There are a number of people who consider Slap Shot as the greatest hockey to ever hit the screen. I would probably be amongst those who think this, and it's hard to fathom that the story was based on real-life events. However, what was seen in the championship game of the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League in Texas was nothing short of deplorable. It seems to be a theme on this blog in recent weeks to only highlight the negative, but, in my defence, it also seems like the only thing that I can report on are acts of violence that would make Genghis Khan look like a kind, gentle soul.
While the boys from the Johnstown Chiefs, led by Reggie Dunlop, certainly made names for themselves as rough-and-tumble minor-league players, playing high school hockey is a far different animal than playing in some minor-pro hockey circuit. There were people in the stands and in Johnstown that found the Chiefs' actions on the ice quite offensive, so it's not like the Chiefs were without their detractors.
If we jump forward in time to the state of Texas, we find that Sunday afternoon's state championship game between Keller High School and Arlington Martin High School was beyond the scope of Slap Shot's slapstick antics.
I want to warn everyone before we take a look at this video: the images seen are disturbing and horrifying. I cannot begin to tell you how this video left me in disbelief, but it is unnerving. Don't say I didn't warn you.
The first angle doesn't seem so bad...
... until you see that angle.
From the reports that I've read today, it appeared that Keller High School, in the white uniforms, were up 9-3 on Arlington Martin High School. An elbow thrown by an Arlington Martin player that he was going to be penalized for developed into the fracas along the boards where, from the second video, an Arlington Martin player named Jeff SoRelle came out of the penalty box and hit a Keller player from behind with a rather vicious hit.
And then things went from bad to worse. A Keller player came flying in and nearly decapitated SoRelle with an elbow/shoulder that laid out SoRelle on the ice. The hit from behind that SoRelle threw was horrific, but the hit that SoRelle took was meant to injure him. There is no place - NO PLACE - in hockey for something like that for any reason whatsoever.
Let me repeat that just for good measure: THERE IS NO PLACE IN HOCKEY FOR THIS KIND OF CRAP. PERIOD. YOU DO NOT RESORT TO VIGILANTE JUSTICE TO EXACT REVENGE FOR ANY REASON.
I can't even begin to tell you how angry and sickened I am from watching these videos. There had better be some swift and brutal action taken by the Texas Amateur Hockey Association towards these players, these teams, and anyone else who thinks that actions like those seen in the video are acceptable in any way, shape, or form.
I demanded a lifetime ban for Jesse Enns a few weeks ago. I may have been too swift and brutal in my justice for him, but these players should suffer the same fate as my decision towards Enns. There is no place in hockey for crap like this, and it's time that someone becomes an example of how one's actions can affect one's future. Case closed.
For me, it's just disappointing to have such a great story about Texas yesterday in comparison with the garbage seen here today.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!