[00:00:00] You’re listening to the podcast Detroit Network visit http://www.podcastdetroit.com for more information.
This is Grand Design podcast with DJ and Jerry Grand where we link the chains of reason of sports politics and culture.
[00:00:34] Welcome to episode 8 of The Grand Design Podcast. With me, once again is my brother Jerry Grand
DJ: and also is Ryan our engineer
Ryan: Hey, Hey
DJ: I’d tell you how to get a hold of us. First, our website GrandDesignPodcast.com and you can email us at Granddesignspodcast@yahoo.com. You can follow us on Twitter @Granddesignspod and follow us on Instagram @GrandDesignspodcast. Today, [00:01:04] I’m going to be talking about something a little more personal and it’s has to do with hockey in an injury. Just to lay a little groundwork, I used to love playing hockey. I started playing about 1995 and we got up to four times a week in ice hockey was everything they would get me through my work week. It would be what I would look forward to playing played a couple years at the Suburban Hockey school to learn to get better and eventually we started playing [00:01:34] in adult No check hockey leagues, USA sanctioned adult no check hockey league in Melvindale, we played for a little while and it on December 10th 2003 on a very very cold night. I did not want to go I am I pregnant wife was five months pregnant at the time was laying in bed and I crawled up next to her and I said I didn’t want to go and she said “Stay, don’t go.” Well I went anyways, I love playing and turned out to be a very, very fateful [00:02:04] night. It’s an hour away from where I live, so that show you the dedication to play, how it was. I mean, we love playing this particular day. Just tell you how it’s going on for that game, after the first period I’m usually soaked in sweat, totally soaked in sweat. This time none because the players who are on my wing before and after me, we’re taking extra-long shifts. So, when I got out there, I end up taking real short shifts. [00:02:34]
Jerry: We had too many guys that day, too
DJ: This is true, but it doesn’t matter. The point is, they were all taking longer shifts
Jerry: and too many guys equal to no ice time.
DJ: Very limited ice time. Well in the second period, the puck was going around the boards around my goalie and the lat that was basically the last thing I remember because I was hit from behind by a guy who was just a beast compared to me [00:03:04] so much bigger. I was quicker than him. He couldn’t keep up with me. So, he cross-checked me from behind. Jerry, you saw it and what it was your vision of it?
Jerry: When you were going for the park instead of him going for the puck, in a non-checking league, wanted to be Bob Probert or Joey Koser. He took his distinct cross the back of your neck and just not your flat to the ground. The problem was you didn’t stay down too long. You kind of got up a little bit because he the
Jerry: well at first but [00:03:34] .
DJ: Well. I was I lost at least two minutes of at least two maybe five minutes. I don’t know. I didn’t have a stopwatch on me, but the weird part is being conscious of coming back to consciousness. It started out in a really small circle and got bigger and bigger and the outside was all white 100% white and got bigger and bigger and there was no sound until finally it was like zoomed out really quickly and all of a sudden sound came back. I turned and looked with my head and [00:04:04] he was getting in The Penalty Box.
Jerry: well, basically when you got up, I asked if you were okay, you shook the dust on your cobwebs and you were more angry about your ice time.
DJ: Well, that was the reason I got up because I said and I literally I used the F-word to myself. I said, “ain’t going to happen. F-it, they’re not going to take any more of my time away. I put one on one knee up put the other knee up and finished my shift, but I knew something was wrong
Jerry: the game for that matter.
DJ: Yeah, I finished the game. There’s the regret. [00:04:34] I should have skated right off the ice then. But I knew something was wrong when we came to the bench. I turned to my brother and I said, “Jerry there’s something wrong with me.” I could tell there’s something off.
Ryan: So, did you have like shooting pain and like,
DJ: Oh, I tingling I had I had my extremities both feet and legs were, I want to say totally numb but you know, like pins and needles.
Ryan: Wasn’t feeling right
DJ: Yes exactly. I just knew something was off and I had a headache.
DJ: I had a headache like you would not believe
Ryan: Like you [00:05:04] got hit by a car.
DJ: Yeah, it made me think I had a concussion. So, at the game ended I was so bad. I told my brother Jerry, I said, “I can’t drive.” it was my car, I said “you’ve got to drive home,” and he did. I had kind of bad insurance at the time. It was an HMO. So, you had to go see a doctor, get a referral, go to another doctor. And then finally when I got to the doctor I was going for a concussion. That’s my reason for going as I thought I had a concussion
Ryan: Seems like you got [00:05:34] knocked out. I mean, that’s what it sounds like to me.
DJ: So that’s why I thought I had these ringing headaches and the doctor said to me, “Nope, you don’t have a concussion.” He said, “actually you’re at the wrong doctor, but I’ll take an x-ray for you.” He took the X-ray. He gave me a referral for another doctor, of course the HMO and sent me home. Well on the way home, I got a call from him and that’s when I knew something was wrong. He told me don’t get in a car accident which how [00:06:04] can you possibly totally do that?
DJ: He also told me, don’t walk on ice, but he wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. So, the exact diagnosis is what I mean by what is wrong.
