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"Do something Lou!"
I'm a realist, not a pessimist, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
It dawned on me. There are times when I'll be hanging out with friends and the topic of sports comes up in conversation. 9 times out of 10, they talk about baseball, football, basketball, even nascar. Whenever I mention hockey, they look at me like I have 2 heads, or start saying hockey stinks, it's boring to watch, baseball's better, and blah blah blah. Living in New York, It's an area where hockey is recognized, but doesn't compare to baseball and football in popularity. I like baseball and keep up with my Yankees, think it's a great sport and all, but although most of us are fans of different hockey teams, I'm sure we've all asked what the huge craze about baseball is, and why hockey isn't nearly as popular in the US. Another thing I'm sure we can all agree on is how hockey is simply better to watch, just to mention a few points as to why...

1. Hockey is more exciting: I think it's a burden in itself to watch an inning of baseball, let alone a full game. You're glued to the screen when you watch hockey because the game is on a constant pace, there's always something going on, and the players are always moving. It's a huge thing whenever someone scores, a huge save or hit is made, when a fight breaks out...I can go on for hours. Sure there's the occasional catch ESPN puts on Sports Center's top 10, but when you really look at those plays, has anyone realized it's the same stuff done differently?

2. Hockey players are better to the fans: You're in public, you'll shake your favorite hockey player's hand or get his autograph before you even have a baseball player whose name you just recognize even acknowledge you. It's probably the difference in publicity and money that differentiates hockey and baseball players, personality wise. Sure there's a hockey player or 2 who aren't people friendly, or a baseball player that'll pose for a photo or give an autograph, but I'm talking about the general difference between hockey and baseball players.

3. Hockey players know how to fight: Baseball brawls are knee slappers to watch, but like those highlight plays, they're technically all the same. 2 players confront each other, talk smack, one throws a punch or 2, and wrestle each other, causing everyone surrounding them to mob one another. First off, look at how baseball players punch. It's not even a punch, it's more like a...closed fist swing, like they're trying to slap you, but they don't realize their hand is in a fist. I need not say more. When hockey players drop the gloves and baseball players do whatever it is they do, you know which one you'd rather see.

4. All hockey teams have opportunities on the ice and in the market: As of 4 years ago, the NHL instated a salary cap, which limits how much teams can spend per summer and how much they can offer a player, which is both lauded and scorned. Like it or hate it, I think it makes hockey a more competitive and unpredictable sport, since teams with a smaller market value have a chance to compete with teams of a bigger market value for more valuable players. This is rarely the case in baseball. When their small market teams obtain a star quality player, it's usually via trade or draft, a player that makes their name on that team, only to get traded or sign elsewhere when eligible because the team they're on can't afford the salary they demand or are deserving of. As a result, it seems that the same group of baseball teams make the playoffs, clinch the wild card, and compete in the world series, save the occasional "outsider" appearance. Looking at hockey, the last 2 Stanley Cup finals have been the latest case of recidivism in years, plus you can say the 16 playoff teams of the past 4 seasons have had several different competitors compared to the previous year.

5. Hockey is more unpredictable: This is more a combination of 1 and 4, but what I'm trying to say is in baseball, you know what's happening. The excitement can start soon as the pitcher releases the ball, which the batter either hits, fouls, strikes, or gets hit by. The bases are either empty, partially, or fully loaded, and even then a team sometimes fails to score a single run. Have we all been in the situation when we've watched a hockey game, the score's something like 2-1, we get up to get a drink, and return to see the score's changed to 3-2 or 3-3? That's spontaneity!

6. The NHL regular season is worth playing and watching: 82 games followed by 4 grueling best of 7 rounds, all to capture the hardest trophy to win in all sports. Baseball...not so much. Sure their season goes on for 160 something games in a span of 5, 6, months, causing the need to play games consecutively and those dreaded double headers. You have 30 teams playing over 160 games each only for 8 teams to compete in the playoffs. If you know you're team doesn't have a shred of hope to even finish .500, it ultimately makes the upcoming season a little purposeless, doesn't it? Since the NHL has an 82 game season, which is more spread out and makes the average fan excited for each upcoming game, not to mention the fact 16 NHL teams enter the post season, it instills the possibility of making the playoffs more realistic for the majority of the NHL's teams.

