing? If they
        were we would have seen it by now on the ice and we have not seen that. Most
        say "there but for the grace of God go I". No, the NHLPA does not negotiate
        salaries but it sets up rules that teams must follow. If it didn't we could
        see the old days back when Billy Dineen negotiated a "great new deal" and
        came back glowing until Gordie Howe told him."Billy that is the new minimum
        wage!" BECAUSE of the NHLPA there is a data file on ALL contracts.teams
        can't just keep them under wraps. There are procedures other than "SIGN the
        damn thing or we will bury you so far the Hockey News won't be able to find
        you." There are waiver procedures, re-entry procedures for the draft,
        deadlines and many other bells and whistles that owners would rather not
        have.but the PA got and gets.And you mention a "halfway decent agent." Who
        would be there to register agents and check them out with no PA? In the
        minors I have dealt with some pretty half assed "wanna be's" and borderline
        crooks that go after these kids! Remember the world of agents is a world of
        Ali Baba in suits! There is little honor there and they are dealing with
        kids that are of an early age when they go after them. They are smooth and
        talk a good game. And MANY are GREAT guys.but there are others.with no PA
        there would be no shielding from crooks.



        2-NO! Now there is a GREAT idea.get a guy that reps teamsters but knows
        zippo about hockey to talk contract for you! Not to mention the fact that
        agents do FASR more than negotiate playing deals for players. They handle
        financial investment, they council them and also console them when the
        spirit is down, they negotiate off ice opportunities such as endorsements.
        They are more than a mouth piece in team negotiations. The relationship
        between player and agent can get quite personal where the agent knows the
        player's mom and dad form recruiting him and later on his wife and kids.
        Would "Vinny" from "da teamsters" do all of that? An agent is FAR more
        effective! He is YOUR PERSONAL ADVOCATE!



        You NEED a PA to watch over the general system you need an agent to look out
        for your personal needs! Sports are not like other professions where you
        look at a job and its demands and set a pay scale that fits all. Sports get
        into a scenario where each worker has VERY different qualifications and
        there is no one size fits all job description. A center is not a center is
        not a center.there are different roles. John Madden is FAR more valuable
        than a lot of 2nd line guys! He is a TOP level DEFENSIVE forward so you
        can't measure his contributions the same as your average 28 goal scoring
        hanger.A 19 year old peach fuzz faced kid may be more valuable than a 20
        year vet. The Devils may covet a player for their system that Tampa may not.
        It is not to the players benefit to get straight jacketed into a mold which
        is JUST what happens in a collective salary system. Can you negotiate
        individual bonuses? SURE! But if they are the significant bulk of the
        package there goes team play and if you go all team incentives there goes
        individual differentiation. And then there is the matter that this would
        just invite.get the right corrupt labor lawyer and he is doing a "group
        deal" with the Leafs and Sens as you say.what if he was another Eagle? He
        does a sweet deal for himself is what he does! Back in the 70's WCHL had
        this system where they appointed an agent for each team.one guy was
        delivering guys to the WHA en masse.and it came out and there went the
        system!



        In the end they would get some added labor shielding in the places where
        they now don't enjoy the rights of a union, but if it meant no individual
        bargaining they would lose out in the end! BADLY!



        3-This has never stopped the NHLPA from striking before.



        4-And who gains out of this? The NHLPA can't force guys to join now
        incidentally. So it is a non issue.



        Craig the problem with the NHLPA is simple. It had BAD leadership under
        Goodenow. He read the situation about as well as Saddam Hussein did the
        world when he invaded Kuwait or the Argentine junta did when they said "she
        would never fight as war over barren rocks." or Neville Chamberlain when he
        said "peace in our time." They couldn't see the forest for the tall trees of
        ego. They WANTED to believe all of the crap that Bettman was saying about
        hockey being the next great American pastime in the 90's.they WANTED to
        believe "all was well". They wanted to believe that they were as big as
        football, baseball and basketball guys in the public eye. It was like a mass
        narcotic. Anyone with a brain and math skills could see that the NHL is not
        MLB, the NFL or NBA and anyone with a functioning brain would know it was
        not a truly major US sport and is HIGHLY unlikely to ever be one. But it was
        the thing that no one WANTED to believe! It wad the binge of binges.and the
        owners had been SO stupid for SO long that like Hitler in 1939 said looking
        back at Prague Goodenow (no personal comparison mind you) said to himself "I
        pushed them before , I'll do it again." He didn't realize it was a new group
        of guys with new unity. He also didn't consider how badly things had really
        gone for TV.The boys went on for the ride like pigs into the slaughter and
        now they feel dumb for it and somebody ahs to pay.Goodenow did but anyone
        with his fingerprints on him are suspect.and for good reason! It would be
        like relieving Custer at Little Big Horn and putting his top "yes man"
        adjutant in charge! :-)



        It isn't the concept or structure of the NHLPA it is the LEADERSHIP! There
        were just too many egos for a start. The current issues are the fall out.
        They need a fresh start with totally new people in charge with feet firmly
        on the ground. And I think that the players themselves are going through a
        bit of introspection. So many of them followed Goodenow blindly! And he LIED
        to them and used them. Right now they are VERY suspicious that it could
        happen again. They want to see to it that it does not. But no PA would be a
        DISASTER! Do they want a new PA? Maybe, but that is never all that simple.
        And would it be any better? It is not like the NHLPA has not served them
        well. For the skeptics that debate that, again I suggest that you talk to
        the old timers.what the PA has gained for these guys is emancipation from a
        totally one sided system. With no PA it would NEVER have happened! If I had
        a dime for each time court systems ducked the issue of player rights I'd be
        a rich man! Had there been no PA you would have seen a much slower and less
        thorough and random patch work process where some pieces would not fit and
        the owners would have the time to come up with counter measures until the
        next court case which could drag on for years.



        The PA will probably survive. But I think there will be a purge of any
        vestiges of folks that were there in 2004 running it.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Craig
        Bill, I am not arguing about the past. Clearly in the past the owners did screw the players around and yes the NHLPA did help rectify that. No argument there.
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 9 5:35 AM
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          Bill,

          I am not arguing about the past. Clearly in the past the owners did screw the players around and yes the NHLPA did help rectify that. No argument there.

          My issue is now. Name one other union or association that has had the terrible and at time corrupt leadership the NHLPA has had and suffered the massive defeat they had and still stayed in business? I have done LR work for years and never seen a union stay certified after something like that. The members always got rid of it.

          So if the players ditched the NHLPA today what would be the impact? Well considering the NHL is a business as are the teams the players have protection under the applicable labor laws of each state and province as well as US federal legislation. In Canada common law would prevent the teams from doing what you stated before - that is just changing the terms of the players employment without giving them "consideration." (That is a legal term meaning that if you want to get an employee to give something else you need to give them consideration which amounts to money.) So, if say the Leafs wanted to bring in a lower salary cap then they'd have to give consideration to the players impacted. Very simple and part of the law.

          As for union representation Bill keep in mind that while I am not a fan of trade unions they have massive resources. I dare say if the Leafs and Senators unionized with the say Canadian Auto Workers (CAW who used to be the UAW until they split in the early 80's) the union would come up with business reps that knew the business. If they didn't have them they'd go get them. The CAW is now organizing hospital staff and at first they didn't know anything about healthcare - but I can tell you they have hired reps who know that business "cold." Same would happen in hockey. And the NHL would just have to adjust - just like every other business in North America. Welcome to the real world!

          As for Bertuzzi Bill spare me. The guy pleaded guilty to assault and is facing a massive lawsuit. He is a convicted felon and admitted he committed a criminal act at work. In the real world that gets you fired and usually sent to jail. Only in the twisted adolescent world of the NHL and perhaps all North American hockey does he get portrayed as the victim and the man who can no longer work get vilified. Bertuzzi reminds me of what I wipe off the bottom of my shoe when I accidentally step in it.

          Craig




          ----- Original Message -----
          From: William Underwood
          To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 1:25 PM
          Subject: [hockhist] Re:The "success" of the NHLPA


          Do they need the NHLPA? I'd suggest that you ask some of the old timers what
          life was like without it! Without it there would be no CBA.owners could
          craft systems such as the reserve system that would make life difficult at
          best for players. Keep in mind it was an arbitration hearing and a
          subsequent CBA that stuck down the reserve clause NOT the Curt Flood case
          which actually upheld the clause. No PA..no end to the reserve clause.If the
          owners wanted to impose say a 20 million dollar cap, what would stop them?
          If they wanted to end unrestricted free agency, who could stop them? There
          are NO LAWS against these things! In fact courts have more than once implied
          that to create parity leagues SHOULD have caps and NEVER stated any number
          on them. Courts have SO often ruled in sports cases "we are NOT ruling
          change here, if you want it get it via collective bargaining."

          To take each matter in hand.

