Brutes?

The image I chose to audit both represents and challenges the stereotype that the sport of professional hockey is believed to be a sport of brutes who consider fighting apart of hockey culture.

When closely evaluating the image from a raw and inexperienced prospective, we are put into a realm where two uncaged animals are pulling and punching each other. It could be some sort of skewed boxing match from one perspective. The contrasting colors of the fighters attire tell us that the two fighting are from different realms but of the same world (given their hats and shoes are similar), giving an explanation to why they may be at odds. Due to the type of shoes they are wearing, their knees seem to bend inward while the soles of their feet stretch outward. It looks to be that these brutes are balancing on very thin blades to try and keep upright, attempting position themselves in the best way possible. The only way it is possible to glide or even keep motion on blades is to be on a surface that is slippery but consolidated, providing the idea that these men may be on ice, a surface that makes it challenging to stand firm on. From observing the faces, rigorous demeanor, and clutched fists, we deduce that the fighters are frustrated, angry, proving that they are actually squaring off and have an intent to hurt each other.

Now that we have analyzed and described the center of attention, we move onto the two figures that look exactly alike. From the ignorant perspective, these men look to be as guards, whom are also wearing the same shoes and hats. One seems to be positioned in front, and the other behind and to the side allowing for this fight to happen, but also watching with a close eye. The guard on the right has his hand on a post, proving to us that he is at a halt. The last fragment of this image is of the figures in the background who seem to be an audience by the way they are positioned. It proves that they are settled in a stadium going upwards. Men, women, and children are shown, exemplifying that their is no restriction on who can watch what is happening which ultimately cultivates the fact that this some type of game, or sport rather a fight to the death. Most of the facial expressions promote emotions of excitement, cheering, happiness, and joy, while others seem shocked or scared. The figure in the front row look to be banging on a thin layer of glass or other substance, telling the viewer that the gladiators and guards are entrapped.

After articulating a very close analysis and observation of this image, I really felt like I actually had no idea what the image was at all. It showed me how an untrained perspective can look at something un-familiar as we practiced in lecture. My explanation gave way to arguments and values that the image may have portrayed. The real meaning illustrated is two opposing hockey players getting into a fight that is being closely watched by two referees.

The image itself gives the viewer the cultural ideology that fighting in hockey serves as a form of entertainment, given the reactions from the fans. Terms and ideas like survival, masculinity, and mechanical strength also serve its purpose in giving meaning to this image. One argument that seems to stand out is the stance that in the culture of hockey, fighting stands as a form of entertainment to get people our of their seats. As far as violence and rough-housing goes, I felt that American football was the only sport that came close to hockey. The reading I picked to integrate with my argument and provided evidence is that of Hugo Benavides, “Football and the Nation: Producing American Culture”. I focused not on the specific country or team the players that are on in my image, rather how the playing field of professional hockey serves as a ground for violence that in-turn provides a ‘fascination with violence’ that contributes to the popularity of the sport (Benavides). Similar to football, hockey players are required to tackle, push, and check other players. Violence as entertainment serves as a clemency to not only the players, but most importantly the audience. It forges emotions for viewers and serves as an incentive to watch the game. That is most likely the reason why fighting in professional hockey is allowed in the first place.

“Ranking-the-top-10-hockey-fights-of-2010-11,” Photograph. 2010-11. Yahoo Sports. 06 Feb.2014.Web

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Ranking-the-top-10-hockey-fights-of-2010-11?urn=nhl-wp7778

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One Response to Brutes?

  1. Sarah McCullough says:

    Why do you think that people are fascinated by violence in sports? What sort of violence is this as portrayed inthe image? What it says to me is that this form of violence is clearly controlled. This would be a great aspect of the image to analyze further and consider as you move your project forward.

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