Hockey

photo2Not to long ago our student ministry team went to a Colorado Avalanche Hockey game for some "team building". I've never been to a professional game before, but I remember as a kid going to Charles Schultz Snoopy Ice Arena and watching pee wee league and old guys league hockey. We had some really great seats, center ice - eight rows up from the penalty boxes and just above the glass. Up close, hockey players are pretty ugly and they aren't that big, like football players and such. What I noticed is that hockey is a fast paced sport, and a very violent sport. Within the first 60 seconds of the game the gloves were off and two players started throwing blows. What stuck me funny was how the officials (Or referees) kept their distance and circled the two players and let them throw punches at each other... Neither of them made any attempts to stop the fight, until the players hit the ice, then it was all over - kind of a "no harm, no foul" type of thing... What also struck me funny was how the crowd was into it - everyone was yelling "hit'em, hit'em" and I must confess I got caught up in the moment as well.  Later after the hockey game, I was reflecting on the fight and the 5 to 8 other fights throughout the game, and how people (Myself included) reacted to the players fighting... I couldn't help but think about what it might have been like for gladiators back in the Ancient Roman times fighting each other in an arena, filled with the spectators yelling at the top of their lungs "hit'em, hit'em..." Then my thoughts went to how it must have been for the early Christians (During the persecutions) , slaves, and political prisoners in the Ancient Roman times standing in the middle of the arena hearing people yell at the top of their lungs "hit'em, hit'em" and the victims stood there waiting for the gladiator, the ferocious lion or bear, or the flames of the fire to tear them apart...

Somehow I don't think culture has changed much, even though we say we are more sophisticated and such. After all we are in the information age, but look at it this way - in Ancient Rome they too were also at the hight of their information age! The known world had never seen a road system like the Romans, they had never experienced a courier system like the Romans had, and the known world was locked in-sync with a common language (Greek) for the first time.  So what's changed - I believe nothing! I know what your thinking, "it was just a game Joe" and your right! However, it was just a game to the spectators of Ancient Rome as well...