7. Contact!: Hockey's perhaps the greatest contact sport to watch in my bias opinion. I mean, can you really call a sport legit without physical contact in it? The most you'll see in baseball is a batter get hit by a pitch or intentionally colliding with the catcher as he attempts to score a run. I'll admit when I watch hockey, it's primarily to see players score goals and knock each other out. How exhilarating is it when someone gets clocked and the crowd erupts, sending a sensation of momentum through the building that I personally don't think any baseball stadium has ever experienced, save last year's outdoor classic. I bet if baseball allowed physical contact, it'd be more exciting to watch...just imagine.

8. Hockey players keep clean: Congress said the NHL was the cleanest sport in North America as far as usage of steroids or performance enhancement drugs were concerned. The last incident like that I recall is when Sean Hill got caught. The NHL does have the strictest drug policy in all sports. First offense 20 games, second 60 games, third, you're out of the league. How many baseball fans were speechless when they saw names on the Mitchell Report they thought they'd never see? The fact so many baseball stars were connected to steroids in recent years is appalling, discouraging, and taints the legitimacy and quality of any success such players and their teams amounted to. Hockey players aren't perfect, but at least we know how they play is truly them out there and hopefully nothing more.

9. Hockey's got limits: With 9 timeless innings, a baseball game can drag on and on, which is more tedious to watch especially if it's one of those drab contests. At least you're guaranteed an end to regulation in hockey. If it goes into overtime, the anticipation and knowledge that 1 goal determines the outcome is simply exhilarating. Hockey's got 3 periods lasting for 20 minutes, which not only provide a limitation for regulation, but make the game more meaningful since time becomes a huge factor. There's no focusing or taking one's time to recapture a lead or tie a game, not to mention the tide of a game can shift immensely in one period.

