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"HockeyBuzz + New Jersey Devils Season Ticket Holder"
New Jersey, NJ • United States • 28 Years Old • Male
As a hockey fan in America, I sometimes find myself in a situation which I'm sure some of you have faced before as well. When talking sports with someone, you may happen to mention that your favorite sport is hockey, and in response you receive nothing but a blank stare. It's almost as if the other person is silently answering, "No, seriously, what sport?" It is indeed frustrating on many levels, but mostly because as a sport, hockey has everything that America loves about its other three sports all rolled into one, and yet in this country it is taken about as seriously as roller derby (probably looks the same to them too). And it is with this thought in mind that I write this blog, not to convince the hockey fan of anything that they don't already know, but rather to serve as a reference to explain to the uninformed that everything they love about football, baseball, and basketball is present in the great sport of hockey. Should you ever find yourself in this situation, feel free to pull from this whatever you deem necessary to defend your love of hockey.

Let's start with what is clearly America's favorite sport, football. Typically what attracts people to football is first and foremost the physical play. Each sport is rife with contact, and there is nothing to say that a big tackle or sack in football is any more exciting than a bone-crunching check into the boards or a Stevens-esque open ice hit. Toughness is certainly equaled in both sports, with the only difference being that hockey players are allowed to release their aggression by fighting.

In addition, football preaches the concept of teamwork. Every player on the field, both on offense and defense, has their specific job to do, and the whole does not succeed without all of the individual parts performing their jobs to the best of their ability. So too does this concept exist in hockey. Each team is made up of snipers, playmakers, penalty killers, face-off specialists, defensive forwards, grinders, puck-moving and stay-at-home defensemen, and goaltenders...and it is only when all of these players do their specific part that the team as a whole enjoys success on the ice.

Ah yes, the great American pasttime...a sport which values above all else, its rich tradition and history. The history and tradition of hockey go back around the same time as baseball, and despite the advance of time, the simplicity and integrity of the game in both instances is carefully maintained.

Along with being a game of tradition, baseball carries an heir of grace and elegance about it. There are times when the flow of the game is one of discipline and finesse, not unlike watching a player like Sidney Crosby alone on a breakaway. Just as with the perfect execution of a double play, there are times in hockey, such as watching a talented goal scorer execute a deke to perfection and gently slip the puck past the goaltender that the game of hockey is one of pure beauty, so much so that you are at a loss for words.

Basketball is a sport which requires a great deal of athleticism and hand-eye coordination. It is certainly no easy task to execute an alley-oop or a wide array of spinning dunks and no-look passes, let alone with the continuity and accuracy displayed by professional players. Hockey is no different in this sense, either. Everything from tape-to-tape passes and shot accuracy to performing drop passes and dekes, to the goalies being able to stop pucks traveling at 90-100 mph coming from all angles all requires and incredible amount of skill and hand-eye coordination.

