Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why I Love Hockey - The First in an Ongoing Series

I'm going to steal a page from the Interchangeable Parts book (thanks, Pookie and Schnookie) and pass the off-season by sharing some reasons why I love hockey. The IBP girls are aiming for 118 reasons in honor of the section their Devils tickets were in but that would require me to provide you with 323 reasons. While there probably are 323 reason to love hockey, I'm not sure I can squeeze them all in in the next couple of months. In addition to the exciting reasons I love hockey, I'm going to add one non-hockey fact about me that you probably don't know. I'm going to aim for one post a day, but I'm too lazy to count how many days there are between now and the beginning of the season so here's the first in an unspecified number of posts.

Reasons I Love Hockey #1 - Speed
I was a baseball girl growing up and baseball is, as most people know, pretty darn slow. I don't have anything against that - I love the lazy, monotonous rhythm of baseball. It's part of the beauty of the game, and people who refuse to watch baseball because of the slowness of the sport just don't get it. (Note to football fans: Your game is every bit as slow and boring as baseball. Yeah, it is.) But because I grew up watching baseball, the speed of hockey was completely mind-boggling to me at first and honestly, it still is. A baseball player can stand in right field all afternoon and never touch the ball. A hockey player is guaranteed he'll have to deal with the puck - or a large man with the puck - all day. A baseball player can stand in the outfield and think about what he's going to eat after the game. A hockey player had better be ready to go the second he steps on the ice because the game sure as heck isn't going to slow down for him. Hockey at its best is constant motion, back and forth, up and down the ice, defense to offense at a moment's notice. One team can be dominating and a few seconds later the puck is in the back of their net. The lead can change and the momentum can shift without warning. It is, in a word, awesome

Something About Me #1
When I was a kid I was a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was born in Pittsburgh and even though I was just a wee babe when we moved, I've always had a sentimental attachment to the city - a fabulous city, by the way. That made me a bit of an outcast in Birmingham which was mostly Braves country, especially in the early 90's when the Pirates and Braves met in the NLCS, but I didn't care primarily because I never met anyone who claimed to be a Braves fan until they were the best team in the National League. (To this day, that era of Braves fans is the worst bunch of bandwagon jumpers I've ever seen.) I thought Barry Bonds was a jerk even back then which put me way ahead of schedule and I adored - adored - Andy Van Slyke. Even now I'll watch a few innings of the Tigers when they're on TV just to catch glimpses of Andy coaching first base.


KMS2 said...

I don't have the attention span to watch baseball. My mom has told stories of when my brother played little league, where he would be in the outfield and be so bored (since no little kid can hit that far) that he would pretend to catch the ball and have his own game going on in his head. And now he's a lawyer.

Kate said...


Heather B. said...

kms2, accoring to Lance Berkman, my favorite current Major Leaguer even big league outfielders get quite a stream of conciousness thing going on standing around in the field all day. So your brother definitely isn't alone there!

Kate: Tally-ho is reason number 18 I love hockey so look for it! :-)

Pookie said...

I wonder how many of our reasons will overlap, Heather, as speed is definitely one of the reasons I adore hockey. I've never understood why hockey isn't more popular since it contains pretty much everything that's good about other sports (the hitting of football, the strategy of baseball, the speed of basketball) but hey, it's those stupid non-hockey fans' loss, right? As for baseball... don't get me started. I could easily list 323 reasons baseball sucks! :)

Meg said...

he would be in the outfield and be so bored (since no little kid can hit that far) that he would pretend to catch the ball and have his own game going on in his head.

My parents occasionally like to pull out their story about my doing headstands in the outfield during my T-Ball days. Needless to say, I was not exactly my team's mvp.

I too love the speed of hockey. I can't deal with the hurry-up-and-wait aspect of football. Baseball...I don't like watching it but I love reading about it. The literature surrounding baseball is fantastic, even if the sport itself doesn't do it for me.

Heather B. said...

Meg, hockey could definitely use some great literature written about it. I've asked a couple of people for must-read hockey books and while I really enjoyed a few, some were lacking. And there's definitely not a high volume of things to choose from, especially when compared to baseball.

Pookie, you make a good point about hockey combining all the best parts of other sports. I never thought of it quite like that but you're absolutely right. Non-hockey fans--->losers!

LeeAndrew said...

Boo Pittsburgh, it's boring, I want to go somewhere else!

I was listening to the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers game on MLB Radio the other day and the Mets announcer's talked about YOUR BOY Andy for a good five minutes.