Marc Zanetti is captain of the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League. In a playoff game against the Niagara IceDogs the IceDogs’ Tom Kuhnhackl scored the first goal. The Ottawa team’s response was to swarm Kuhnhackl, driving him to the ice at which time Zanetti skated over and kicked him in the head.
That kick has earned Zanetti an indefinite suspension, and rightly so. There is no place in this, or any game, for behaviour that would get one arrested if done on the street.
Zanetti of course was apologetic, saying “It was stupid” and that “It is not who I am as a person or as a player.” I suspect he is also ashamed and embarrassed by his behaviour, as he should be.
But how many times do we have to watch sometimes tearful apologies from sports figures, politicians, and b-rated movie stars in which they profess that their outrageous behaviour is not representative of who they are as a person?
What nonsense! When the adrenalin is pumping, the blood is flowing, emotions are running high, or inhibitions are lowered the already-thin veneer of civilisation disappears completely and that’s precisely when we get to see the real character of the person. That’s when the body reacts without the tempering influence of rationality. And that’s when the true, base character surfaces, either to do something incredible and heroic, or something blindingly stupid.