DJ: He just said there’s something wrong and you need to get back to the doctor, he told me. The doctor he referred me to was Dr. Thomas out of St. Joseph’s in Ann Arbor. So, I scheduled the appointment and I go in and this was the injury happened December 3rd. It wasn’t until the end of January when I finally got to see Dr. Thomas. [00:06:35]
Ryan: Oh, my gosh, yes, so much time in between it all
DJ: it is and once again, I didn’t know the extent of what was wrong with me at this time. So, I see Dr. Thomas, he takes another x-ray has an MRI done, but that I had to come back from them. Right but he shows me in the X-ray that my orbital bone the bone that sticks through your skull was off by 14 millimetres. He said that it normally is shouldn’t shift more than two millimeters and, in the X-ray, you can literally see the bone [00:07:05] way away from where it should have been. It was scary.
Ryan: It was terrifying.
DJ: I went to other doctors to see for headaches and I knew it wasn’t a concussion this time, but I’m still having headaches. So, I was going to other doctors and at least the three doctors that I saw said the same thing, “You’re lucky to be alive or not in a wheelchair.”
DJ: When I went back after the MRI, Dr. Thomas told me what the extent of these the injury I had fractured my C2 [00:07:35] they called it The Hangman’s fracture. That’s what happens when they hang you and that’s the bone that snaps and that’s what’s kills you.
Ryan: Oh, Okay
DJ: He did one surgery in February of 2004 and all he did was put a bridge wire in and it failed almost immediately. He did a second surgery in September of 2004. Now, the first time at the first surgery took a piece of bone out [00:08:05] of my left hip the second time he took a piece of bone on my right hip and try to fuse that with instruments. That lasted for about two months and this is the freaky part. At the time, I had one of the older refrigerators with the freezers on the top now, I can’t do that has to be at the bottom. I can’t even reach up and I went to open the refrigerator the freezer door and it felt like spiders went from my chest crawling, I mean a thousand of them crawling [00:08:35] all the way up to my forehead to my top of my head and I had broken the instruments at that time it is there was done when I called Dr. Thomas and went back and saw him, he basically cut me loose said, “There’s nothing I can do for you. I don’t know. I can’t help you. You’re on your own.”
Ryan: How can a doctor say that?
DJ: it was devastating. He said, “if you want you can go to Detroit Medical Center in downtown Detroit or you can go find the doctor of your own. [00:09:05] I had no idea what to do. I was very fortunate though. I found the doctor who actually saved my life. His name is Dr. Tech Moon Soo. He just he’s a very funny guy and he’s brilliant I owe him, I literally owe him my life for what he did for me when I went and saw him, he didn’t take any x-rays, he’s just saw the x-rays and MRI that were taken previously. And after he saw them and left me in the room for about 10-15 minutes. He came back [00:09:35] looked me in the eye and said, “If I don’t fix you soon, you’re going to be a quadriplegic and on a breathing machine.” So, it got even more heavy at that point.
Ryan: Yeah, like it life’s like slowly crumbling, you know,
DJ: and she was she was pregnant the time like I told you
Ryan: Exactly like no better time. Right?
DJ: Well, wait, she was pregnant at the time for the first surgery about by this time, we had just had our little girl. So, we she was not even one years old at the time we saw Dr. Soo. Okay, so it was still [00:10:05] a very, very shaky time. And especially to lose a husband at that point of time would have been totally devastating for any time let alone. So, we go for the surgery and I knew that day that it was just it was a bad feeling. I just had this really bad feeling that something was going to go wrong. When I got out of the car, every bit of my rational mind said run. Run the opposite way do not go in there. I [00:10:36] don’t want to it took a lot of Courage.
DJ: It really did for me go into the hospital that day because I just knew that something wasn’t right and then two failed surgeries and a third one on the way. It just…the odds were against me. He told me before the surgery, that it was just going to be one day that they plan on taking two ribs out of me and putting it up into my neck along with rods and screws. Well, that’s not what happened. All [00:11:06] they could do that day was take out the two ribs. Yeah. Well, they didn’t tell me that.
DJ: So, there’s scheduled the second surgery for the next day was October 15th of 2005 is when this surgery happened the first one. They tell me you’re going to have in the second surgery the next day at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I sent my wife home, of course, you know the stay at the hospital for the night and expecting it for me to call her when it gets close [00:11:36] to the surgery. I couldn’t sleep that night. I literally got zero sleep whatsoever and it all through the night, I’m saying to myself, “It’s okay. I have the day. I could sleep during the day. I don’t have to worry about it, I can’t get to sleep later. Six o’clock in the morning, they come in and say we’re taking you down now. I had no sleep and my wife wasn’t there.
DJ: I had to call my wife and just the look in her eyes when I saw her. It was not a good time. [00:12:06] The Omen really happened on the way to the surgery that day This is the second day. There were there pushing me on the on the bed and the doors opened into the where the elevators were there like three or four sets of elevators one elevator opened up and this gentleman came out with a nurse assumed it’s a nurse, could have been a doctor straddling his chest. He was pale and just pumping his chest
DJ: Yeah, I said I look at [00:12:36] that. I said this isn’t good. So, we go into the room and I didn’t know this at the time but Dr. Soo came in two days later and told me the second he cut me open, I lost a pint of blood and went white as a sheet. They also lost my spinal signal for two hours. So, I was technically paralyzed for two hours on the table. I don’t know how anyone else [00:13:06] experiences being under anesthesia for a surgery, but for every surgery I had before that it was just out.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah
DJ: this particular surgery. I remember seeing these neon flashes of light. I mean just going back and forth and it wasn’t for very long, but I remember seeing it. Well Doctor Soo explained to me why that happened. When he lost the signal to my skull to my spine, he took my skull and was shifting it back [00:13:36] and forth.
