Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Goon Suspended From Semi-Pro League

From ESPN.COM: [Thanks to BrianF for the tip]

Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Donald Brashear has been suspended for the remainder of the season by a semi-pro league in Quebec for repeatedly punching a player in the face while he was lying on the ice.

Brashear was one of three Radio X players suspended Thursday by the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey following violence during a Dec. 7 game in Thetford Mines.

Radio X has appealed both Brashear's ban and a 12-game suspension to former Montreal Canadien Sylvain Blouin. The league also suspended Quebec's Chad Richards for the rest of the season, but the team opted not to appeal his suspension.

Richards, a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder from Anchorage, Alaska, was
suspended for the remainder of the season for a violent crosscheck to the head of Thetford Mines' Hugo Poulin. Richards continued to apply pressure to Poulin's neck and left the player unconscious on the ice.

Blouin received an automatic three-game suspension for leaving the penalty box and the additional 12 games were assessed for hitting a player lying on the ice.

Brashear, who is reportedly being paid $300,000 to play for Quebec while awaiting a settlement of the NHL lockout, was suspended indefinitely following a fight with Glen Kjernisted of the Thetford Mines Prolab.

What intrigues me about this story is that a semi-pro league paid this player, well-known for his proclivity for fighting, so much money mostly to attract fans. Even though there have been studies indicating that goons might have marginal revenue products that justifies hiring them, one of my students (thanks, TH) noted that goons systematically do not get nearly so much playing time during the playoffs. That finding leads me to suspect that goons contribute to drawing fans during the regular season, but their contribution to wins is not so great. I expect that says a lot about regular season fans.

Thetford Mines Prolab? Radio X? $300,000? I really have to wonder about our assumption of rational maximization sometimes.

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