          1-What does it do for them? As I stated above it negotiates a work
          environment where the player has some degree of control over what a team can
          and can not do with him. If the owners had their way there would be NO free
          agency. The cap would be lower and only change when they saw fit. Guys could
          go up and down to the minors with impunity and less restrictions. There
          would be less benefits. Player safety? Why does the NHLPA do nothing more
          for it? Simple the players DON'T ASK THEM TO! If we are talking visors.most
          guys don't WANT THEM. If we are talking your pet baby the Moore-Bertuzzi
          scenario.Bertuzzi is ALSO a player and the game is violent by nature. NOBODY
          is going to touch this except the league itself. Hell, do you REALLY think
          that the other players are going to do a "gang up on Todd" thing? If they
          were we would have seen it by now on the ice and we have not seen that. Most
          say "there but for the grace of God go I". No, the NHLPA does not negotiate
          salaries but it sets up rules that teams must follow. If it didn't we could
          see the old days back when Billy Dineen negotiated a "great new deal" and
          came back glowing until Gordie Howe told him."Billy that is the new minimum
          wage!" BECAUSE of the NHLPA there is a data file on ALL contracts.teams
          can't just keep them under wraps. There are procedures other than "SIGN the
          damn thing or we will bury you so far the Hockey News won't be able to find
          you." There are waiver procedures, re-entry procedures for the draft,
          deadlines and many other bells and whistles that owners would rather not
          have.but the PA got and gets.And you mention a "halfway decent agent." Who
          would be there to register agents and check them out with no PA? In the
          minors I have dealt with some pretty half assed "wanna be's" and borderline
          crooks that go after these kids! Remember the world of agents is a world of
          Ali Baba in suits! There is little honor there and they are dealing with
          kids that are of an early age when they go after them. They are smooth and
          talk a good game. And MANY are GREAT guys.but there are others.with no PA
          there would be no shielding from crooks.

          2-NO! Now there is a GREAT idea.get a guy that reps teamsters but knows
          zippo about hockey to talk contract for you! Not to mention the fact that
          agents do FASR more than negotiate playing deals for players. They handle
          financial investment, they council them and also console them when the
          spirit is down, they negotiate off ice opportunities such as endorsements.
          They are more than a mouth piece in team negotiations. The relationship
          between player and agent can get quite personal where the agent knows the
          player's mom and dad form recruiting him and later on his wife and kids.
          Would "Vinny" from "da teamsters" do all of that? An agent is FAR more
          effective! He is YOUR PERSONAL ADVOCATE!

          You NEED a PA to watch over the general system you need an agent to look out
          for your personal needs! Sports are not like other professions where you
          look at a job and its demands and set a pay scale that fits all. Sports get
          into a scenario where each worker has VERY different qualifications and
          there is no one size fits all job description. A center is not a center is
          not a center.there are different roles. John Madden is FAR more valuable
          than a lot of 2nd line guys! He is a TOP level DEFENSIVE forward so you
          can't measure his contributions the same as your average 28 goal scoring
          hanger.A 19 year old peach fuzz faced kid may be more valuable than a 20
          year vet. The Devils may covet a player for their system that Tampa may not.
          It is not to the players benefit to get straight jacketed into a mold which
          is JUST what happens in a collective salary system. Can you negotiate
          individual bonuses? SURE! But if they are the significant bulk of the
          package there goes team play and if you go all team incentives there goes
          individual differentiation. And then there is the matter that this would
          just invite.get the right corrupt labor lawyer and he is doing a "group
          deal" with the Leafs and Sens as you say.what if he was another Eagle? He
          does a sweet deal for himself is what he does! Back in the 70's WCHL had
          this system where they appointed an agent for each team.one guy was
          delivering guys to the WHA en masse.and it came out and there went the
          system!

          In the end they would get some added labor shielding in the places where
          they now don't enjoy the rights of a union, but if it meant no individual
          bargaining they would lose out in the end! BADLY!

          3-This has never stopped the NHLPA from striking before.

          4-And who gains out of this? The NHLPA can't force guys to join now
          incidentally. So it is a non issue.

          Craig the problem with the NHLPA is simple. It had BAD leadership under
          Goodenow. He read the situation about as well as Saddam Hussein did the
          world when he invaded Kuwait or the Argentine junta did when they said "she
          would never fight as war over barren rocks." or Neville Chamberlain when he
          said "peace in our time." They couldn't see the forest for the tall trees of
          ego. They WANTED to believe all of the crap that Bettman was saying about
          hockey being the next great American pastime in the 90's.they WANTED to
          believe "all was well". They wanted to believe that they were as big as
          football, baseball and basketball guys in the public eye. It was like a mass
          narcotic. Anyone with a brain and math skills could see that the NHL is not
          MLB, the NFL or NBA and anyone with a functioning brain would know it was
          not a truly major US sport and is HIGHLY unlikely to ever be one. But it was
          the thing that no one WANTED to believe! It wad the binge of binges.and the
          owners had been SO stupid for SO long that like Hitler in 1939 said looking
          back at Prague Goodenow (no personal comparison mind you) said to himself "I
          pushed them before , I'll do it again." He didn't realize it was a new group
          of guys with new unity. He also didn't consider how badly things had really
          gone for TV.The boys went on for the ride like pigs into the slaughter and
          now they feel dumb for it and somebody ahs to pay.Goodenow did but anyone
          with his fingerprints on him are suspect.and for good reason! It would be
          like relieving Custer at Little Big Horn and putting his top "yes man"
          adjutant in charge! :-)

          It isn't the concept or structure of the NHLPA it is the LEADERSHIP! There
          were just too many egos for a start. The current issues are the fall out.
          They need a fresh start with totally new people in charge with feet firmly
          on the ground. And I think that the players themselves are going through a
          bit of introspection. So many of them followed Goodenow blindly! And he LIED
          to them and used them. Right now they are VERY suspicious that it could
          happen again. They want to see to it that it does not. But no PA would be a
          DISASTER! Do they want a new PA? Maybe, but that is never all that simple.
          And would it be any better? It is not like the NHLPA has not served them
          well. For the skeptics that debate that, again I suggest that you talk to
          the old timers.what the PA has gained for these guys is emancipation from a
          totally one sided system. With no PA it would NEVER have happened! If I had
          a dime for each time court systems ducked the issue of player rights I'd be
          a rich man! Had there been no PA you would have seen a much slower and less
          thorough and random patch work process where some pieces would not fit and
          the owners would have the time to come up with counter measures until the
          next court case which could drag on for years.

          The PA will probably survive. But I think there will be a purge of any
          vestiges of folks that were there in 2004 running it.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • William Underwood
          That is right Craig the issue IS now..if there was no PA what you saw in terms of roll backs after the lock out would look like a spring dance! The owners
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 9 10:00 AM
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            That is right Craig the issue IS now..if there was no PA what you saw in
            terms of roll backs after the lock out would look like a spring dance! The
            owners would have had a smaller cap, maybe no floor, restricted FA until at
            least 30, and maybe even more nasty little bells and whistles. Do you REALLY
            think that without a PA these "nice chaps" would not try to turn back the
            clock? Sure the star player would still get his share but what about the
            lesser guy? He would be SCREWED and that is the majority of players.



            Now the problem with "common law" As you state is Craig is that pro teams
            have pro athletes by the short hairs maybe more than ANY other profession.
            Dismissal and short term employment is THE NORM. Simply put, a team can
            EASILY claim that a guy was ditched for failure to perform vis a vis another
            employee. Hell, they can even claim "we are on a youth movement." So if a
            guy REALLY wanted to challenge the NHL they can do it and spend the rest of
            their natural hockey lives waiting for the result in court while they play
            in the ECHL or LANH! In other words the teams would probably just trade the
            problem kids to US clubs for "future considerations" who could say "sorry
            Charlie.take a lesser deal or take a hike" and then sign lower priced guys.
            If the legal people questioned it they would just say "well we really wanted
            a pick to get so and so and it made sense from out salary standpoint.and we
            had no idea what the UDS club would do." Do you really put it past guys
            trying to do that? If I were a player I would not!



            On to the next issue...I respond with "welcome to the real world" Craig with
            the fact that VERY FEW people KNOW this business as good negotiators. There
            are more BAD agents out there than you can shake a stick at! To get
            COMPETENT TRAINED people who "know the business" you would be talking about
            the top 5% of agents who wouldn't touch this with a 20 foot pole. They can
            make FAR MORE money representing a few top players and NAILING teams for as
            much as they can than an entire team where they also have to represent the
            stiffs and get the cap divied up for them too. Add on to the fact that as a
            player I would not WANT an agent who is repping my entire team! He again
            would be responsible to divvy up the cap among us all which may mean LESS
            money for ME! If I have an individual rep he could care less about the 4th
            line wing..as far as he is concerned (unless it is his client of course)
            "cut the darn bum, bring in a minimum wage kid and give my guy the
            difference.by the way I represent a kid that IS a minimum wage kid how would
            you like him? You have this odd view that when it comes to salary talks
            players give a rat's behind about the other players! They DON'T, except of
            course in the context of "I am better than John on Montreal and John made
            3.6 mill, I deserve at least 3.8.."NO PRO athlete WANTS group representation
            on INDIVIDUAL contracts! They are out for the MOST that they can get! This
            is NOT some office where a certain job gets a certain pay, where Vinny da
            Teamster Rep negs a rate for all of the gang! In this office you MILK the
            employer for every DIME as an INDIVIDUAL that you can get if they are sucker
            enough to pay it. A truck driver is a truck driver a right wing is not just
            a right wing, he is a unique talent with a unique value that varies team to
            team and there are only so many people that can do that role in the world.
            He doesn't want "Vinny" slotting him in.he wants a Meehan or a Grossman
            worrying about HIM period. The only group talks that you want are to
            establish the rules for those talks. There is NO WAY your shop reps would be
            able to cut it for EACH INDIVIDUAL MAXXING OUT THEIR VALUE!