Ryan: This is so uncomfortable, I mean you obviously went through it. I know this is crazy.
DJ: Oh, it’s very crazy. Especially. Well, I went through it but didn’t know it at the time
Ryan: True, but just still it’s like just no, keep going. I’m sorry.
DJ: it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s just that it’s weird seeing these neon flashing lights and then knowing what it was later, and he obviously he obviously found the signal and he put the I have two ribs now. Going for that are fused into my neck and [00:14:06] my cervical spine and I have two rods that go from my skull to the third vertebrae with like eight screws in there and a lot of pain.
DJ: And a lot of pain almost every day, I’m in pain
DJ: the more I do the more pain I’m in, but that’s beside the point. Dr. Soo came in the two days later the first day you let me rest he comes in two days later and he’s, “you the man, you the man, you made it through.” So apparently, he wasn’t thinking I was going to make it through it or he [00:14:36] wouldn’t even said that so that was…that made me feel good, actually. It did, it put a smile on my face. He was said, “you must have Chinese genes.”
Ryan: Yeah. (Laughs)
DJ: So I mean he was a he’s a very funny guy and like I said, he’s a genius, he saved my life.
DJ: Well, he also told me and he could have been looking out for me when he told me this. But he said it was just going to be a soft collar. Wasn’t be any big deal. That’s not the case.
DJ: He put me in a Halo. And that Halo that name [00:15:06] is very ironic because what it is, is a medieval torture device.
Ryan: Okay. So, what does that explain that
DJ: a Halo is…they put a it’s like a chest brace
DJ: connected those rods connected to the chest the front part of it and the back part of it and the rods go up and they put this the rods are connected to this. What is called the Halo, it goes around your head.
DJ: Here’s the scary part. Thick screws they take and [00:15:36] screw them literally into your head, I have two scars. I have two in the forehead and two in the back of my head
Ryan: Do they have them that tight?
DJ: Oh, oh, yeah, I bleed when they put them in because it came down to my eye and I’ll tell a story about that when they were putting it in. In the hospital, they put it in they were allowed to give me some anesthesia local so that I didn’t feel it quite as bad going in. And the two women that put [00:16:06] them in they were just beautiful owns a Latina ladies just brown eyes just beautiful. And another was a Doctor who had blonde hair and blue eyes and she wore glasses and glasses do something to me.
DJ: So, the blond doctor, I’m assuming she was a doctor, was actually almost on top of me and the other lady who was more of a technician was on the blonde was on the left side of me the technician on the right side of me and as they’re screwing it [00:16:36] into my head. I literally said to myself, “this is what I get for wanting to be screwed by two girls at the same time.”
Ryan: Yeah as give us a that’s so funny, oh man.
DJ: My wife is the corner lot of the whole thing to yeah.
Ryan: So at least see there’s a positive spin on it, right?
DJ: Yeah. Yes. I got my sense of humor out of
DJ: but the scary part was when I got out of the hospital they wouldn’t allow to give me anesthesia out of the hospital for that and they have to tighten the [00:17:06] screws.
Ryan: So just all this pressure in your head.
DJ: Oh, yeah and let me tell you when she tightened it that was immense, immense pain and besides that when you’re in the Halo, you can’t change your facial expression.
DJ: You can’t smile. You can’t frown you can’t cry, nothing because it’s…think of the screws into your forehead. They are tight pulling everything. So, if you change the facial expression the tightness just brings [00:17:36] a whole bunch of pain. So your I was stuck in that same facial expression for almost eight weeks.
Ryan: That’s crazy.
DJ: Oh, it is
Ryan: but it’s necessary. You know, that’s like what you need especially like with your spine and all that, you know, your head moving around could just
DJ: oh absolutely
Ryan: make it so much worse, you know, so
DJ: absolutely and I wasn’t used to it because you know, when you walk, you know, when doors and stuff but these things came out they were out a good maybe 6 inches to 8 inches [00:18:06] in front of your and so I wasn’t used to it. So, I would hit walls and stuff when walking by and it would reverberate. My little girl who she was about 1 at the time. She recoiled and she first saw me because her daddy
Ryan: Yeah, like a Frankenstein
DJ: you’re absolutely right. To her, that’s probably exactly what I was. I was a Monster.
DJ: and when she finally warmed up to me and I would pick her and put her up in my arms should grab a the bars.
Ryan: Don’t do that.
DJ: No. Well, she [00:18:36] didn’t want them on me. I can tell she was trying to get him off of me and she would shake me and I would have to literally I would have to go with the flow. I wouldn’t I could not hold back at all because and she was only less than one so she really wasn’t that strong
DJ: but still it was it was a weird experience that having to see your daughter like that for the first time. I’m coming home.
