Never read the comments, people. Except when they can be turned into a good column.

Over the past few weeks, I wrote two stories about fighting in hockey. One was about the culture of sticking up for teammates that are contacted while playing a contact sport and the other was about the decline in suspension-worthy hits alongside the decline in hockey the past few years.

There was the usual response wondering if I’ve ever played the game. When you write about the pointlessness of fighting in the NHL, you’re always going to get dudes mad, so it was to be expected. Days passed and we all moved on with our lives.

Then something changed.

I started to get all kinds of notifications on my Facebook page, which no one frequents. People were commenting at an unusually high frequency to tell me I never played the game (and more!), but I wasn’t paying attention. It was the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and I was taking a tiny break from social media. I’d see a notification that Some White Guy commented on a fighting story, but I wasn’t reading them.

Then I played catch-up. Dozens of dudes flooded my fighting stories with comments because some other Facebook page that loves fighting linked to it and was like, “Go get him!” And boy, did they ever. Some of them even left angry emojis. Those hurt the most. To write something I thought was good only to see a red-faced, grimacing emoji face is crushing.

In an effort to respond to criticism in a thoughtful, complete manner, I have compiled all the negative comments on my fighting post (and a bunch more who left comments on stories unrelated to fighting, because commenting can be confusing and difficult for people of a certain intelligence level) and responded to each one in the space that follows. Hopefully, we can all receive some sort of enlightenment from the Facebook comments and my responses. Thank you.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11:  Evgeny Kuznetsov #92 of the Washington Capitals and Carl Hagelin #62 of the Pittsburgh Penguins fight in the third period at Verizon Center on January 11, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 11: Evgeny Kuznetsov #92 of the Washington Capitals and Carl Hagelin #62 of the Pittsburgh Penguins fight in the third period at Verizon Center on January 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Tom Goodwin writes:
How could you say defending your teammates is stupid? Probably because you never needed to wear a cup because you have a fat pussy.

I explained my reasons for why I think defending teammates is stupid. In your defense, you commented on a Winter Classic story, so I can see how you may have read that and missed the explanation.

As for my “fat pussy,” I’m confused as to why you think a vagina doesn’t need protection and how the size of it would matter. Yes, if I had a “fat pussy” I would not wear a cup, but I would wear a pelvic protector or shield, because I would like to soften the impact of a direct shot with a puck or stick to my special area. Do you think women hockey players don’t opt for padding? I guess I should not be surprised about your lack of knowledge in that area.

And if you’re using “fat pussy,” because that’s something you’ve been called all your life, end the cycle of abuse and wipe that from your vernacular, Tom. We are here for you.

Mitchell Raeck writes:
I think Dave wrote a very good post and I think he has many friends and his penis is of adequate size, and he always wears proper protection for it when participating in sports.

Mitchell here is defending me, and while I’m thankful, nothing he wrote about me is true. Mediocre post, handful of friends, below-average penis, never wore a cup while playing sports.

Ryan Johnson writes:
Dave…do us all a favor and find a new job.

Thank you, Ryan! You think I’m so good at this one that you think I should get another one? How nice of you to say! And I love the ellipsis for dramatic effect.


Paul Vasquez writes:
So are you against standing up for family and friends as well? I consider myself lucky we are not friends or related

I’m glad Paul brought this up (also on the Winter Classic post). He spotted an obvious correlation that is not stupid in any way — if I think fighting after clean or dirty hits in hockey is stupid, I must never stand up for family or friends when they need it. This is 100 percent true. Allow me to tell you a 100 percent real story I’m not making up as I type it.

A few weeks ago, I was charged with picking up my 9-year-old daughter from school. As I sat in my minivan listening to Lena Dunham’s podcast and applying moisturizer to my face, I noticed Anastasia was battling with a bully. It wasn’t so much a bully but her teacher, Mrs. Applebottom. She was calling her stupid because she got a bad grade on a math test and pushed her down some stairs. Did I pause the podcast that featured commentary about celebrity cats and help my daughter?