            Finally to Bertuzzi.about that lawsuit..it hasn't gotten past exchanging
            letters as of yet. We still may see a settlement. Now as far as the
            "adolescent world of the NHL goes" why don't we talk sports in general
            Craig, an NFL lineman assaults a ref, baseball pitchers toss a 100 mile an
            hour fast ball at a guy (which can and HAS killed people remember poor Roy
            Chapman) and we all remember Tomjanovich in hoops.Craig.sport SELL violence!
            Occasionally it gets out of hand and we police it. "Felon".yep Lt Girard is
            watching Bertuzzi now that David Janson is dead (For the young ones this guy
            was the original Fugitve before Harrison Ford), he didn't do a day in jail
            did he? Is hew even cleaning highways in one of those orange jumpsuits? So
            even the courts don't see a violent incident on a hockey rink in the same
            context as the way that you look at it, Joe the Accountant clocks Sam the
            Actuary over a dispute over a table.Was Bertuzzi out of line? You bet! And
            he was punished by the authorities that are in force. He sat a year, missed
            out on the World Cup, has lost money on endorsements etc. Should he be
            taking up jail space and eating up tax payer money? NO! Should he be out of
            hockey? Well he hasn't done anything since has he? Nor has there been
            another incident.



            Sorry Craig the day that we say "never hit each other, talk mean to one
            another and it doesn't count if you win or lose we'll love you keep you and
            pay you even if you go 0-82-0" the work environment is inherently violent.
            As long as we allow people to carry sticks, hit each other and do all sorts
            of things that would get me arrested on the street (in other words play
            hockey that allows checking) standards of behavior will differ form the
            halcyon world of the office where you must be PC at all times (as opposed to
            "check out the broad behind the penalty box" and nicknaming a team mate for
            his worst physical flaw, dumbest moment, ugliest girlfriend or worst aspect
            as a player and where locker room type of ragging is strictly forbidden.then
            there is the stuff that you say to opponents from "your
            wife/mom/sister/girlfriend/all four was/were great last night" to "nice name
            couldn't your parents spell") and you not only can't hit a co worker but
            can't come too close to them.

            It is a different world Craig with different rules and operating that the
            two are similar is the first mistake. Most people do not, hell courts
            generally don't, how do you think baseball is shielded more or less form
            anti trust? The courts did it in a series of decisions that they later on
            refused to over turn saying "it is up to Congress, we don't want to open
            ourselves up to cases about retroactive damages or to upset an apple cart
            that has behaved in this manner for decades." We have seen courts as a much
            as say that x amount of violence is tolerable.remember the judge in the
            McSorley case who basically said had he hit Brashear just a foot lower, I
            would have dismissed this case." The same standards just do not exist for
            sport and courts LONG AGO said "police yourself." Even on business issues
            they have confessed that they just don't understand the business well
            enough.which is a major contributing factor as to why league commissioners
            have accrued such power over the years. Pursuant to that, the ultimate judge
            here was Gary Bettman as advised by the guys that work for him who actually
            know something about hockey.and Bettman the lawyer and the hockey
            lieutenants said "indefinite suspension" and it translated out to "one
            year." We all have our own takes on this but the bottom line is the guy sat,
            he lost millions and a lot of honor.all of which is to a hockey player
            losing a lot. In the end all they really have is their reputation as player
            and the money that they made as a player but the first is far more important
            to a lot of guys. Fro the rest of his life Bertuzzi will be remembered for
            this.his name will no longer carry a ton of appearance demand, if he ever
            had a shot at the HOF (which eh really didn't) it is gone and he will be
            remembered for that night for the rest of his life not fro his goals, there
            is no redeeming that.you may pooh pooh it but to the athlete for whom fame
            is fleeting and in the long term you can NEVER hope to accomplish ANYTHING
            that will come as close to making your life validated to the general public
            (most of us have our "big moment" in our 40's or 50's) it is his LEGACY. And
            his children's too-who is your dad---for now on that will be "of yeah isn't
            he the guy that mugged the guy in a hockey game" not "WOW the guy that
            scored those goals." It sticks Craig.it sticks.



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Craig
            Bill, I ll concede your first point to you although now that the lock out is over I am still not sure how valuable the NHLPA is as of today. As for the 2nd
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 10 1:09 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              Bill,

              I'll concede your first point to you although now that the lock out is over I am still not sure how valuable the NHLPA is as of today.

              As for the 2nd point keep in mind under common law if an employer arbitrarily changes the employment "contract" without notice or consideration then they have constructively dismissed the employee. So, if the lovely chaps who run the NHL tried that, at least in Canada which is a common law nation you'd see the players become free agents as their contracts would have been voided. It may be different in the US as the US is not a common law nation. But if say the Leafs tried that, then in all likelihood they would not have a team to put on the ice - at least not a team in which the fans would recognize and be willing to pay money to watch. So who holds the advantage here? For a Canadian based team to even try that would be a very stupid business move that would in all likelihood destroy their business. (I do believe as a gentleman you should concede this point to me.)

              As for your point about union reps I have dealt with countless such reps. Some are as you portray them to be. The majority however, while being somewhat to the "left" of the political spectrum, are well educated, articulate and work very hard to represent their members. Perhaps more so than many agents. I think you may be surprised by that.

              As for Todd Bertuzzi let me make a couple of other points. I understand hockey is a violet game. There is lots of contact which I do not object to. I enjoy a hard hitting game and having played football and hockey I enjoyed the hitting myself. By hitting is part of the game and allowed under the rules. The baseball analogy you used (the death of Roy Chapman) was a horrible tragedy - but it was a risk of the game. Mr. Chapman wasn't "attacked." He didn't die in a brawl or anything like that. He was killed and tragically so as a normal part of the game. Much like Bill Masterton was in 1968 when he was killed as a result of a clean hit that just went tragically wrong.

              Now let's look at the Betruzzi/Moore incident. Was Mr. Moore injured in a normal part of the game, allowed by the rules (ie: like Bill Masteron) ? No he was not. Was he injured while being a willing participant in a fight? No he was not. Was he injured in a spur of the moment incident that got out of hand? Again, he was not. Todd Bertuzzi admitted he went on the ice to "fight" Steve Moore.Thus we see premeditation. Is fighting part of hockey? No, it is against the rules. When you fight someone are you trying to injure them? I believe a reasonable person (or anyone with a basic education and level of morality and ethics) would agree that when you attempt to drive your fist into another human beings face or head you are trying to inflict personal harm on them. So was Mr. Bertuzzi trying to injure or hurt Mr. Moore? The answer is quite clear. As well would a reasonable person not understand that when you assault a person from behind where they cannot defend themselves and then drive them head first into the ice, that you just may inflict great personal harm? I don't know about you but even as a pee wee I had that figured out. And to top it all off Bertuzzi was trying to hit a badly injured helpless Steve Moore again before he was stopped. If that had occurred Moore may well have died. Now would the NHL have cared about that? Would Bertuzzi had understood the magnitude of his actions? Having heard the man speak I doubt he is bright enough to hold a job as a custodian (not to impugn the reputation or intellect of people who are custodians) if he wasn't blessed with talent to play hockey, so I personally doubt it.

              Bill, the NHL should have looked at this incident and counted themself lucky that they escaped seeing a player up on muder or manslughter charges and then taken action to enusre such a thing would never happen again. But did they? We know the answer to that.

              As for your comment that he should not be in jail I disagree. Bill, people go to jail for various reasons. One is they are a threat to society. The other is punishment. Todd Bertuzzi lost money over this. Big frigging deal. Steve Moore may never work again. Who lost more? A few years in a penitentiary would have been just punishment. I am not saying Bertuzzi is a threat to the public - I am arguing for it for punishment. (Much like white collar criminals go to jail for punishment - not because the accountant who steals petty cash to pay for a bingo habit is considered a threat to the public. It is to punish them.)