Ryan: Did you talk to the guy ever after the fact?
DJ: no, never did. Try to do lawsuits
DJ: and [00:19:06] well, there’s one lawyer that I’ll never ever go to them. Again. The one that you want 800 and call them with that name after it.
DJ: Yeah. Well, he literally says to me, I called the Canton office He says, “I’m not saying you don’t have a lawsuit, but because you didn’t get carried off in a Stretcher, I’m not taking your lawsuit.” I see those commercial all the time. They say they care for people they care for you and you’re injured. They didn’t care for me one bit [00:19:36] because he didn’t think that he could he didn’t work hard enough.
DJ: Well he’d have to work too hard to get to win the case. I think a lot of the problem was and this is for hockey in general. It’s what I call The Don Cherry mentality, the thug mentality, that guy who hit me he, he was falling for what was in the culture and the culture in USA Hockey, men’s hockey and it’s supposed to be no check, is hit.
DJ: You’re not a man if you don’t hit
Ryan: Yeah, that’s [00:20:06] true.
Jerry: Well, a referee wants told us, for us It was check no check for the guys with skill, you have to check. But the guy says no skill, obviously, you don’t check them, you don’t hurt them. So those refs knew right off the bat, they were going to allow checking and this guy was like I said the start, he was trying to be Bob Probert.
DJ: Yeah, he was and like I said, I don’t think he was trying to kill me. I don’t think he was trying to break my neck.
Jerry: No, you just playing the game of hockey
DJ: He was trying to check me and didn’t realize how much…I don’t even think to [00:20:36] this day, the guy knows what he’s done to me.
Jerry: No, no,
DJ: but once again, I don’t believe he was out to hurt me. He was out to check me.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s you know, that’s probably right, you know, it’s like you don’t you want to want to you you’d have to be really crazy to be that kind of person not saying there isn’t but I would probably put money that he didn’t mean to do something like that.
DJ: He didn’t
Ryan: But again, when you’re saying that there had already rules that you’re not supposed to be checking it’s like, come on man,
DJ: when we’re in an adult league, well, these guys have to get up and go to work the next morning
Ryan: exactly [00:21:06]
DJ: and that’s why it shouldn’t happen.
Ryan: Yeah for sure
DJ: and this with this brings us back to that thug or Don Cherry mentality because it goes from Don Cherry and him you got hit hit hit. That’s what it means to be hockey to be a man the Gordie Howe type of hockey
Jerry: and still to this day. He still preaches that
DJ: yes, he does and it literally trickles down all the way into the mite level. And that’s what they live in that’s what they think hockey is, but I know it can be different because the culture of the the women’s [00:21:36] sports there is no checking in women’s sports. If you watch women’s the Olympics or even just being a pro leagues now, there’s no checking.
DJ: they don’t. So, it’s possible to do it without checking. You can do in the pros all you want. You can do it in the minors all you want or even going up to it. But what you’re in a USA sanctioned no check Hockey League there shouldn’t be it shouldn’t be checking.
Ryan: I agree
DJ: it shouldn’t be necessary
Jerry: For the Youth Hockey. They’re putting stop signs in the back of their shirts now.
Ryan: I think it’s a bigger Target [00:22:06]
DJ: No, you’re right but I think that’s specifically for
Jerry: if you can read this
DJ: hitting straight in the back not just for checking
Jerry: pretty much in the most what happened..
DJ: it is it is…I guess it’s a Nuance, you know,
Jerry: whether the claim of trying to change the culture when they’re not because like Ryan just said that’s more of a Target just gives them more of a reason to hit.
Jerry: They don’t need a stop sign with the women
DJ: well, during this time in between my second and third surgery you guys can remember what happened with Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore.
Jerry: Oh, yeah. [00:22:36]
DJ: He, Todd Bertuzzi, chased down Steve Moore in an NHL game drove him into high hit him from behind drove him into the Ice, broke his neck three vertebrae’s and he’s never played hockey since Steve Moore
Jerry: and Bertuzzi has shown no remorse and says, he doesn’t have to show remorse.
DJ: He did show remorse, remember when he did the press conference and he was crying. Okay, I would have to say that’s remorse. He was crying.
Jerry: That was for the cameras. I [00:23:06] mean the following games and following career. He never even went on Moore couldn’t play anymore. He wouldn’t recognize that wouldn’t even talk about it.
Jerry: when he was saying sorry publicly.
DJ: I don’t forgive Todd Bertuzzi, it’s not mine to forgive him. It’s up to Steve Moore to forgive him. However,
Jerry: I agree
DJ: the ones I blame our Brad May, first of all because he, I guess you need to tell a story Steve Moore and hit Markus Näslund of the Vancouver Canucks and knocked him out for three games knocked him out of play for three games and [00:23:36] Brad May said put a price on Steve Moore’s his head.
DJ: because of that right there, I blame Brad May and Marc Crawford the coach. In between
Jerry: that’s who’s more at fault is the coach because he told them
DJ: in between the periods, he pointed to him Steve Moore’s number and said he needs to pay for what he’s done. And then Todd Bertuzzi went out and did what he did
Jerry: that still happens today
DJ: it does but, once again, it goes back to what I brought this up about the Thug mentality.