10. Hockey players are tougher: They play with broken fingers, feet, chipped teeth, black eyes, the list goes on. Even when they're out, they look to make a speedy recovery and get back in the game. Why is it that baseball players are out 2, 3 months with a stubbed toe or broken finger, whereas hockey players aren't even out for 2, 3 weeks? My guess is getting paid millions of dollars to sit at home is intriguing, I'd be tempted by such an opportunity. Baseball players are on the ground after getting hit with balls or those incidental collisions, which I know is painful and would knock the wind out of anyone, but it seems to me they're a level or two under the length soccer players take "injuries". Hockey players get rocked at games and finish them knowing they got fractures or concussions or whatever injuries they may endure. I don't know it just speaks for itself.
Filed Under:   amerk626   hockey   baseball  
August 10, 2009 3:01 PM ET | Delete
Amen, I HATE baseball and anyone who trys to tell me that baseball players are better athletes than hockey players is just not smart. Only in baseball could some fat guy, i.e. Prince Fielder, not only play but be an all-star in. It is the dumbest sport on the planet and I have no respect for any of the players that play it.
August 10, 2009 3:14 PM ET | Delete
couldnt agree with you more....ive been preaching many of these facts for years because i personally hate baseball mostly due to the speed of the game and the fact that there is little to no action. its amazing when you go to a baseball game how many people arent even watching it intently...i wouldnt either if i knew there was only a slim chance of anything happening...
August 10, 2009 3:15 PM ET | Delete
The one thing baseball has is the multi-score play which ultimately does a lot for the sport especially since one swing could have you go from being 3 runs down to 1 up, but IMO that is the ONLY thing baseball has....
August 10, 2009 3:15 PM ET | Delete
i like all of your points....the main one though....hockey more than ANY other sport follows that cliche': the players play for the logos on the front not the names on the back....with the exception of a handful of players in the league that is not seen in any other sport.....great write up....usurp woo, please!
August 10, 2009 3:16 PM ET | Delete
sorry i had to break it up...this site sucks with posting
August 10, 2009 3:28 PM ET | Delete
Lol I hear ya. I agree too. Save those multi-point plays, that's one of the few things about baseball worth getting excited over...whenever those occurrances happen.
August 10, 2009 3:32 PM ET | Delete
Great blog,Hockey is the most entertaining sport in the world to watch. A similar argument could be made for any other sport, even fans of those sports that don't lke hockey call it more fast and exciting. Need I say more!
August 10, 2009 3:39 PM ET | Delete
Great blog. Hockey is really the only sport I follow. I could care less about the super bowl, the NBA is a snorefest, but I will usually watch the worlds series, but during the NHL playoffs I am glued to my TV. Soccer is alright, but its not the same without competitive teams in America.
August 10, 2009 11:45 PM ET | Delete
Very interesting blog. Personally, I like baseball in terms of the sport, but I hate what baseball has become in terms of salaries, PEDs, etc. I still watch, but not with a major rooting interest. It amazes me that people will turn out in droves to root for people like A-Rod. Meanwhile in a sport like hockey you have so much more of actual character. Too bad more people don't appreciate the finer points of the sport.
August 11, 2009 1:37 AM ET | Delete
your 100% right if you like fast paced sports then hockey is the game...baseball is a statistics game sooo many lame statistics joe blow bats .500 on days that its sunny and the pitcher has a receding hair line. football you spend most of the time waiting for the plays to even happen...in 3 hours there is like 12 minutes of action i do enjoy lacross and rugby as well tho they are brutal and fast paced but dont ask me to name one superstar cuz i wont know
August 11, 2009 9:37 AM ET | Delete
I agree that hockey is the greatest game on earth and the skill involved is awesome. Great athletes. But I would not go as far as to say there are not good athletes in baseball. There are some. I totally respect the ability and way Chase Utley approaches the game. Great athlete
August 11, 2009 8:18 PM ET | Delete
11. You don't need an 8 pack to enjoy a hockey game.. although, it does make it alittle better
August 11, 2009 11:19 PM ET | Delete
Awesome, Living in NY, the Sports Talk Radio hardly ever mentions hockey, and when they do they either cant pronounce the name or its something bad. As a matter of fact, I tried writing to a local News Station Sportscaster who failed---FAILED TO MENTION GAME 7 STANLEY CUP during his Friday Sportscast......And get this, the News channel is owned by Cablevision-The Owners of The NY RANGERS!!!!!
August 11, 2009 11:23 PM ET | Delete
Point is, Hockey gets little respect from the "supposed sports casters" unless the local Rangers or Islanders are in the Cup Finals....Forget about Buffalo, logistically they dont exist to us Down-Staters...Sorry Guys....Hockey is the Greatest Sport! Baseball is a joke...a bunch of pretty boys wearing tight pants and cant take a lil contact without getting into a hissy fit......with exception of a few stars in Baseball, theyre all a bunch of pricks...even the guys who ride the bench are pricks......
August 11, 2009 11:26 PM ET | Delete
I'd rather watch Girls Softball than watch A BASEBALL game.....I mean, the girls are half decent to look at and in great shape, and sheeez...they NEVER make an error!!!!!!!!! Theyre damn good atheletes!!!! Besides, you cant tell me that your still interested in Baseball if your a Mets Fan, and the season is only half over!
August 11, 2009 11:33 PM ET | Delete
August 11, 2009 11:35 PM ET | Delete
Watch the Red Sox/Detroit Highlights tonight on ESPN.....Youkalis charges the mound, and 20 yr old pitcher, because he gets hit in the back. As he charges, he throws his helmet at the kid--but NO FISTS! NOT ONE PUNCH THROWN!!! The Pitcher then throws Youkalis with a Japanese Fly Away Throw move and lands Youkalis on his rump. Classic scary Base-Brawl...LOL
August 12, 2009 1:00 AM ET | Delete
Which further justifies my 3rd reason! Totally agree!
August 12, 2009 11:12 AM ET | Delete
August 12, 2009 11:16 AM ET | Delete
I agree 100%, baseball is the most boring sport to watch, other than soccer. I would even take it one step further and say that hockey is more exciting than football, basketball, and baseball all together, and the only TRUE team sport there is, its too bad that people in the states dont appreciate the sport more.
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