              And finally answer this please. You always argue that the courts have no place in hockey or sports and they can police themselves. If that is the case why didn't Bertuzzi and the Canucks accept the NHL's judgment over Steve Moore's hit on Markus Naslund? Why didn't Marc Crawford publicly state that the Canucks accepted the NHL's decision and that they would take severe disciplinary action against any member of the team who went after Moore? The reason is simple and beyond argument - the players and coaches don't respect NHL justice. So why should society or the courts?

              Craig



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: William Underwood
              To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Friday, March 09, 2007 1:00 PM
              Subject: [hockhist] Re: The "success" of the NHLPA


              That is right Craig the issue IS now..if there was no PA what you saw in
              terms of roll backs after the lock out would look like a spring dance! The
              owners would have had a smaller cap, maybe no floor, restricted FA until at
              least 30, and maybe even more nasty little bells and whistles. Do you REALLY
              think that without a PA these "nice chaps" would not try to turn back the
              clock? Sure the star player would still get his share but what about the
              lesser guy? He would be SCREWED and that is the majority of players.

              Now the problem with "common law" As you state is Craig is that pro teams
              have pro athletes by the short hairs maybe more than ANY other profession.
              Dismissal and short term employment is THE NORM. Simply put, a team can
              EASILY claim that a guy was ditched for failure to perform vis a vis another
              employee. Hell, they can even claim "we are on a youth movement." So if a
              guy REALLY wanted to challenge the NHL they can do it and spend the rest of
              their natural hockey lives waiting for the result in court while they play
              in the ECHL or LANH! In other words the teams would probably just trade the
              problem kids to US clubs for "future considerations" who could say "sorry
              Charlie.take a lesser deal or take a hike" and then sign lower priced guys.
              If the legal people questioned it they would just say "well we really wanted
              a pick to get so and so and it made sense from out salary standpoint.and we
              had no idea what the UDS club would do." Do you really put it past guys
              trying to do that? If I were a player I would not!

              On to the next issue...I respond with "welcome to the real world" Craig with
              the fact that VERY FEW people KNOW this business as good negotiators. There
              are more BAD agents out there than you can shake a stick at! To get
              COMPETENT TRAINED people who "know the business" you would be talking about
              the top 5% of agents who wouldn't touch this with a 20 foot pole. They can
              make FAR MORE money representing a few top players and NAILING teams for as
              much as they can than an entire team where they also have to represent the
              stiffs and get the cap divied up for them too. Add on to the fact that as a
              player I would not WANT an agent who is repping my entire team! He again
              would be responsible to divvy up the cap among us all which may mean LESS
              money for ME! If I have an individual rep he could care less about the 4th
              line wing..as far as he is concerned (unless it is his client of course)
              "cut the darn bum, bring in a minimum wage kid and give my guy the
              difference.by the way I represent a kid that IS a minimum wage kid how would
              you like him? You have this odd view that when it comes to salary talks
              players give a rat's behind about the other players! They DON'T, except of
              course in the context of "I am better than John on Montreal and John made
              3.6 mill, I deserve at least 3.8.."NO PRO athlete WANTS group representation
              on INDIVIDUAL contracts! They are out for the MOST that they can get! This
              is NOT some office where a certain job gets a certain pay, where Vinny da
              Teamster Rep negs a rate for all of the gang! In this office you MILK the
              employer for every DIME as an INDIVIDUAL that you can get if they are sucker
              enough to pay it. A truck driver is a truck driver a right wing is not just
              a right wing, he is a unique talent with a unique value that varies team to
              team and there are only so many people that can do that role in the world.
              He doesn't want "Vinny" slotting him in.he wants a Meehan or a Grossman
              worrying about HIM period. The only group talks that you want are to
              establish the rules for those talks. There is NO WAY your shop reps would be
              able to cut it for EACH INDIVIDUAL MAXXING OUT THEIR VALUE!

              Finally to Bertuzzi.about that lawsuit..it hasn't gotten past exchanging
              letters as of yet. We still may see a settlement. Now as far as the
              "adolescent world of the NHL goes" why don't we talk sports in general
              Craig, an NFL lineman assaults a ref, baseball pitchers toss a 100 mile an
              hour fast ball at a guy (which can and HAS killed people remember poor Roy
              Chapman) and we all remember Tomjanovich in hoops.Craig.sport SELL violence!
              Occasionally it gets out of hand and we police it. "Felon".yep Lt Girard is
              watching Bertuzzi now that David Janson is dead (For the young ones this guy
              was the original Fugitve before Harrison Ford), he didn't do a day in jail
              did he? Is hew even cleaning highways in one of those orange jumpsuits? So
              even the courts don't see a violent incident on a hockey rink in the same
              context as the way that you look at it, Joe the Accountant clocks Sam the
              Actuary over a dispute over a table.Was Bertuzzi out of line? You bet! And
              he was punished by the authorities that are in force. He sat a year, missed
              out on the World Cup, has lost money on endorsements etc. Should he be
              taking up jail space and eating up tax payer money? NO! Should he be out of
              hockey? Well he hasn't done anything since has he? Nor has there been
              another incident.

              Sorry Craig the day that we say "never hit each other, talk mean to one
              another and it doesn't count if you win or lose we'll love you keep you and
              pay you even if you go 0-82-0" the work environment is inherently violent.
              As long as we allow people to carry sticks, hit each other and do all sorts
              of things that would get me arrested on the street (in other words play
              hockey that allows checking) standards of behavior will differ form the
              halcyon world of the office where you must be PC at all times (as opposed to
              "check out the broad behind the penalty box" and nicknaming a team mate for
              his worst physical flaw, dumbest moment, ugliest girlfriend or worst aspect
              as a player and where locker room type of ragging is strictly forbidden.then
              there is the stuff that you say to opponents from "your
              wife/mom/sister/girlfriend/all four was/were great last night" to "nice name
              couldn't your parents spell") and you not only can't hit a co worker but
              can't come too close to them.

              It is a different world Craig with different rules and operating that the
              two are similar is the first mistake. Most people do not, hell courts
              generally don't, how do you think baseball is shielded more or less form
              anti trust? The courts did it in a series of decisions that they later on
              refused to over turn saying "it is up to Congress, we don't want to open
              ourselves up to cases about retroactive damages or to upset an apple cart
              that has behaved in this manner for decades." We have seen courts as a much
              as say that x amount of violence is tolerable.remember the judge in the
              McSorley case who basically said had he hit Brashear just a foot lower, I
              would have dismissed this case." The same standards just do not exist for
              sport and courts LONG AGO said "police yourself." Even on business issues
              they have confessed that they just don't understand the business well
              enough.which is a major contributing factor as to why league commissioners
              have accrued such power over the years. Pursuant to that, the ultimate judge
              here was Gary Bettman as advised by the guys that work for him who actually
              know something about hockey.and Bettman the lawyer and the hockey
              lieutenants said "indefinite suspension" and it translated out to "one
              year." We all have our own takes on this but the bottom line is the guy sat,
              he lost millions and a lot of honor.all of which is to a hockey player
              losing a lot. In the end all they really have is their reputation as player
              and the money that they made as a player but the first is far more important
              to a lot of guys. Fro the rest of his life Bertuzzi will be remembered for
              this.his name will no longer carry a ton of appearance demand, if he ever
              had a shot at the HOF (which eh really didn't) it is gone and he will be
              remembered for that night for the rest of his life not fro his goals, there
              is no redeeming that.you may pooh pooh it but to the athlete for whom fame
              is fleeting and in the long term you can NEVER hope to accomplish ANYTHING
              that will come as close to making your life validated to the general public
              (most of us have our "big moment" in our 40's or 50's) it is his LEGACY. And
              his children's too-who is your dad---for now on that will be "of yeah isn't
              he the guy that mugged the guy in a hockey game" not "WOW the guy that
              scored those goals." It sticks Craig.it sticks.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Craig
              Bill, I ll concede your first point to you although now that the lock out is over I am still not sure how valuable the NHLPA is as of today. As for the 2nd
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 10 1:14 PM
              • 0 Attachment
                Bill,

                I'll concede your first point to you although now that the lock out is over I am still not sure how valuable the NHLPA is as of today.

                As for the 2nd point keep in mind under common law if an employer arbitrarily changes the employment "contract" without notice or consideration then they have constructively dismissed the employee. So, if the lovely chaps who run the NHL tried that, at least in Canada which is a common law nation you'd see the players become free agents as their contracts would have been voided. It may be different in the US as the US is not a common law nation. But if say the Leafs tried that, then in all likelihood they would not have a team to put on the ice - at least not a team in which the fans would recognize and be willing to pay money to watch. So who holds the advantage here? For a Canadian based team to even try that would be a very stupid business move that would in all likelihood destroy their business. (I do believe as a gentleman you should concede this point to me.)

                As for your point about union reps I have dealt with countless such reps. Some are as you portray them to be. The majority however, while being somewhat to the "left" of the political spectrum, are well educated, articulate and work very hard to represent their members. Perhaps more so than many agents. I think you may be surprised by that.