DJ: It [00:24:06] takes a thug to do something like that. It takes a thug to point at someone’s number a game a useless and it’s just kid’s game. There’s no I wasn’t even a line for the Stanley Cup.
DJ: I mean it was just a regular season game. This was Revenge. I mean a thug mentality. I don’t think it has any place in society. Let alone into a hockey game.
Ryan: Yeah that kind of bleeds over probably and a lot of other stuff, you know, and that’s probably so common in every sport of its football, hockey [00:24:36] whatever, you know, if they’re aggressive players, it doesn’t matter if it’s a professional game amateur, whatever. I mean they’re going to play just that aggressive. I mean, they shouldn’t but there’s just so many people probably like that, you know,
DJ: yeah, and but, I think its problem in the culture of hockey and really do I at least men’s hockey like I said, it’s different
Jerry: Well, part of it is none of its going away a little bit but you got to have that Thug to self-police. You got to have that Bob Probert, Joey Kosur to go out there like Wayne Gretzky had Marty McSorley [00:25:06] and no one dared touch Wayne Gretzky because of Marty McSorley and Mark Messier period they weren’t a lot of time and those guys would go back and retaliate
DJ: Do you realize that you’re advocating vigilantism?
Jerry: I’m just telling you that’s the hockey they have because the rest won’t call we had the discussion earlier about referees. All right, so because they can call it they have to the teams have to self-police and you got to have that goon that can skate mean who’s the guy on Washington now, but he’s got some Talent. He’s the new age going. I forget his name
DJ: Ryan [00:25:36] Reeves is the guy on, oh, Wilson, Tom Wilson.
Jerry: Yes, that guy’s got some skill unlike any other goon big guy and
DJ: well, he can skate, usually the goons can’t skate
Jerry: but he protects the star players.
DJ: If you were doing…we started this whole podcast off talking about principle. If you were living by principle, you would not need to vigilante, because you would know that’s not how you should play
Jerry: But here we go again with Don Cherry. It’s that whole. That’s him, whole self-policing. You know, you got to have that Thug because the refs won’t…Look, if [00:26:06] the refs called the game, it’d be like the women. They wouldn’t need to have the thug. The thug would be out if the refs call it like they should, but because they don’t
DJ: I agree, there’s blame as far as the thug mentality. I will say that it’s spread around
Jerry: that’s 80% right there. If you take away…that if the refs did their job, you wouldn’t have a need for the thug.
DJ: I totally agree if they called every single play every single infraction,
Jerry: like they should
DJ: like they should you’re absolutely right that would take it away. But let’s just say they don’t. Why do they have to still have the thug mentality?
Jerry: like Ryan [00:26:36] said though, you’re going to have that one person that’s going to have that one person that’s going to have that mentality that’s just going to do it for whatever reason it’s that one person is going to take it to the nth degree for whatever reason because he was brought up that way.
Jerry: He was the winner. You know, it’s be a man I could go.
DJ: Well, then that one person would still be wrong.
Jerry: Yeah, absolutely, but that one person still going to take it to the next level and be dirty. Here we go that Thug mentality
DJ: well, if we’re going to police it or vigilante as I said earlier wouldn’t [00:27:06] it be to get him out of there saying this is not how we do it. I mean if they were truly men, they would take care of it in the locker room. So this is not how we do it. This is not how we play the game here and then it wouldn’t happen again. You get one instance and you get to social feedback and then it wouldn’t happen again.
Jerry: Yeah, okay, and I guess in theory it should happen that way but we’re talking today about Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsey and I was watching some film of them and Ted was a little guy who was a little instigator. Now the guys would go back after Ted until Gordy [00:27:36] came in the picture and those guys just turned around and left. They wanted nothing to do with Gordie Howe and he was that come on that was a whole era of thugness.
DJ: I agree. Okay, that was a different era and I don’t think it applies necessary to today’s hockey world. However, Gordie Howe I think is a symptom the way he played with the elbows up in the corners
Jerry: kind of my point, its bled all the way from the 50s all the way now,
Jerry: It’s that Gordie, I mean I even hear about the Gordie Howe hat trick,
DJ: okay. Can we think? Why do we [00:28:06] have to constantly…tradition is not necessarily a good thing
Jerry: I would agree with you, but for some reason it’s not happening it may be just hockey is that in football to
DJ: and when it doesn’t happen people get their neck’s broken and I just thought myself and Steve Moore to people that have had their necks broken because of the thug mentality that is in the culture of men’s hockey.
Jerry: Unfortunately, it’s going to happen when these girls start playing with the boys. That’s going to be the next injury or that one called a thug but it’s almost like [00:28:36] Ryan saying that’s a girl but when we were talking about when the other team was realized we had a girl goalie. They took it easy. They thought they had a nice…
DJ: Until they realized she was good
Jerry: and then but then when they started, she shown him up and they couldn’t score they got upset. They started getting dirty taking on everybody else. So my whole point is, here’s that thugness again
DJ: You’re showing the flaw of the male thinking and that shouldn’t have mattered. So, if it was a male person, a male goalie,
Jerry: but I’m telling you going to get that one person. That’s a girl playing football. I’m going to eliminate her just for the sake of… [00:29:06] it’s wrong. It’s completely wrong.
