You read here and here about the decline in Nascar’s ratings where I wrote: “The danger is gone. Or at least it’s not what it used to be. It reminds me of the decline of fights in hockey. Fighting is part of the game. Drivers have a way of self-regulating. They don’t need rules committees telling them the right way to drive.”
There used to be unwritten rules in sports that didn’t need refs to regulate them. When hockey fights were an accepted part of the game there were consequences. There were consequences for taking cheap shots at star players. Ironically, when self-regulation is taken out of the game it becomes more dangerous. Look at the concussions Sidney Crosby has had for example. There’s no risk, other than monetary (big deal) for going after him.
A skill player like Wayne Gretzky was able to reach his full potential because his teammates had his back. His teammates like Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley, for example, were feared by opponents. Opponents knew if they took a cheap shot at Gretzky they would to be dealt with by Semenko and/or McSorley. It’s why when Gretzky was traded to the L.A. Kings, McSorley was part of the deal not because the Kings wanted him but because Gretzky demanded him.
Today with the tendency to over-regulate the stock market and sports, there is an increase in risk. It’s not natural that interest rates are at zero percent or that everyone deserves a trophy. When the natural order of markets/sports is disrupted by those trying to make it safer, the reverse tends to be the outcome. It’s why you need to be even more careful when the “danger” is supposedly gone from the game no matter what that game may be.
Check out the trailer here for Ice Guardians, a film examining the role of an NHL enforcer. Ice Guardians was released in October of 2016.