                As for Todd Bertuzzi let me make a couple of other points. I understand hockey is a violet game. There is lots of contact which I do not object to. I enjoy a hard hitting game and having played football and hockey I enjoyed the hitting myself. By hitting is part of the game and allowed under the rules. The baseball analogy you used (the death of Roy Chapman) was a horrible tragedy - but it was a risk of the game. Mr. Chapman wasn't "attacked." He didn't die in a brawl or anything like that. He was killed and tragically so as a normal part of the game. Much like Bill Masterton was in 1968 when he was killed as a result of a clean hit that just went tragically wrong.

                Now let's look at the Betruzzi/Moore incident. Was Mr. Moore injured in a normal part of the game, allowed by the rules (ie: like Bill Masteron) ? No he was not. Was he injured while being a willing participant in a fight? No he was not. Was he injured in a spur of the moment incident that got out of hand? Again, he was not. Todd Bertuzzi admitted he went on the ice to "fight" Steve Moore.Thus we see premeditation. Is fighting part of hockey? No, it is against the rules. When you fight someone are you trying to injure them? I believe a reasonable person (or anyone with a basic education and level of morality and ethics) would agree that when you attempt to drive your fist into another human beings face or head you are trying to inflict personal harm on them. So was Mr. Bertuzzi trying to injure or hurt Mr. Moore? The answer is quite clear. As well would a reasonable person not understand that when you assault a person from behind where they cannot defend themselves and then drive them head first into the ice, that you just may inflict great personal harm? I don't know about you but even as a pee wee I had that figured out. And to top it all off Bertuzzi was trying to hit a badly injured helpless Steve Moore again before he was stopped. If that had occurred Moore may well have died. Now would the NHL have cared about that? Would Bertuzzi had understood the magnitude of his actions? Having heard the man speak I doubt he is bright enough to hold a job as a custodian (not to impugn the reputation or intellect of people who are custodians) if he wasn't blessed with talent to play hockey, so I personally doubt it.

                Bill, the NHL should have looked at this incident and counted themself lucky that they escaped seeing a player up on muder or manslughter charges and then taken action to enusre such a thing would never happen again. But did they? We know the answer to that.

                As for your comment that he should not be in jail I disagree. Bill, people go to jail for various reasons. One is they are a threat to society. The other is punishment. Todd Bertuzzi lost money over this. Big frigging deal. Steve Moore may never work again. Who lost more? A few years in a penitentiary would have been just punishment. I am not saying Bertuzzi is a threat to the public - I am arguing for it for punishment. (Much like white collar criminals go to jail for punishment - not because the accountant who steals petty cash to pay for a bingo habit is considered a threat to the public. It is to punish them.)

                And finally answer this please. You always argue that the courts have no place in hockey or sports and they can police themselves. If that is the case why didn't Bertuzzi and the Canucks accept the NHL's judgment over Steve Moore's hit on Markus Naslund? Why didn't Marc Crawford publicly state that the Canucks accepted the NHL's decision and that they would take severe disciplinary action against any member of the team who went after Moore? The reason is simple and beyond argument - the players and coaches don't respect NHL justice. So why should society or the courts?

                Craig


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: William Underwood
                To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, March 09, 2007 1:00 PM
                Subject: [hockhist] Re: The "success" of the NHLPA


                That is right Craig the issue IS now..if there was no PA what you saw in
                terms of roll backs after the lock out would look like a spring dance! The
                owners would have had a smaller cap, maybe no floor, restricted FA until at
                least 30, and maybe even more nasty little bells and whistles. Do you REALLY
                think that without a PA these "nice chaps" would not try to turn back the
                clock? Sure the star player would still get his share but what about the
                lesser guy? He would be SCREWED and that is the majority of players.

                Now the problem with "common law" As you state is Craig is that pro teams
                have pro athletes by the short hairs maybe more than ANY other profession.
                Dismissal and short term employment is THE NORM. Simply put, a team can
                EASILY claim that a guy was ditched for failure to perform vis a vis another
                employee. Hell, they can even claim "we are on a youth movement." So if a
                guy REALLY wanted to challenge the NHL they can do it and spend the rest of
                their natural hockey lives waiting for the result in court while they play
                in the ECHL or LANH! In other words the teams would probably just trade the
                problem kids to US clubs for "future considerations" who could say "sorry
                Charlie.take a lesser deal or take a hike" and then sign lower priced guys.
                If the legal people questioned it they would just say "well we really wanted
                a pick to get so and so and it made sense from out salary standpoint.and we
                had no idea what the UDS club would do." Do you really put it past guys
                trying to do that? If I were a player I would not!

                On to the next issue...I respond with "welcome to the real world" Craig with
                the fact that VERY FEW people KNOW this business as good negotiators. There
                are more BAD agents out there than you can shake a stick at! To get
                COMPETENT TRAINED people who "know the business" you would be talking about
                the top 5% of agents who wouldn't touch this with a 20 foot pole. They can
                make FAR MORE money representing a few top players and NAILING teams for as
                much as they can than an entire team where they also have to represent the
                stiffs and get the cap divied up for them too. Add on to the fact that as a
                player I would not WANT an agent who is repping my entire team! He again
                would be responsible to divvy up the cap among us all which may mean LESS
                money for ME! If I have an individual rep he could care less about the 4th
                line wing..as far as he is concerned (unless it is his client of course)
                "cut the darn bum, bring in a minimum wage kid and give my guy the
                difference.by the way I represent a kid that IS a minimum wage kid how would
                you like him? You have this odd view that when it comes to salary talks
                players give a rat's behind about the other players! They DON'T, except of
                course in the context of "I am better than John on Montreal and John made
                3.6 mill, I deserve at least 3.8.."NO PRO athlete WANTS group representation
                on INDIVIDUAL contracts! They are out for the MOST that they can get! This
                is NOT some office where a certain job gets a certain pay, where Vinny da
                Teamster Rep negs a rate for all of the gang! In this office you MILK the
                employer for every DIME as an INDIVIDUAL that you can get if they are sucker
                enough to pay it. A truck driver is a truck driver a right wing is not just
                a right wing, he is a unique talent with a unique value that varies team to
                team and there are only so many people that can do that role in the world.
                He doesn't want "Vinny" slotting him in.he wants a Meehan or a Grossman
                worrying about HIM period. The only group talks that you want are to
                establish the rules for those talks. There is NO WAY your shop reps would be
                able to cut it for EACH INDIVIDUAL MAXXING OUT THEIR VALUE!

                Finally to Bertuzzi.about that lawsuit..it hasn't gotten past exchanging
                letters as of yet. We still may see a settlement. Now as far as the
                "adolescent world of the NHL goes" why don't we talk sports in general
                Craig, an NFL lineman assaults a ref, baseball pitchers toss a 100 mile an
                hour fast ball at a guy (which can and HAS killed people remember poor Roy
                Chapman) and we all remember Tomjanovich in hoops.Craig.sport SELL violence!
                Occasionally it gets out of hand and we police it. "Felon".yep Lt Girard is
                watching Bertuzzi now that David Janson is dead (For the young ones this guy
                was the original Fugitve before Harrison Ford), he didn't do a day in jail
                did he? Is hew even cleaning highways in one of those orange jumpsuits? So
                even the courts don't see a violent incident on a hockey rink in the same
                context as the way that you look at it, Joe the Accountant clocks Sam the
                Actuary over a dispute over a table.Was Bertuzzi out of line? You bet! And
                he was punished by the authorities that are in force. He sat a year, missed
                out on the World Cup, has lost money on endorsements etc. Should he be
                taking up jail space and eating up tax payer money? NO! Should he be out of
                hockey? Well he hasn't done anything since has he? Nor has there been
                another incident.

                Sorry Craig the day that we say "never hit each other, talk mean to one
                another and it doesn't count if you win or lose we'll love you keep you and
                pay you even if you go 0-82-0" the work environment is inherently violent.
                As long as we allow people to carry sticks, hit each other and do all sorts
                of things that would get me arrested on the street (in other words play
                hockey that allows checking) standards of behavior will differ form the
                halcyon world of the office where you must be PC at all times (as opposed to
                "check out the broad behind the penalty box" and nicknaming a team mate for
                his worst physical flaw, dumbest moment, ugliest girlfriend or worst aspect
                as a player and where locker room type of ragging is strictly forbidden.then
                there is the stuff that you say to opponents from "your
                wife/mom/sister/girlfriend/all four was/were great last night" to "nice name
                couldn't your parents spell") and you not only can't hit a co worker but
                can't come too close to them.