DJ: It’s sad
Jerry: It’s almost like what Ryan saying is that one person that, yeah, it’s beyond sad, it’s disgusting but it’s still going to that one person is going to be there to take it to that level and what can you do to prevent that?
DJ: it’s philosophical. You need to you need to get principle that the thug mentality is not coming into the game
Jerry: That’s difficult to get that into the sport
DJ: Just because it difficult for should be done
Jerry: I agree but that person there is the last thing on his mind is philosophical principles.
DJ: No, no like [00:29:37] the ethics of emergency. Okay. You can’t…there’s a fire in a house. You’re not going to sit there and think philosophically or what do I do? They have to be already in your head. See, if they were already in his head. Then he wouldn’t have he would have known that was wrong. It’s way too late to do it on the ice. It has to be done well in advance and I’m even talking when their kids because that’s the time to start giving proper moral principles, morality [00:30:07] is right or wrong.
Jerry: It can’t be done because you know, they used to play with no helmets and the safety and now it’s mandatory before was
DJ: let’s think about that. They there was a time when Gordie Howe played where they wouldn’t lift the puck. I know those guys could they played every single day? I know they could lift the puck but they never lifted the puck. Why? goalies weren’t wearing masks. So, if they keep police themselves doing that why can’t they police themselves in other aspects as well?
Jerry: I agree, but I will say the equipment was nothing like now. They’ve got boomerangs for blades
DJ: That’s not the point.
Jerry: I think they’ve got [00:30:37] question marks (for blades)
DJ: They did it, they did it they were able to not do something because they knew that would hurt the goalie. They knew it
Jerry: and the second you put the mask on the goalie. What happened?
DJ: Well, I think…
Jerry: They started shooting for his face, his head.
DJ: I think that happened because of the first slap shot and then it’s all…
Jerry: You had that one person. I’m going to hit him, he’s got to mask now.
DJ: No, it had to happen. It’s the Evolution the game?
Jerry: You’re right.
DJ: The point is they collectively they said we’re not going to do that. We’re not going to go after the goalies face because he wasn’t [00:31:07] wearing a mask. That was that was living on principle
Jerry: and when did it stop?
DJ: When did the that principle stop?
DJ: Well, when the goalie donned the mask.
Jerry: got the Mast all of a sudden principle when out the window and from that point,
DJ: yes, it did
Jerry: it grew
DJ: but doesn’t that prove that they can live my principal. Doesn’t it prove that if
Jerry: in one aspect of not lifting the puck you’re right,
DJ: you can do it by one aspect you should be able to do it by a thousand aspects.
Jerry: okay, I agree
DJ: you shouldn’t limit the number of principles
Jerry: what you’re saying Gordy had principles when it’s going down shoot [00:31:37] the goalie, but we’ll go on to the corners principal went out the window on the elbows are up in the air, principle is all out the door.
DJ: Why does it stop there? Why does it stop there?
Jerry: Because Goldie’s that one person…
DJ: Gordy was a great player. I don’t want to take anything away from them. But the elbows in the corner is going up that’s vicious and wrong and I don’t care how great he was. It shouldn’t have happened. Now if that is the seed that sprouted the thug mentality than he was wrong. I can’t say it was I don’t know for sure. I can’t go back, you know and tie [00:32:07] it all in, but if it was then he is culpable because it led to what we have today. And what we have today is a thug mentality people get hurt and not just breaking legs. I mean slashing, hitting people’s hands
Ryan: and the puck flying around and I mean that’s like a bullet so
Jerry: that’s in and of itself but when he got a stick in your you know Tomahawking and people, you know,
DJ: that, that
Ryan: They have skates on I mean the blades alone. Yeah true, true.
DJ: So, I [00:32:37] just if there’s a lesson in it to stop people from getting this kind of severity of an injury, the thug mentality has to go away in hockey as long as we have the thug mentality people are going to get hurt not necessarily as bad as I did but people are still going to get hurt
Jerry: it’s still happens, you know people who will get her just and worse for that matter. It’s going to happen.
Ryan: Yeah, I don’t think you can really do much about that. Just because you know, there’s going to be emotion with competition and you can’t really police that with just [00:33:07] you know people in general, you know, so
DJ: Let’s get specific, I understand your point but let’s get specific. Do you remember the Steve Moore-Todd Bertuzzi incident?
Ryan: No, I can’t say I do
DJ: well he (Bertuzzi) chased him down?
DJ: he was emotional
Ryan: for sure.
DJ: He should have said no, No, this is wrong. And like I said, Marc Crawford was part of the blame to that because the coach challenging you to do that. But that means you’re not a thinker. Todd Bertuzzi…
Ryan: Sometimes that serves people good for you know their [00:33:37] career
DJ: and sometimes it breaks peoples necks.
Jerry: Yeah, that’s what it was because in short, Bertuzzi was taking an order. He was following the coaches Direction.
DJ: Well, let’s go to war then. If you’re Sergeant gave you an immoral order, do you have to follow it?