It is a shame that more people can't look at hockey for what it is, rather than regarding it with the same impression they get from watching cricket. If they would look a little closer, they'd be able to see that hockey contains everything they already love about sports. Hockey is contact, teamwork, strategy, tradition, grace, skill, and athleticism all rolled into one beautiful game.
Filed Under:   hockey   sport   best   why  
August 5, 2008 11:16 PM ET | Delete
great blog jersey :)
August 6, 2008 1:14 AM ET | Delete
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy baseball aswell... but I've always found it, and golf, as more of a hobby... golf, because there it is not very physically demanding, hense tiger woods winning on 1 leg. And the fact that every hockey player, who play 1 sport professionally, play alot of golf, but are considered athletes for their hockey playing, and consider golf as a hobby. And as for baseball, its pretty much the only "sport" I can think of where teams take turns having the chance to score, in a pre-determined pattern (team A then team B...repeated 9 times). In any other sport if you get the ball (or puck) it is now fair game for you to go and score (Yes even in tennis you take turns serving, but you can still get points by smashing the ball back at the server). Both "sports" also involve an aweful lot of standing around, for these reasons I believe that hockey is far superior as a "sport".
August 6, 2008 3:23 AM ET | Delete
Heh, YOU get blank stares? I live in Southern California!I agree with what you're saying, but I don't really use this logic because I don't like to compare hockey to other sports (they aren't good enough, hehe). Furthermore, I reckon for the people that like other sports, if they didn't reason themselves into liking that sport, you can't reason them to like hockey. You've just got to expose them to it (take em to a game, tie them down to a sofa and force them to watch with you, etc.) and let them make their own judgement. Also, there are a LOT of people out there that like certain sports simply because everyone likes it, which is a stupid reason to like something, but that is neither here nor there. For these people that just like to follow the masses... well, I don't know if I want a fan like that.
August 6, 2008 8:45 AM ET | Delete
Hey, what's wrong with roller derby!!?!! hahaha Nice job TJD.
August 6, 2008 1:14 PM ET
Great blog!!! I have many friends who actually hate hockey
August 7, 2008 1:19 AM ET | Delete
I also like the fact that in Hockey, players have to change from offense to defense on the fly. The only sport that it happens in is Basketball and that's assuming they don't score, so not that often.
August 7, 2008 3:02 AM ET | Delete
Hockey is a religion, if they have to ask, they wouldn't understand!
August 7, 2008 8:38 AM ET
The rest of my comment never made it for some reason...lol
August 7, 2008 10:21 AM ET | Delete
it's all about media exposure. it will never happen because many americans don't understand or want to understand the game.
August 7, 2008 1:46 PM ET | Delete
Hockey is by far the most exciting sport. The way to get people to appreciate and love the game the way we do is to get them to a game. Unfortunately, hockey does not play, pardon pun, well on TV. Neither does baseball or basketball although the slower pace of these sports makes it possible for a neophyte appreciate them and become a fan. Only football was made for TV. I personally prefer to watch a football game on TV than to be on the 50-yard line at the stadium. Hockey, unfortunately, except for the most rabid of fans, needs to be seen live and up close. It is only when you are at the arena and experience the electricity of the crowd, the speed of the superb athletes and their immense skills that you can fully appreciate the game and assimilate all of the nuances and subtleties. Because I have attended many hockey games, I do enjoy the game on TV, but not at the same level as when I attend a game.Although this is true of other sports, it's not true to the same degree. In October 2006, I was present at a game where my beloved Buffalo Sabres annihilated the Philadelphia Flyers (final score 9 to 1), a team I despise. It was a near-transcendental experience!
August 7, 2008 2:30 PM ET | Delete
August 8, 2008 6:45 PM ET | Delete
Thanks for all the comments! I really think you need to be at a game in person to appreciate hockey...geolover is right, it does not translate well on TV; it's meant to be seen in person. You miss so much when you can only look at what the camera is following...players jabbing at each other (verbally AND physically) while the play is at the other end of the ice, trash talking coming from benches, penalty boxes, etc. So much of the passion and feeling of the sport is lost on TV. That's why I think every hockey fan should make it a point to take one of their friends to a game. All it takes is to convert one person and the wave will keep going.
August 10, 2008 11:29 PM ET | Delete
Hockey is the only sport where the end of the game is faster than the rest of the game. Pulling the goalie makes it the most exciting minute in any game.
August 11, 2008 12:02 PM ET | Delete
I second what Nemmy and Sharks fan Tim say! Living in So Cal people look at you like you're from another planet, and trying to explain it to them just makes it even worse and then they think you're crazy! But I agree with the need to take people to a game, I actually wrote a blog about it called "I have a vision and I need Your Help" and how current hockey fans, obsessed as they are, could convert many more by simply taking people along to games with them. It was how I became such a die-hard fan of the sport, and I plan on taking many more next season. I'm even getting my work into the idea of taking a Company day to see a game, and I'm talking 20-30 people. I'm bound to get at least one of them converted if not more!
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