                It is a different world Craig with different rules and operating that the
                two are similar is the first mistake. Most people do not, hell courts
                generally don't, how do you think baseball is shielded more or less form
                anti trust? The courts did it in a series of decisions that they later on
                refused to over turn saying "it is up to Congress, we don't want to open
                ourselves up to cases about retroactive damages or to upset an apple cart
                that has behaved in this manner for decades." We have seen courts as a much
                as say that x amount of violence is tolerable.remember the judge in the
                McSorley case who basically said had he hit Brashear just a foot lower, I
                would have dismissed this case." The same standards just do not exist for
                sport and courts LONG AGO said "police yourself." Even on business issues
                they have confessed that they just don't understand the business well
                enough.which is a major contributing factor as to why league commissioners
                have accrued such power over the years. Pursuant to that, the ultimate judge
                here was Gary Bettman as advised by the guys that work for him who actually
                know something about hockey.and Bettman the lawyer and the hockey
                lieutenants said "indefinite suspension" and it translated out to "one
                year." We all have our own takes on this but the bottom line is the guy sat,
                he lost millions and a lot of honor.all of which is to a hockey player
                losing a lot. In the end all they really have is their reputation as player
                and the money that they made as a player but the first is far more important
                to a lot of guys. Fro the rest of his life Bertuzzi will be remembered for
                this.his name will no longer carry a ton of appearance demand, if he ever
                had a shot at the HOF (which eh really didn't) it is gone and he will be
                remembered for that night for the rest of his life not fro his goals, there
                is no redeeming that.you may pooh pooh it but to the athlete for whom fame
                is fleeting and in the long term you can NEVER hope to accomplish ANYTHING
                that will come as close to making your life validated to the general public
                (most of us have our "big moment" in our 40's or 50's) it is his LEGACY. And
                his children's too-who is your dad---for now on that will be "of yeah isn't
                he the guy that mugged the guy in a hockey game" not "WOW the guy that
                scored those goals." It sticks Craig.it sticks.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • William Underwood
                The lock out may be over but there will be a new CBA to negotiate eventually.no PA means no CBA which means the owners say whoopee it is time to for us to
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 11 10:58 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  The lock out may be over but there will be a new CBA to negotiate
                  eventually.no PA means no CBA which means the owners say "whoopee it is time
                  to for us to make hay"!



                  Secondly Craig to dump guys you need not change the terms of employment.you
                  only have to wait for their contract to be up, waive them or trade them. Now
                  you go PROVE to me in court that the Leafs dumped a guy just to change terms
                  or that they were not in a youth movement.TRY IT! GOOD LUCK!



                  On to reps.ok maybe not Louie but rather Lefty Len.they STILL will fail to
                  benefit their clients in gaining their MAXIMUM potential! If there is one
                  thing a player does NOT want it is a guy that says "feel sorry for the 4th
                  line guy, you are taking bread off of his table" or "workers unite from each
                  according to his ability to each according to their needs." They want the
                  other end "screw the 4th line guy let him eat cake and from each according
                  to his ability to each according to their potential times 2." They want an
                  INDIVIDUAL advocate who will squeeze out EVERY DIME for you plus one and
                  screw the group NOT a group rep who might screw you for the best interests
                  of the group. Hockey players are less Berkley Commune types and more like a
                  pack of hungry sharks, they band together when it suits them and eat each
                  other when that suits them.



                  On to Bertuzzi.first of all Chapman was beaned on a brush back.the pitcher
                  was not trying to chip away at the zone (even Mitch Williams had better
                  control than to hit a guy in the head when aiming for a strike) he was
                  tossing at the guy to brush him back.he was in effect assaulted by a deadly
                  weapon, a projectile traveling at his head at 80 plus MPH. So you are saying
                  that a brush back is part of baseball but a fight is not part of hockey.to
                  take your point that fighting is against the rules, is not hitting a batter
                  against the rules in baseball? It is ok to toss a hard ball at 100 MPH at as
                  guy and say "it is up to you to get your noggin out of the way."



                  Onto to Betruzzi. Yes being challenged to a fight is a part of the pro game.
                  Yes he did go out to fight Moore but fight is not "maim" so where is the pre
                  meditation. Back to the sad case of Chapman, the pitcher made w conscious
                  decision to throw a brush back.premeditation but lime Bertuzzi he did not
                  mean to kill him. Are you trying to injure someone what you fight them? Have
                  you even met an enforcer Craig? They are NOT out to "injure someone".And
                  any thinking person who has seen a hockey fight knows that they are
                  generally not all that dangerous.the refs are in when things play themselves
                  out and 890% of the time you fail to connect and when you do so because you
                  are tied up it is not at full force or even close to it. This is NOT a bar
                  room brawl Craig!



                  Yes he sucker punched him and that was bad. But was even it was more of a
                  challenging punch that even as a pee wee you EXPECT the player to turn and
                  respond to. And if we always saw guys consider body position in hits we
                  would not need a hitting from behind rule or have several guys in wheel
                  chairs from such hits.he challenged him and it all went wrong, was he trying
                  to kill Moore.no more so than the other player tried to cripple Travis Roy.
                  The kid meant to hit Roy and hit him hard but not to maim him fro
                  life.Bertuzzi was not aware of Moore's state immediately after the fall
                  which is what caused the injury not the punch or punches.NO ONE could know
                  IMEDIATELY that they put the guy out.



                  Did he do wrong? Yes he did.did he deserve to lose a year's pay and all the
                  bells and whistles. YES!



                  As for the personal attacks on Bertuzzi Craig .PLEASE! He may be no Rhodes
                  Scholar but he isn't as stupid as you portray him.



                  On to should the NHL feel lucky? Yes! But again Craig manslaughter charges
                  (sorry this would not be murder) have not had much of a track record for
                  full conviction in sports.in the end he would have gotten a light sentence
                  at MOST.



                  As far as jail goes.well that is very Christian of you Craig (which you
                  always profess) "one young man's life is a mess let us ruin another one."
                  First of all Bertuzzi lost FAR MORE than money! NONE of us will ever be able
                  to look at him as the same player again. His name, his family's name has
                  been forever tarnished. It is easy to pooh pooh this but then again you
                  don't understand pro athletes. In the end your name is all that you really
                  have. Sure you have money but you also go from hero to forgotten over night
                  in most cases. And when most people that you know are reaching the peak of
                  success you are past yours.all you have left is your name.that is gone for
                  him. I have seen guys become drunks or worse.



                  As far as "Moore may never work again." Ugh Craig the guy is out of Harvard
                  for God's sake! And he isn't a basket case! Even if he had lasted say 5
                  years in the league the best was still yet to come for him! He was a
                  marginal NHLer destined fro hockey trivial pursuit! It was ALWAYS that
                  Harvard degree that was going to get him to his peak.



                  In terms of your analogy to whiter collar crime.that is SILLY. What you
                  describe is called "embezzlement".no one hires an accountant at the risk of
                  it like a guy goes onto a rink with the risk of a fight! And embezzlement IS
                  a threat to society at large.are hockey goons? Yep I live in fear that some
                  guy will jump around a corner say "ya wanna go" and drop the gloves and
                  pummel me all of the time! I am becoming agoraphobic from it! We have had at
                  least 5 cases of hockey goons assaulting old ladies in my neighborhood alone
                  this week.while wearing skate guards of course! :-) Yep it is a real
                  danger.glad that you opened my eyes.who needs to watch my accountant (take
                  my money. please) let's watch those goons.well why don't we have a center
                  ice neck tie party!



                  Finally they never said that they didn't accept the league ruling. What they
                  said was "it WON'T happen again." The league ruling was after the fact and
                  if a team doesn't protect it's stars what is to keep the other team form
                  calling up some useless goon who they don't care if he is gone a for 10
                  games to take liberties? There is NOTHING that does that! Are the courts
                  going to come in and send the next Kasparaitis orn Marchment up the river
                  for Slough foot one.assault with intent to murder an anterior cruciate."The
                  fact is that Crawford was in NO position to do that! And even if I DID tell
                  my players privately to not go vigilante I would NEVER do so publicly. I'd
                  want Moore and any would be hacker to have their head up and hear footsteps.
                  I would go out of my way to say "it won't happen again" publicly. And take
                  disciplinary action against anybody who went after the guy? Why don't you
                  just give them a license and say "do as you please."? If Crawford did that
                  to me as one of his players I would be in screaming fro a trade! He would
                  =be failing to shield his players and publicly DARING the other team to do
                  what it may.



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Craig
                  Bill, I can see we are not going to agree so I ll back out of this after the following comments. First while you disagree, I believe that there is enough
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 12 4:37 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Bill,

                    I can see we are not going to agree so I'll back out of this after the following comments.

                    First while you disagree, I believe that there is enough protection under the employment laws of Canada and the US to ensure the players are protected. You disagree - that is fine.

                    I truly believe that hockey is a violent enough game without fighting. High speed contact is violent and part of the game. I don't have an issue with that. I believe that fighting in society unless one is being attacked and needs to defend oneself is morally wrong. The one exception is boxing where punching someone is part of the sport and in fact the entire object of the sport and there is consent on both sides. I also believe that one day a player will die in a fight. And then everyone who supported fighting in hockey will have to look at themself in the mirror and say" I helped kill that man, just so I could get my jollies."

                    As for my white collar analogy I believe it was very legitimate. I was pointing out that jail is used to protect society and as punishment. I truly believe that what Bertuzzi did should have been punished by jail time. You disagree -that is fine. But let's not get personal.

