There. I said it. That should be it. The selection of the “Publish” button is imminent.

But I’ll elaborate.

I don’t follow hockey at all. I didn’t grow up with it, so I’ve never cared about it. Honestly, I don’t think ESPN does, either, or else they’d keep that Barry Melrose fella on TV (SportsCenter) for more than three minutes during highlights. That’s not a shot at the sport — just a valid reflection on its poor performance in major national sports media outlets outside of major markets in America I have nothing against the sport. I’ve just never been a fan. However, I do hear about various news stories that come out of the NHL on a yearly basis, and I also enjoy hearing about the drama that goes on in the said sport during its postseason, which is what brings me here.

Last night featured a game 7 between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. From what I heard, the Bruins blew a 3-2 series advantage and the Canadiens (I hate spelling “Canadians” like that… but damn it, that’s the team name, or the Habs, which I don’t even know what the hell means) waltzed into the TD Garden and put a whoopin’ on that ass in front of the home crowd.

Directly after hockey games, it’s a tradition for a “handshake line” (that’s just what I call it) to take place where, you guessed it, players from both teams high-five, shake hands, whatever, when it’s all said and done.

First of all, to hell with tradition. On a side note, tradition is one of the contributing reasons why baseball is largely irrelevant in TV ratings compared to football or basketball. But I digress.

So, apparently, Dumbshit #1 (Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins) told Dumbshit #2 (Dale Weise of the Montreal Canadians… Canadiens… Habs… fuck their team name as hard as you can) in the handshake line, “I’m going to fucking kill you next year”.

And now the media’s going batshit.

And so are the typical, sensitive, politically correct, overly liberal hounds of justice on the internet.

I guess I’m nonplussed. More stoic and non-reactive than anything.

I did some research on Dumbshit #1 (Lucic) and I read the words “dirty player, scumbag, douchenozzle, douche canoe, piece of shit…” and the claims appear to be, y’know, legitimate considering his track record as the guy obviously has an affinity for avidly taking his stick and touching the crotches of other grown men with it as violently as possible.

Hey, maybe this Lucic dipshit (dumbshit, dipshit, nearly the same insult, but variety is the spice of life, no?) has some kind of convoluted BDSM/masochistic fetish — like a modified hockey-related form of it. Perhaps he gets off to such tactics? I mean, I remember back in 2006-2007, hearing about that Sean Avery guy who, back then, was known as the toughest son of a bitch in hockey, and he collected (collects?) women’s handbags/purses. Hey, stay classically masculine, hockey. Heh. Again, I digress.

So, apparently, this news story of Dumbshit #1 telling Dumbshit #2 (Dale Weise) that he’ll “fucking kill him next year” is outraging people because of that very statement and because of Dumbshit #1’s track record of being a dirty, cheap player.

Can I just say this? (Of course I can; this is my blog, fuckers!) In boxing and MMA, trash talk is inevitable and often. Actually, make that in every sport out there. Checkers, too (“I’m gonna jump over both of your red checkers, silly bitch!” — example). But in boxing and MMA, I’ve heard plenty of things. In between both bouts between Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva, Sonnen often disrespected Silva’s country of Brazil by calling it a third world dab of dirt. He also said, and I quote, “You can tell Anderson’s wife that when I get down there, that I’m gonna slap her on the ass and that she better have a steak ready for me, cooked medium rare just the way I like it, and maybe she can get down on her knees for me so that she can get a gist of what a real man tastes like”.

Now, Chael Sonnen was obviously selling the fight, and there were a lot of humorless people on the internet crying foul, but those are the breaks of the fight game. After they fought, Silva and Sonnen shook hands, hugged and Silva invited him to a Brazilian barbecue, to which Sonnen accepted to the hinging stipulation that his food must be cooked medium rare… the way he likes it.

Shaking hands after a bout in MMA and boxing is commonplace, though. You’ve likely just spent multiple rounds receiving and reciprocating punishment with your opponent. You go to war with the person you are in the octagon or ring with. You expend all of that aggression and testosterone-fueling energy.

