All sports seem to have their bad, crude habits. In baseball it is the crotch grab and spitting. In football it's the well placed (and timed) butt slap. In NASCAR, their fans. For hockey, apparently the gross-out, crude habit seems to be placing a thumb on one's nostril and blowing the nuggets out of the other. Otherwise known as the Snot Rocket.
Gross to say the least, but it seems to happen way too much not to say anything. When the Caps were in Anaheim, the camera settled on Ryan Getzlaf as the announcers went over his impressive resume. At that moment, in glorious high definition, Ryan took a deep breath in and placed a thumb over one nostril and blew out a pea sized nugget out of the other. And then proceeded to clear the other next. I had to shutter, my wife let out a "Ewwww!"
Beside the fact that it is pretty disgusting, every hockey player seems to do it. Just watching Alex Ovechkin during the course of a game has cleared his nose at least 3 or 4 times when the camera looked his way. Not to mention how many times the network doesn't catch the nasal clearing that seems like an awful lot. Makes you wonder what the inside of those boards look like on the bench.
Now I consider myself a man's man. I have done things that men do that may not be socially appropriate in public like spitting over the railing of a high place, rearranging the package in a grocery store aisle, or peeing behind a tree. But one thing I have never done is blow nuggets while at a picnic or walking down the street (I guess I do have standards).
One would think a player would be more discreet with their boogers. Maybe blow them into one of the towels that are stacked in piles on the benches. Or clear one's honker between periods. Or just hold it, it can't be that bad for your health if those suckers stay put. It might be more embarrasing to have a "hanging chad" than flinging the nugget toward the ice or on the boards, even if it is on national television.
I am even more surprised that no one seems to mind the bad habit these hockey players have developed (besides the rare pick and eat ones that we won't go into here). Then again, if a player is on a break away and is more concerned about their nasal congestion distracting them from putting the puck past the opposing goaltender, than by all means, blow it out.