Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why I Love Hockey Part 8: Because Most People Don't

Why I Love Hockey #8 - Because Most People Don't
That's right, I may go on and on about how I wish everyone loved hockey and how I wish you could find, watch, and play hockey all over the U.S. but I don't mean it. I don't mean any of it. One of my very favorite things about hockey is the beat-down, underdog feeling about the sport. I love that most people look right over it. I love that even sportswriters try to pretend like they're totally above watching it. I love that those of us who have discovered hockey hold a tiny, unappreciated gem in our hands. I love that when you meet a hockey fan you automatically know that person can't be all bad. I love that there are stretches of the country where hockey is practically a foreign word but little pockets of the country where people live, eat, and breathe it. If I'd stayed in Birmingham, I know there's a very good chance that I'd still be living a non-hockey existence and knowing what I know now, that would be a pretty big bummer. But I love the contrast between Birmingham and Buffalo where there's a buzz in the air on game day, there's a pall over the city after a loss, there are kids in the streets with nets and sticks and oversized jerseys, people waving at fellow fans and honking and yelling, "Let's go Buff-a-lo!" It's something that makes Buffalo special and that wouldn't be the case if love of hockey was a universal thing. I love that being a hockey fan feels like being in on one of the biggest, bestest secrets in the world and for all the complaints about Versus and ESPN and people talking hockey down, I know if everyone loved it, I'd love it a little bit less.

Something About Me #7 and #8
I forgot this on the last post so today you get two exciting facts about me! Don't worry, I'll keep them short.

I'm a huge U2 fan. I love them. I adore them. I want to hang out with them and talk to them all day. I love that the band has always consisted of the same four guys. I love that they seem like they really like playing together. I love that they seem smart and interesting in addition to being really talented. I love the way they mix the secular with the sacred. Usually I say Edge is my favorite, but I have a soft spot for Larry. I'm going to stop here because seriously, I could talk about U2 for a very long time.

I hate cell phones. I don't own one, I don't ever plan on owning one. I barely answer our home phone and when I do, I end the conversation as quickly as possible. I'm just not a phone person. If I have to call someone and it's a call I can make without actually talking to anyone, I'll purposely call when I think no one will be home and leave a message on the machine. Mostly I hate how rude people are with their phones. If you ever find yourself in line to buy groceries from me, please for the love of all that is good and right in this world, hang up your phone. And if you don't - if all you can be bothered to do is grunt at me while you carry on your oh so important call about the new shoes you just bought - don't you dare complain to me about anything later. I'm not the one who wasn't paying attention.


KMS2 said...

I love that those of us who have discovered hockey hold a tiny, unappreciated gem in our hands.

You said it perfectly and I couldn't agree more with this post. It's like we have this well-kept secret and don't want to let just anybody in on it.

I also don't like cell phones, but I do have one. I've had the same one for over 3 years and it's big, clunky and completely unsophisticated. I also hate talking on the phone and have never updated my $30/month (300 weekday minutes) plan that I've had for almost 7 years. I like the mobility of the cell phone but I refuse to be attached to it.

Schnookie said...

Hockey is so like that great indie band you love, where you really, really want the entire world to know how great they are, but if everyone was listening to them there'd be something missing. The indie-ness is part of the appeal. You are absolutely right about this! (Of course, I really wouldn't mind if everyone would just stop fixating on how no one is watching and just enjoy the game...)

I can't tell you how much I hate cell phones! I only have one because my car broke down once in a less-than-fortunate place, and I didn't have a phone. But I don't know the number, have only ever called from it once (in over a year), wouldn't answer it if it rang, and have no idea really how to use it (I previously had a cell phone like kms2's, where it was technologically just one step up from being a tin can tied to a string). I also loathe talking on the phone in general, but I blame that on having worked in a call center. As soon as your sucky, miserable job is all about talking on the phone 8 hours a day, the prospect of speaking with your friends and loved ones after work just seems so daunting. And I've never grown out of that. So while the world becomes more desperate to always be available to anyone who wants to reach them, Heather, you and I can stand firm in our "NO TALKING ON PHONES!" stance -- I'm glad to know I won't be the only one! :-)

Kate said...

Seriously, why don't more people like hockey? Are they stupid or something?

I don't understand the aversion to cell phones. Sure, sometimes they can be obnoxious, but they are also quite handy. You can take pictures of funny things with cell phones, and there are usually a few games to play if you get stuck somewhere with nothing to do, and while I am totally opposed to IMing, I am totally PRO text messaging. Open your hearts to the cellular, girls. You won't be sorry.

KMS2 said...

Kate, are you the queen of LOL and all those other weird abbreviations? Whenever I talk to my boyfriend (in person) I like to randomly insert LOL, Obvi, OMG, TMI!! just to piss him off.

Kate said...

kms2, boys seem to HATE abbrevs... which is exactly why they are so very, very funny to use in conversation!

Heather B. said...

Schnookie, the indie band thing was actually on my mind when I wrote this. I had a friend in high school who was a huge fan of Dave Matthews Band back when they were just a little cult band. To this day, I don't think he's ever forgiven them for getting so popular despite all his complains that they deserved to be more well-known.

Kate, I think I would love texting - a little more immediate than email but not quite talking on the phone - so it's probably best I avoid it. And I guess it's not really cell phones I hate so much as it is people who are really rude and obnoxious with them. Even with my iPod firmly lodged in my ears I heard way too many phone conversations on the bus over the past couple of years, many of them fairly personal. I'll choose to believe that you're not one of those people who has your phone permanently attached to your ear - if you're are, please let me go on believing otherwise :-)

Maybe I wouldn't love texting though because I hate abbreviations. I won't use them in IMs either which is fine since I barely IM anymore.

Gambler said...

Heather, you articulated this much better than I did in my reason about how unloved hockey is. It really is so endearing.

I am pretty obsessed with my cell phone, I'll admit, but I'm sort of anal about using it considerately. It's always on silent in movie theatres, at work, class, etc. I never talk on it when I know I'll have to talk to someone (like in the line at the grocery store, or at a restaurant), and talking on the phone in the car is just one of my personal pet peeves. My sister does it all the time while I'm driving, and I just hate it.

By the way, speaking of U2, I've always thought Teppo looks a little like Bono. Do you agree?

LeeAndrew said...

I feel the same way about MMA that you do about hockey. ALthough it's not so much about it not being on TV because you can find MMA all the time on TV but I love how the ESPN experts (especially boxing) stick up their nose at it like they're too good for it. Hate to break it to you guys but it's the fast rising sport in the US, live with it.