Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How to fight when you don't want to fight

By now you've seen the bizarre footage of Patrick Roy's son "fighting" an opponent over the weekend. Jonathan Roy has been suspended seven games for his actions during the brawl, which saw him charge the length of the ice to decimate opposing goaltender Bobby Nadeau, who clearly wanted no part of the scrap.

Now clearly there is a time and place for walking away from a fight. In fact, it's generally a very good idea, especially if you have reason to believe you're going to lose. But even from a pacifist's point of view, Nadeau's performance was pathetic -- he made virtually no effort to defend himself, and wound up curled on the ice like a wounded puppy.

What's a self-respecting man supposed to do in this situation? It's hard to say. So as a public service, I've gone over various scenarios to come up with a list of possible responses. In order, from best-case to worst, here's a list of nine options to consider if you ever find yourself in Nadeau's position .

Best case scenario: Clearly communicate that you are a pacifist and would prefer a non-violent solution. If forced to fight, beat opponent to bloody pulp. Calmly leave like it was no big deal.

Examples: Felix Potvin vs. Ron Hextall. Youngblood vs. Racki. Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura. Mr. Miyagi vs. the guys dressed up as skeletons

If you can't do that, then: Accept invitation to fight despite overwhelming odds. Fight valiantly, eventually losing but sending the clear message that you won't be intimidated, thus winning a moral victory.

Examples: Spartans vs. Persians. Martin Biron vs. Ray Emery. Craig Coxe vs. Bob Probert. Zack Morris vs. A.C. Slater.

If you can't do that, then: Throw early sucker punch. Assume fighting stance a few feet from opponent. If opponent attempts to advance, slowly back away. Wave away anyone who tries to intervene. Continue backing away while looking like you really want to fight. Hope opponent will die of old age and/or Dave Manson will eventually save you.

Examples: Denis Savard vs. Gary Leeman. Every NBA fight ever.

If you can't do that, then: Try to look as tough as possible immediately before the fight. Once fight begins, throw a few punches early. Realize you are going to die. Make peace with your god.

Examples: Pretty much everyone who ever tried to fight Wendel Clark.

If you can't do that, then: Stand frozen like a deer caught in headlights. Once touched, immediately curl up into a ball on the floor. Make no attempt to fight back. Whimper girlishly. Watch highlights of self on youtube for rest of eternity.

Example: Bobby Nadeau vs. Jonathan Roy. Chris Neil vs. Chris Dingman. Me, if anyone I make fun of on this blog ever confronts me about it.

If you can't do that, then: Relax all muscles. Go completely limp. Cling to larger opponent. Cry loudly. Poop a little bit.

Examples: Roy vs. Montecore. Bryan McCabe vs. Zdeno Chara. My one-year-old daughter vs. the word "no".

If you can't do that, then: Run screaming to nearest exit. If no exit found, just flee in circles in hopes opponent will lose interest. Flail hands above head (optional).

Examples: The Owen Sound Platters vs. Jeff Kugel. Kazuhiko Daimon vs. Rod Allen.

If you can't do that, then: Defecate on ice. Fling poo at enemies to keep them away from you.

Examples: The monkey from Most Valuable Primate (director's cut edition only). Most Sean Avery fights.

If you can't do that, then: Stand still. Slump shoulders. Begin to cry.

Example: Oliver McCall vs. Lennox Lewis. Me vs. realization I am a Leafs fan.

I think that covers it. Did I miss any?


  1. Potvin showing the world that Hextall was just batshit and not actually a fighter was one of the greatest Leaf moments in the past 15 years (kinda sad actually).

  2. I'll probably do a longer post on the Potvin/Hextall fight some day. But when it happened, some friends and I were working late in a college computer lab. This was the early days of the Internet, when you could get boxscores but before video highlights were easy to find.

    My friend is seeing who won the Leaf game and suddenly looks up and says "Oh my god, Hextall fought Potvin tonight". And the discussion immediately turned to our organizational goaltending depth because we just all assumed that Potvin was dead. The idea that quiet little Felix could survive, let alone speedbag, Ron Hextall just never occurred to us.

  3. i think you covered em of a post, especially all of the links...

    and yes, that Potvin/Hextall tilt was one for the ages. I remember Mark Hebscher (spelling?) calling it..."oh!! OHH!!!!"...that doesn't exactly to it justice but, man, what a fight...and what a memory...

  4. college computer lab, wow. that makes me feel young since I remember discussing said tilt on the grade 8 playground at recess.

  5. This is a fantastic fucking post.

  6. Trust me, people: BOBBY NADEAU (J.Roy's "victim") will NEVER play beyond the Quebec junior league after this*. Who in the NHL would draft such a WUSS, who curls up in foetal position while being punched? He's already a "punchline" or "posterboy" in Quebec for his NON-reply to Roy's beatdown of him. And think of Nadeau's girlfriend (if he has one) for a second... She would HAVE to be hesitant (or straight up FLEE) if ever he "pops the big question". You wanna have KIDS and start a FAMILY with that guy? :/

    * Facing elimination (1-3 in best-of-seven series) TONIGHT, Nadeau's team won 7-1, but he wasn't in net...

  7. Another goalie who'll never see the big time is Jonathan Roy

  8. You missed Darren McCarty vs. Claude Lemieux. Think that goes in the "getting the daylights beaten out of you as you turtle" column.

  9. No love for Cloutier vs. Salo?

  10. You should have included Staal vs. Semin in the curl up part.

  11. The Staal/Semin "fight" hadn't happened at the time DGB wrote this post.

  12. Nadeau coached at the goalie camp I went to this summer...