Safety nets should not be needed



Next time you attend a Red Wings game make sure your tickets aren’t in the end zones of the ice.

If they are, you might as well go home, because you can see the game better and for cheaper on TV.

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL’s Board of Commissioners ordered installation of nets that will hang from the ceiling and rest on top of the glass.

They will obstruct views and make sure you can’t see the puck or the action.

Unless you have season tickets that enable you to see through the glass, the nets are going to obstruct the views.

Now, hockey fans can pay full price to watch the game on the big screen, but they can’t even see that clearly.

The new safety feature comes after the death of Brittanie Cecil, the 13-year-old that died two days after being struck in the head by a puck.

Bettman told the Associated Press measures, such as the nets, would have prevented the puck that struck Cecil.

It is a tragedy that she died, but witnesses told the Associated Press the puck deflected off from a spectator in front of her before hitting her in her left temple.

The probability she wasn’t paying attention is high.

Every stadium has public address warnings, security warnings and printed warnings on the back of the ticket stub that warn about the danger of flying pucks, but it still isn’t enough to keep people paying attention.

I went to a Detroit Tigers spring training and saw five people taken to the hospital.

Two bats and three foul balls struck and injured spectators, sending them to the hospital. The next day, I read in the paper about how they weren’t paying attention and never saw it coming.

Three of the people said they were turned around in their seats. Turned around in their seats? It is a little difficult to watch a game facing the wrong direction.

More non-sports fans who attend games spend their time talking on their cell phone or talking to people around them then watching the game, and it is a real shame.

It is a real shame that I have a better seat at my house then someone who pays for seats at a Wings game.

If spectators paid attention to the game, safety wouldn’t be a concern.

At the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., 122 fans were injured in 127 games, most of them weren’t serious, according to a report by two emergency room doctors. Meaning spectators were trying to be heroes by catching the puck and cutting their hand or something minor.

Don’t try to be heroes when the puck is traveling at 100 miles per hour; just duck.

The nets are good news to some people, such as the architects that build new arenas and stadiums. Now, with the nets, spectators will be able to see ice rinks where there are only 15-20 rows of seats behind the end zones and the rest near center ice. Taller and wider stadiums will be built as soon as the word gets out that no one can see through the nets.

The sad thing is, the NHL puts up nets because a girl died of an accident.

Brad Lewis, the coroner who performed the autopsy, said the cause of her death was not the puck hitting her in the head but a rare injury that occurred when her head snapped back. Lewis consulted with other pathologists and concluded that they had not encountered a similar injury and death in more than 25 years as a doctor.

LIFE Sports Editor Adam Trumble can be reached for comment at sports@cm-life.com.


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