                    As for me being Christian - Bill you should be careful there. I am not aware of a single mainstream religion that preaches that a person who commits a crime should not face punishment. I am Roman Catholic and believe very strongly in the teachings of my church. My church does preach that while the church and god may forgive you you are also subject to the laws of society. The church has never spoken out against jail as punishment. Bill, you are usually a very classy guy and I am somewhat taken aback that you would go here.

                    Craig






                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: William Underwood
                    To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 1:58 PM
                    Subject: [hockhist] Re: The "success" of the NHLPA


                    The lock out may be over but there will be a new CBA to negotiate
                    eventually.no PA means no CBA which means the owners say "whoopee it is time
                    to for us to make hay"!

                    Secondly Craig to dump guys you need not change the terms of employment.you
                    only have to wait for their contract to be up, waive them or trade them. Now
                    you go PROVE to me in court that the Leafs dumped a guy just to change terms
                    or that they were not in a youth movement.TRY IT! GOOD LUCK!

                    On to reps.ok maybe not Louie but rather Lefty Len.they STILL will fail to
                    benefit their clients in gaining their MAXIMUM potential! If there is one
                    thing a player does NOT want it is a guy that says "feel sorry for the 4th
                    line guy, you are taking bread off of his table" or "workers unite from each
                    according to his ability to each according to their needs." They want the
                    other end "screw the 4th line guy let him eat cake and from each according
                    to his ability to each according to their potential times 2." They want an
                    INDIVIDUAL advocate who will squeeze out EVERY DIME for you plus one and
                    screw the group NOT a group rep who might screw you for the best interests
                    of the group. Hockey players are less Berkley Commune types and more like a
                    pack of hungry sharks, they band together when it suits them and eat each
                    other when that suits them.

                    On to Bertuzzi.first of all Chapman was beaned on a brush back.the pitcher
                    was not trying to chip away at the zone (even Mitch Williams had better
                    control than to hit a guy in the head when aiming for a strike) he was
                    tossing at the guy to brush him back.he was in effect assaulted by a deadly
                    weapon, a projectile traveling at his head at 80 plus MPH. So you are saying
                    that a brush back is part of baseball but a fight is not part of hockey.to
                    take your point that fighting is against the rules, is not hitting a batter
                    against the rules in baseball? It is ok to toss a hard ball at 100 MPH at as
                    guy and say "it is up to you to get your noggin out of the way."

                    Onto to Betruzzi. Yes being challenged to a fight is a part of the pro game.
                    Yes he did go out to fight Moore but fight is not "maim" so where is the pre
                    meditation. Back to the sad case of Chapman, the pitcher made w conscious
                    decision to throw a brush back.premeditation but lime Bertuzzi he did not
                    mean to kill him. Are you trying to injure someone what you fight them? Have
                    you even met an enforcer Craig? They are NOT out to "injure someone".And
                    any thinking person who has seen a hockey fight knows that they are
                    generally not all that dangerous.the refs are in when things play themselves
                    out and 890% of the time you fail to connect and when you do so because you
                    are tied up it is not at full force or even close to it. This is NOT a bar
                    room brawl Craig!

                    Yes he sucker punched him and that was bad. But was even it was more of a
                    challenging punch that even as a pee wee you EXPECT the player to turn and
                    respond to. And if we always saw guys consider body position in hits we
                    would not need a hitting from behind rule or have several guys in wheel
                    chairs from such hits.he challenged him and it all went wrong, was he trying
                    to kill Moore.no more so than the other player tried to cripple Travis Roy.
                    The kid meant to hit Roy and hit him hard but not to maim him fro
                    life.Bertuzzi was not aware of Moore's state immediately after the fall
                    which is what caused the injury not the punch or punches.NO ONE could know
                    IMEDIATELY that they put the guy out.

                    Did he do wrong? Yes he did.did he deserve to lose a year's pay and all the
                    bells and whistles. YES!

                    As for the personal attacks on Bertuzzi Craig .PLEASE! He may be no Rhodes
                    Scholar but he isn't as stupid as you portray him.

                    On to should the NHL feel lucky? Yes! But again Craig manslaughter charges
                    (sorry this would not be murder) have not had much of a track record for
                    full conviction in sports.in the end he would have gotten a light sentence
                    at MOST.

                    As far as jail goes.well that is very Christian of you Craig (which you
                    always profess) "one young man's life is a mess let us ruin another one."
                    First of all Bertuzzi lost FAR MORE than money! NONE of us will ever be able
                    to look at him as the same player again. His name, his family's name has
                    been forever tarnished. It is easy to pooh pooh this but then again you
                    don't understand pro athletes. In the end your name is all that you really
                    have. Sure you have money but you also go from hero to forgotten over night
                    in most cases. And when most people that you know are reaching the peak of
                    success you are past yours.all you have left is your name.that is gone for
                    him. I have seen guys become drunks or worse.

                    As far as "Moore may never work again." Ugh Craig the guy is out of Harvard
                    for God's sake! And he isn't a basket case! Even if he had lasted say 5
                    years in the league the best was still yet to come for him! He was a
                    marginal NHLer destined fro hockey trivial pursuit! It was ALWAYS that
                    Harvard degree that was going to get him to his peak.

                    In terms of your analogy to whiter collar crime.that is SILLY. What you
                    describe is called "embezzlement".no one hires an accountant at the risk of
                    it like a guy goes onto a rink with the risk of a fight! And embezzlement IS
                    a threat to society at large.are hockey goons? Yep I live in fear that some
                    guy will jump around a corner say "ya wanna go" and drop the gloves and
                    pummel me all of the time! I am becoming agoraphobic from it! We have had at
                    least 5 cases of hockey goons assaulting old ladies in my neighborhood alone
                    this week.while wearing skate guards of course! :-) Yep it is a real
                    danger.glad that you opened my eyes.who needs to watch my accountant (take
                    my money. please) let's watch those goons.well why don't we have a center
                    ice neck tie party!

                    Finally they never said that they didn't accept the league ruling. What they
                    said was "it WON'T happen again." The league ruling was after the fact and
                    if a team doesn't protect it's stars what is to keep the other team form
                    calling up some useless goon who they don't care if he is gone a for 10
                    games to take liberties? There is NOTHING that does that! Are the courts
                    going to come in and send the next Kasparaitis orn Marchment up the river
                    for Slough foot one.assault with intent to murder an anterior cruciate."The
                    fact is that Crawford was in NO position to do that! And even if I DID tell
                    my players privately to not go vigilante I would NEVER do so publicly. I'd
                    want Moore and any would be hacker to have their head up and hear footsteps.
                    I would go out of my way to say "it won't happen again" publicly. And take
                    disciplinary action against anybody who went after the guy? Why don't you
                    just give them a license and say "do as you please."? If Crawford did that
                    to me as one of his players I would be in screaming fro a trade! He would
                    =be failing to shield his players and publicly DARING the other team to do
                    what it may.

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • William Underwood
                    The problem with your thought that the laws are enough to protect the player is that sports are a unique industry. Courts have acknowledged it time and time
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 12 11:42 AM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      The problem with your thought that the laws are enough to protect the player
                      is that sports are a unique industry. Courts have acknowledged it time and
                      time again. Athletes are VULNERABLE workers with a fragile state of
                      employment. With the exception of the star player they are not very long
                      term labor. Once more they operate under an employment system where you have
                      a league structure where while the various entities are under one umbrella,
                      their competition IS the business hence they operate under an atmosphere
                      where the distribution of labor is THE vital concept to the business. But
                      how far do you allow for restrictive labor distribution? Well we saw for
                      over 70 years the owner’s view…DRACONIAN. Because of that system Craig time
                      and time again courts have acknowledged their right to do so and have been
                      loathe interfering under anti trust or any other law. Time and time again
                      they suggested collective bargaining to be the course of action. The problem
                      is that you CONSISTANTLY confuse sports with a normal office place.
                      Decisions after decision right on up to the Supreme Court have said
                      otherwise as does conventional logic. What other business needs you to be
                      drafted out of college to an employer so as to enable enough companies to be
                      able to compete and that that one on one battle of companies IS the product?
                      How many jobs can trade you 3000 miles away and expect you to report within
                      24 hours? How many have waivers and can sell you? How many professions have
                      such a short window of employment? Pro players are on one hand have all of
                      the security of a migrant worker yet get wages that are higher than any
                      other profession. Hence we have a bunch of guys where substantial money is
                      involved yet security is fragile…you are one coaching change or injury away
                      sometimes from the end…You only have a short time at the prime of your
                      career and maximum sales value which is different form even a migrant worker
                      who can work for life…you MAY have 7-8 years MAX and a lot of lesser guys,
                      well you may only be up for a short time…remember Steve Penny or Jim Carey?