Of course not. I practice what I preach. Anastasia knew what was up when she got to the fourth grade and she needs to learn to fight back. When she got in the car crying, I didn’t even console her. Why? Because sticking up for teammates in hockey is the exact same thing as defending a loved one that needs assistance. You’ve got it all figured out, Paul.

Lucas Judd writes:
Dude you fucking suck at writing articles and I’ve read 2.

I don’t think someone that’s only read two articles in their whole life can judge mine, which I assume was either No. 3 or No. 2. I also don’t accept opinions of someone who’s never played the game (of writing for money). Maybe you should stick to hockey.

Kel Chwartacki writes:
Off topic
But you are one giant douche bag and quite frankly suck as any kind of writer.
Defending your teamates has been part of hockey since its beginings.
Your next job should be with the last question being , do you want fries with that!

It always hurts to have your writing criticized by someone that spelled two of 43 words wrong, doesn’t know douchebag is one word and thinks you need a space between a word and a comma. I strive to make people like Kel happy so this is devastating.

And FYI — I’d love to work in fast food. Can I work somewhere that doesn’t sell fries? I’d work in a Taco Bell.

I also don’t understand why you think a comment about writing and hockey fighting on a hockey fighting story is “off topic.”

Brad Hamacher writes:
Can you even skate? C’mon dude. You are not a hockey guy and will never be a hockey guy. Stay in your lane and write about basketball or ultimate frizbee or safety pins and safe spaces. Leave hockey alone please.

One of the great things about these comments are the people that are so offended by the idea of taking fighting out of hockey that they reference safe spaces because they feel I, the person that is putting an unpopular idea among guys like Brad out there, needs the safe space. It’s not Brad, who is crying and typing frantically about getting an idea he doesn’t like out of his face, that needs the safe space.

And what’s a hockey guy? What does that even mean? I bet Brad thinks he’s a hockey guy. He goes to sports bars alone and starts conversations with people who are trying to watch a basketball game. “LeBron is weak. He’d never last in the NHL.”


Rocco Brown says:
With all these Hockey posts you have. I thought you played or at least new about Hockey. I guess you are just upset because you could never hack it. This article is absolutely TERRIBLE!!!

I like how he capitalized Hockey like He in the Bible. That’s how you know Rocco loves the game more than you. “Go forth, Prophet Rocco, and spread thou gospel of Hockey to the masses.”

Imagine if you took Rocco’s tact and believed everyone writing about a thing is only doing so because they couldn’t do that thing. “The crisis of global warming is one of great importance for everyone on Earth, as the rising temperatures indicate we need to take drastic steps to…”


Kevin McGinnis writes:
go into a locker room with that attitude and see what happens…what absolute bullshit.

Kevin has me here. A little-known fact about me, a person that has been inside hockey locker rooms for about eight years — if you mention you don’t think fighting belongs in hockey, the players will fucking kill you. Literally. You were led to believe that Sportsnet laid off a lot of its staff last year but really, they were all murdered in locker rooms for questioning the existence of fighting. Kevin knows what’s up.

But if Kevin is referencing his locker room where he changes before and after his beer league games…lol! You’re not a real player, bud.

Jeff Fiebelkorn writes:
Read this useless cocksucker’s article Brett Remillard

Hey, Jeff — if someone sucks cock, they are by definition not useless. That’s a gift to the world, so nice try, but you played yourself. Also: Hope you enjoyed the article, Brett.

Dan Sherwood writes:
And you know this to be true, how?

This is the first comment on the post about fighting and suspensions being down. I know this to be true, Dan, because the NHL keeps track of fighting and suspensions, and they are down over the past few years.

Kelby O’Neal writes:
Good riddance? If you don’t like or approve of violence in hockey, watch something else. This sport doesn’t need to be pussified any more than it already is. There are more reasons to keep fighting in hockey than there is to get rid of it.