Jerry: I think happens all of the time all the time when you
DJ: that’s not the question and I didn’t ask if it happened.
Jerry: yes sir, how high? what do you want me to mean they’re trained actually,
DJ: still there’s [00:34:08] a time when you’re training has to be in your own head.
Jerry: I think yeah,
DJ: but and even if they give you an immoral order, I mean wasn’t that wasn’t that what was the problem with the Vietnam War and all the immorality that the American troops,
Jerry: but I think when you showed that when you’re in training and you show that individualism, you’re out you’re done. We’re going to break you
DJ: I agree
Jerry: to where you are not thinking
DJ: I get your point
Jerry: and that now you’re not going to question the general who saying go do whatever
DJ: always question authority.
Jerry: I agree
DJ: Always, always, always. I didn’t say you shouldn’t follow it and you should follow Authority [00:34:38] when they’re telling you to do a moral act, but if they ever tell you to do an immoral act, I mean, let’s even not even take it to a war. Let’s take it workplace scenario, you’re working and your boss tells you to go and do something immoral. Even if it is just stealing from the cash register. Are you telling me that you have to follow that?
Jerry: see that
DJ: or can you stand on principle and say no I’m not going to do that,
Jerry: correct, but at that time, I have seen people who had families and they literally told me look I got to put family. I got four kids and a wife [00:35:08] and if I don’t steal this money, which I know is wrong, but I don’t find my boss’s order. I got a family that I’ve just let down so that puts this person, even though I hear you but there’s where it’s that whole goes back to now, they’re thinking not just themselves that boss with their family.
DJ: The only way the families are a justification is if there were literally starving then
Jerry: I’m just telling you that
DJ: I don’t think it’s stealing to feed your family because that is for survival and that is morality. The point of morality is to further the existence of mankind
Jerry: I’m not trying to justify it. I’m telling you that person that was told to steal. Its [00:35:38] they got other things on their mind when they do it. It’s not just a boss.
DJ: It’s not legitimate if
Jerry: I agree
DJ: it’s not legitimate if their family isn’t starving. If it means you lose a job, you lose your job and go find another one. That’s legitimate. Now if they’re like I said if their family’s starving I get that because you’re doing it for a life. There’s not there’s nothing more moral than that. However, the situation I put forth. That’s not what it is. And there’s a time you have to think and you also have to do it in a time of war and then reason I [00:36:08] brought up the time of War thing is because bombs are going off all around you. It’s a hectic situation, but that’s almost like it was in the ice for Todd Bertuzzi
Jerry: and some of these guys he play with those and they played there or we didn’t play organized hockey, they did and they had that upbringing to where it was, you know, go out there and take your stick hack him across the wrist take the stick across the neck, cross-check them when they were they were taught and coached to do that and other out and Recreation League.
Ryan: That happens
DJ: Number one, the are not mindless robots, first of all. They still [00:36:38] have a brain in their heads
Jerry: and principles are the last thing on their mind.
DJ: My point was when did I tell you it had to start when they were young?
DJ: they had to teach them then.
Jerry: So, then it’s pretty much too late for the ones in the adult league now and all think now
DJ: No, it’s that it’s not too late. They are still thinking people and anyone can turn it around anyone can. Anyone can start thinking, but you have to do that, you have to start thinking
Jerry: of all the guys that we play with hockey how many are the ones that are going to stop and turn it around?
DJ: Why does that matter?
Jerry: Well, you just
DJ: I would be happy if someone [00:37:08] will listen to this…
Jerry: I would say it’s just you and I though
DJ: just one person turned it around I would feel like then this was this podcast was worth it. I would because one person started thinking
Jerry: Completely agree, but I’m not sure that one person just with the mentality of the population is with philosophy that even no no no don’t even talk about that has nothing to do with it. I mean, they’re totally out of whack with their principles.
DJ: Nobody wants to talk about philosophy. In fact, the majority the masses are incurably ignorant as Plato used to say but nobody wants…they get bored with it. When I start talking about it, you [00:37:38] can see in their eyes that they’re just bored but these people don’t understand is they live by a philosophy. You have no choice about that
Jerry: and that’s the problem
DJ: Your only choice is which philosophy you live by. That is what needs to be taught to these kids and to the adults that it is philosophical when you say I’m not going to be a thug
Jerry: well, heck right now with it with the Youth Sports League. It’s even worse with the parents. I mean the parents are yelling at the coach, they’re fighting in the stands and my kids not playing and my kid isn’t going to come out next week to the game [00:38:08] because he got less ice time. I’ve heard that too.
DJ: No, it’s true. But we’re talking about more non thinkers.
Jerry: That’s my point.
DJ: So, that doesn’t mean we don’t try to get them to start thinking. You’re right. You’re right. It’s prevalent throughout our society, but that doesn’t mean you just throw away philosophy
Jerry: It’s just a tough fix.
DJ: It doesn’t mean you throw away principal. It means it’s harder to fix it, but you got to work harder at it to get it fixed.
Jerry: Well, let’s hope the start of is this podcast. You know them I’m listening to this, it’s a start. Just like you said, one [00:38:38] person.
