The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
Siding with popular opinion is essentially the last bastion of the weak.
During a recent game, Jesse Boulerice attempts to feed his hockey stick to Vancouver's Ryan Kesler. Ryan, apparently, is not hungry, refuses nourishment and proceeds to fall to the ice like a wet sack of flour (ironic, considering his lack of hunger actually). Ryan is thereafter eulogized. Jesse is demonized.
Self-proclaimed pundits, the world over, champion the need to punish Boulerice severely for his crimes. No one, it is said, wants to see this kind of thing. No one, it is thought, benefits from head injuries.
How about neurologists? Isn't their whole existence based on the presence and need for specialized knowledge about the brain and the injuries it sustains? Without the occasional bell-ringer (so to speak) they would have no one to study and nothing to advance their craft. Do you think funeral directors complain about car crashes?
Keeping with the NHL, imagine the financial impact full facial protection would have on the dental industry. While they would advise you to protect your teeth through the use of mouthguards and visors, they really don't want you to protect yourself too much. Complete compliance would have catastrophic effects. Orthodontists need carbon fiber sticks hitting incisors, preferably on a semi-regular basis.
And that Â– at least as far as the reciprocal effects of head injuries are concerned Â– is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. For every regrettable Yin of potential cranial damage, there is the Yang of people who benefit from it.
What about the company that sells smelling salts? Do you not think an order was likely placed to replenish the goods Dean McAmmond needed to snort to return to Earth after being blindsided by the Downie Philly Express? Do you not think their stock might have nudged upward slightly when Kesler hit the canvas?
And, even further along, has Hallmark not had an insane run on Sorry About the Head Trauma greeting cards in the first month of the season? Their whole business is based on the concept of dealing with human tragedy Â– at least the ones you can write hackneyed poetry about.
Truth is, for every action Â– even the more seemly ones Â– there is an equal and opposite (sometimes optometrist) reaction. Call it macabre if you like, but you know darn well it makes sense. Dollars, actually.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on thehockeynews.com.
Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org