Can Stephen Harper save hockey? - Macleans.ca

Can Stephen Harper save hockey?

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The editors of this magazine raise the possibility that the Prime Minister might have a role to play in reforming hockey.

“Football is on trial,” Roosevelt told the coaches. “Because I believe in the game, I want to do all I can to save it.” While Roosevelt took no effort to dictate what changes ought to be made, with his encouragement the sport completely reinvented itself. The forward pass became legal. First downs required 10 yards, rather than five, which helped open up the game. Plays that put players’ heads and necks at risk were explicitly prohibited. A game characterized by massive pileups, broken necks and eye gouging went on to become the most popular spectator sport in the U.S. today.

Politicians obviously have no business micromanaging sport, but our Prime Minister could use his stature to encourage hockey to abandon its violent status quo in favour of something new and better, as Roosevelt did.