DJ: Let’s hope we can reach one person and not just this episode but all of our episodes. The whole point of our podcast, for me anyways, is to show the underlying theme that’s behind the scenes of hockey, of football, of baseball. It’s more than just playing in fact any human endeavor is more than what it actually is because you learn to do any action you have to think about it first and the thinking is the philosophical part
Jerry: I agree.
DJ: So, [00:39:08] to get back to my story what I learned from my injury is to appreciate every single day because it is so precious, you know, you don’t know when you’re going to lose it.
Jerry: You hear a lot of people say that and yet people just it’s not going to happen to me. We hear it all the time
DJ: I’m trying to warn you
Jerry: I completely agree
DJ: from someone who had did happen to. Go hug your wife. Go hug your kids hug all of your loved ones. Appreciate everything that you’ve got.
Jerry: Don’t take one minute for [00:39:38] granted. I completely agree.
DJ: That was my biggest lesson. It took me 10 years to learn that my neck doesn’t define me and that was way too long. I should have learned it much more than a decade, but it happened the way it was but still I eventually learned and once again, do you only learn by thinking.
Jerry: The first step, I agree.
DJ: and I implore everyone who is listening to this to start thinking to start to think for themselves. Understand that thinking [00:40:08] is how you live and when we think about it on a basic level, what is man’s tool for survival? An eagle has his talons and his wings, you know, animals live by Instinct man has no Instinct man lives by a thinking, rational mind
DJ: without that it’s there’s no survival. The mind is what’s necessary first before you can even be moral. So, we need to start thinking and then be moral people
Jerry: well said, [00:40:38]
DJ: Well, I hope it did reach somebody once again as you can, if you want to get in touch with us, our website is Granddesignspodcast.com, email is Granddesignspodcast@yahoo.com. Follow us on Twitter @GrandDesignspod and follow us on Instagram @ Granddesignspodcast. This is the Grand Designs Podcast. Who are you listening to?
There’s a rot that exists inside the culture of hockey that is a top-down type of disease. This malady can be easily understood as the Thug Mentality. It starts with the likes of Don Cherry, currently a prominent NHL analyst and commentator and former head coach of the Boston Bruins. Eventually it trickles down into the leagues of the little ones because the veins of the hockey culture are clogged with this viscous disease.
Don Cherry espouses a notion that to be a true hockey player one must “toughen up” and play hockey according to norms handed down from the Gordie Howe era of hockey. In fact, Don Cherry once claimed that a real hockey player plays without using a visor. He even went as far as to praise the Chicago Blackhawks as the last organization that every single player on the team skated without a visor. Gordie Howe was notorious for going into the boards towards his opponents with his elbows up. He was probably the NHL first enforcer. An enforcer being a vigilante type of player that enforces both written and unwritten rules that either get missed or ignored by the on-ice officials. It is this mode of thinking that infects the hockey culture with the Thug mentality.
The vigilante and Thug Mentality cause multiple problems from the obvious to the moral. On the surface, vigilante justice can seem necessary and fair. After all, if the on-ice officials won’t do their job properly then teams need to enforce the rules themselves. This notion skates treacherously on a slippery slope. Who decides which rules are egregious enough to demand vigilante enforcement? Who is going to police the enforcer? What happens not only to the individual but to the culture of hockey at large when an enforcement goes awry? Is this type of justice warranted or necessary?
This mentality infects not just the players and teams but also the drunken and passionate fans that are along for the ride. As evidence, consider “The Kronwall Effect.” Niklas Kronwall is a defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings. Not as much of late, but there was a time when Kronwall just seemed incapable of staying on his skates when he would deliver a check to an opposing player. In fact, there is a picture of Kronwall leaving his feet, i.e., jumping into a check, and laying a devastating blow to the Chicago Blackhawks forward Martin Havlat. The caption of that picture is “Kronwalled.” Detroit Red Wings fans infected with the Thug Mentality actually cheered and shamelessly took pride from one of their players delivering such a hit.
The absolute worse manifestation of the Thug Mentality is when it leads to a serious and life changing injury. Such an incident happened during a NHL game in Vancouver Canada in 2004 and is known as the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident. Bertuzzi, who later claimed his was told to execute this form of vigilante justice by his then head coach Marc Crawford, chased down Moore, engaged him from behind and drove Moore into the ice head first, resulting in 3 broken vertebraes in Moore’s neck, a concussion and other injuries that ended Steve Moore NHL career. The Thug Mentality that infected Bertuzzi, Crawford and fellow Vancouver Cunuck Brad May, who put a price on Moore’s head after an incident a few games before between Steve Moore and Vancouver’s Markus Naslund, and caused someone to get seriously hurt. The infection even inflicted the Vancouver crowd who cheered after Bertuzzi delivered the devastating hit until they realized the Moore was seriously hurt and then the crowd went silent. Leaving other observers to wonder, if the crowd felt remorse for their actions or were they like a Roman crowd cheering for the death of a gladiator.
The Thug Mentality has no place in any sport, let alone ice hockey. This is not a lofty and unattainable ideal. Do you seek proof? Look to the women’s hockey league, from local leagues all the way up to the Olympics, where no checking is allowed. Are there any women vigilante enforcers in ice hockey? Are they even necessary there?