                      Craig, I have worked inn leagues with no PA and I can tell you two things.
                      One, NO league in this world wants a PA! With no PA you can divide and
                      conquer. There is no common database of player salaries and many agents
                      would refuse to report it without being forced to and the clubs would not be
                      forced to. With individual contracts this means HAVOC! A common rep for a
                      team would enable you to under price stars to give lesser guys more money
                      under a cap. You can end effective free agency. I have seen teams not want
                      to pay family benefits, severance pay and even relocation money and get away
                      with it! Players know if they rock the boat it will be over for most as they
                      are expendable! The star won’t challenge the system usually because it works
                      ok for him so he goes along with it more or less. No PA means owners
                      paradise and I have YET to hear a PEEP from the labor department or a
                      player…unless there is a PA there to defend him.



                      There is a PA in each sport for a reason. When the NFLPA de certified it
                      found out the hard way that this is not a great course of Action…note it is
                      back. In absence of a PA the employer has A LOT of leeway in sports because
                      it is a unique profession. And leagues have batteries of lawyers and
                      lobbyists to get their way. Have you even considered the fact that it is the
                      PA that gains the players a lot of their endorsement and personal property
                      rights money? PA’s handle a lot of the card money etc via a group
                      negotiation…before; a guy would get locked into a deal before he even hit
                      the majors and be STUCK with it. What about agent certification, you utterly
                      IGNORE that one! Do you realize how many would be agents are crooks that
                      would make Eagleson look like an angel! And agents do more than just
                      contracts they get into a player’s financial guts! Outside of the wife and
                      mom and dad the agent is THE MOST important person in a player’s life…and
                      given the divorce rate he may even be number one as HE will be the guy that
                      sees to it that you don’t get killed by alimony! :-) If he is poorly
                      qualified or a crook you can see all of that money that you make go RIGHT
                      out the door! These guys are kids Craig when they come into HUGE money,
                      without the proper HONEST person taking care of them…It is the PA that
                      screens these guys. We have seen players lose millions from crooks or
                      incompetents in the past, there are more glib charlatans in expensive suits
                      that talk a good game (most con men do) out there. I have met some and seen
                      some in action. It is SCARY…I have seen what they can do to kids and the kid
                      won’t listen to advice…the guy looks good, talks a good game…then a year
                      later they call you asking “what do I do.” With no PA this would and DID
                      happen in the NHL…CLASSIC example…I knew an agent back in the
                      pre-certification days…a nice guy and all but a bit naïve. He wanted to
                      promote a hockey camp with me and I had one issue, what if the foreign team
                      that was to do it failed to show…his solution…”we put no refund in the
                      brochure. “ To which I said (after getting over mild shock) as this guy WAS
                      a lawyer “That will land us in jail…”no refund” means that if you fail to
                      attend an event that is held you kiss your money good bye NOT if the
                      promoter fails to provide the event.” He just said “oh”. Now I don’t think
                      he was a cork, I had just heard one too many stupid things form this guy in
                      then past but here he was representing a few NHL players! Another case in
                      point, I know of at least one agent who there was STRONG evidence was
                      receiving kick backs form a club in the minors….it seemed like his clients
                      ALWAYS ended up with that club even when you offered good money to the point
                      that if we were all being outbid that club would have busted the cap and
                      they were NOT a rich enough club for that…The league could not prove it and
                      there was no real recourse. A strong PA COULD stop that as in the end his
                      players were being under sold. But in a non PA league, as I say careers are
                      fragile and the players didn’t want to alienate the club…so they never felt
                      empowered to do anything knowing that they could end up out of hockey if
                      they did…



                      You THINK the law shields players…THINK AGAIN! Baseball players sat for over
                      70 years seeing one decision after another say “we don’t want to butt in”,
                      “we think the previous court was wrong in anti trust shielding but as it has
                      been in place for 50 years we feel that it should be up to Congress to
                      remove it.” And every league has lobbyists so Congress butts out too! Only a
                      PA could butt in…and when courts DO decide against leagues they merely
                      change the rules in another less than satisfactory manner from the player
                      POV. The PA is your ONE shield form a work environment that can be radically
                      against you!



                      In terms of fighting it is a business…and we are FAR more likely to see a
                      guy die from a broken neck or spine form a cheap shot. We have had hockey
                      fights at how many levels for how many decades? How many deaths have we
                      seen? Yet guys HAVE died in games…If one happens, and we pray that it does
                      NOT, it would be an ACCIDENT! No one “would have helped a guy die” any more
                      than fans killed Bill Masterson by not insisting that helmets be worn or
                      cheering a hard check.



                      In terms of white collar analogy…the law is CLEARLY broken with
                      embezzlement…how far the law extends onto an athletic venue has ALWAYS been
                      an issue of controversy. I suppose that you believe the Chris Simon should
                      be doing 25 years not 25 games…Incidentally I think he got away light…you
                      want to talk about assault, this was MUCH worse than Bertuzzi, what he did
                      was FAR more dangerous and likely to end badly. And it wasn’t a fight…it was
                      more like Tie Domi…an attack.



                      My apologies if what I said offended you, I did not mean to. But what I am
                      saying is that as Christians we are also taught to “forgive”. Society HAS
                      punished Bertuzzi a court says he doesn’t deserve jail time, a league meted
                      out punishment and even the fact that we are even debating this says society
                      still is getting its digs in. I believe that God watches over these things
                      and has his reasons for why things work out the way that they do…and each
                      night when I hit the knees I ask “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive
                      those who trespass against us…” I hope that he doesn’t want to send me to
                      that worse jail for my sins especially those that were heat of the moment
                      ones that have had unintentional bad consequences…that is what happened to
                      Bertuzzi, he was caught up in the heat of the moment and wanted to fight a
                      guy, he didn’t want him out of the game or seriously hurt. Just like I think
                      God deals with me for transgressions like that with less than hell or really
                      bad punishment in this life and forgives me and moves on I think we have to
                      look at similar forgiveness. ANY soul can be redeemed but first there has to
                      be the prospect of forgiveness. We are also taught to give unto God that
                      which is God’s and unto Caesar that which is Caesar.” Caesar has spoken with
                      the sentence he received form the court. And God speaks in his own way and
                      ours is not to question but ours is to offer forgiveness. This is what I am
                      alluding to Craig. As Christians we are not supposed to carry over ill
                      feelings and ill wishes toward others. Wishing Bertuzzi jail time seems to
                      me to be a bit against that great commands of “love one another” and “let he
                      be judged as he judges others.” I think that you are a good Christian but
                      please think about that a little…



                      Is the hockey fight a thing for Christians to avoid? I am not so sure…St
                      Paul seemingly was a boxing and wrestling fan. And I know priests who seem
                      to have no issue with it. A hockey fight is FAR more like boxing than an
                      assault. The guys who do it generally 95 % of the time are prone to it the
                      others have no problem with it. If somebody mugged little Sergei Samsonov,
                      THAT would be WRONG! But most fights are two wiling participants. There is
                      less malice than people think. I have sent the same two guys that fought
                      have a beer after the game and actually had lunch once with two long time
                      rival heavy weights who sat there talking like two professionals who really
                      ADMIRED and respected each other. It was all good natured, they even liked
                      each other! It was a free agent camp and they went at it that afternoon! I
                      see boxers have more “hate” for a rival going into the ring and ditto with
                      football players before a game build up a near blood fever about an
                      opponent. MOST fights start out with a simple “ya wanna go.”. “Sure, I’ll
                      go.” “Well let’s go.” No ethnic slurs, nothing personal, all very much to
                      the point “let’s do it.” Now there are other fights that are to take care of
                      business for a cheap shot. Now that is retribution that could happen three
                      ways in hockey…a NASTY plow into the boards in no man’s land where guys get
                      crippled, use of the stick where a guy can be killed or a fight. Which is
                      the most benign? NONE are legal incidentally…Hockey is unique, you have men
                      traveling at nearly 20 miles an hour in a walled in enclosure carrying
                      several feet of lumber with razors attached to their feet…no other sport has
                      such lethal potential! In football or hoops you can cheap shot a guy but
                      there are no walls, your speed is much slower and there is no stick. In
                      baseball there is no contact and only the pitcher really can hurt you
                      (unless you are Ty Cobb with a hip high spike slide) via the bean ball…hence
                      it is no wonder that fighting has developed more in this game.



                      Can I live without fighting? Yes. But is it a sinful pleasure? I question
                      that and if so in the world of vices it is a VERY minor one. And normal,
                      good people not only enjoy it but are often the pugilists…I know a number of
                      these guys and A LOT are quiet serene folks. In fact one was “humanitarian
                      of the year” with his club. He was ALWAYS at Children’s Hospitals and ding
                      charity work while the “good guys” you know the ones that never dropped the
                      gloves were busy in their own social causes like seeing how many girls (some
                      doubtlessly underage) they could have on a string at a time and doing
                      serious scientific work to see how much alcohol the human bloodstream can
                      handle at any one given time…:-) Which is the better man?



                      Sorry for the sermon gang! But just wanted to make a point…



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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