But that’s not the case with team sports.

Now you might say, in this case, that for hockey, “They expend a lot of that same energy, too, by decking the shit out of each other! And oh! Hockey players will fight, too!” Yeah… that “fighting” in hockey is a non-sequitur. Not even fighting. It’s like 10 seconds of two guys in hockey pads/gear flailing their noodle arms at each other like estrogen-fueled teen girls. Give me a break. That’s the antithesis of ‘fighting’. A joke. As for the decking, shoulder charges or whatever you call ’em in hockey, that’s a quick hit and you are up, as opposed to rounds of gruelling punishment and energy in MMA or boxing. You don’t dole out the same consistent energy.

The Bruins choked a 3-2 series they had in the bag away… they lost at the TD Garden… humiliated in front of the home crowd… and not even 45 seconds after the game’s over you ask its participants from both the winning and losing sides to shake hands after the losers’ dreams have been crushed and now they’ll have to sit around with their thumbs up their asses until next season while watching the team that beat them move forward?

Let’s be pragmatic and realistic, not idealistic and hypothetical.

“But Troy!!!! They grow up playing the sport! They should be used to it! Act like you’ve been there before!!! They need to learn class!!! Dumbshit #1 should face a fine!!!”

Ah, I love the “learn class!” argument. It’s comical to me. It’s so easy to type it from a keyboard afar from the situation.

Let’s go to another sport. The greatest coach in the history of team sports (I’m obviously not biased… look ahead… move along now), Red Auerbach, who coached the greatest sports franchise ever (… move along now… no bias here), always said what I agree with, and I’m paraphrasing but: “Shaking hands in sports is the phoniest shit I’ve ever seen. Why would I want to shake the hand of the men who just kicked me and my team’s ass? I’d rather so much as give them the middle finger, come back a year later even better and give them a taste of their own medicine!”

I’m all for sportsmanship, but I’ve never saw forced handshaking as sportsmanship. It all feels fake, contrived and ingenuine.

Maybe I’m just cut from a different cloth. I’ve always been uber competitive. My mom’s 63 and, if he were alive, my dad would have turned 60 last month. I got my competitiveness from my dad — when we’d play basketball outside in the driveway during my childhood and he’d beat me, I’d get so angry, and he’d laugh his ass off. We’d play basketball all evening long. I’d practice every day until I beat him. He taught me so much about the world during what felt like a short time I got to have him in my life before he passed away. But in this case, he taught me about perseverance, never giving up, competition, adapting, improving and becoming better than my opponent(s) in every facet.

Shaking hands? Bullshit. It has its place. But I find it just as the title of this post says: overrated.

As for what Dumbshit #1 (Lucic) said to Dumbshit #2 (Weise), I’m not bothered by it. I guess that everything I’ve heard/seen in combat sports has made me insensitive and cold. I simply don’t think it’s a big deal.

Is he supposed to say, “Hey, good luck there, guy!” Fuck you. Fuck that. That’s as phony as anything I can imagine.

Any big time fans of the sport that know more about these players want to chime in and elucidate me with some refreshing insight/perspective? You are more than welcome to in the comment section!

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4 thoughts on “Handshaking in Sports is Overrated (Troy Talks Hockey, Milan Lucic and Dale Weise!)

  1. I think the handshaking in the days when guys had two jobs and one was playing hockey were fine. But the conga line thing now should be cut off. Maybe it takes something like this to create the momentum for change. Forced niceness is just that. One team just permanently failed for the last year at all they do for a living and the other reigns supreme and lives to see another day. In this instance it does not surprise me #1 acted out. He seems the type from what I’ve seen of the guy. Celebrates a little too much..which explains why he couldn’t handle another team’s celebration.

    1. Ah. See, I don’t know a lot about him. I heard there was an incident in the Detroit series where he hit another guy in the crotch. Seems a bit wild.

      I guess I can’t say much, considering that in another sport I was a big fan of one Bruce Bowen who had some tricks up his sleeve in his day.

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