The National Hockey League season is upon us, and i for one am ready to watch. This particular year doesn't have anything special about it even though it looks to be fantastic following Sidney Crosby's first Stanley Cup title. The point here is for me to highlight what is so great about this sport. This is kudos to the real fan, props to those who follow their team 82 games a year and just pop in once a week to see whats going on in that sport in which those guys in pads skate.
It is clear not enough people watch the sport. Maybe it is the asinine television contracts, maybe it is the lack of appeal to multiple races. The other major sports have a minority setting involved while hockey does not have that in regularity. Maybe not enough play it when they're young, and that a sport that gets played in the cold all the time is not appealing to young American athletes. Whatever the reason may be, many people are missing out on a gorgeous sport, far different form the stereotype it often receives form those who clearly do not know it at all. Hockey is not a sport of barbaric proportions where large white guys just fight each other and hit each other with sticks. Yes, if there is a problem, it is handled with the dropping of the mitts sometimes. Yes, it can be barbaric at times, but what sport isn't? There are so many different types of hockey players of all sizes and all skills, and in some way they can all succeed, because the game is tailored for more than one type of player to do well. Typical skill players will do well while dangling, and scoring and getting the assists and all the points. The grinders get to shine by going into the corners or killing a penalty or laying a big hit on somebody out in the open ice. checking, by the way, is a strategical thing used to keep somebody out of a play, or throw them off of a play, not just for the sake of being physical. Goalies stand on their heads to make 40 saves in a game to preserve a win, or play terribly and cost their team the game. Forwards, defensemen, goaltenders..they all come together to create an almost poetic movement of man. A graceful skater is one of the best looking things in all of sports. An end-to-end rush, a great saucer pass, a successful penalty kill, a back door power play goal..whatever it is , once you know the game, it is remarkably enjoyable. Unlike some other sports, any team can beat any otherther team on any given night in the NHL. Not to mention that playoff hockey is the most exciting form of postseason play there is in sports.
So i urge the fans, not just of hockey, but of all sports, make sure you watch this season, or at least follow to some extent. This is a great sport with great tradition with great individuals that deserve more support as a collective unit. This sport is just as fun to watch as baseball or football, it is time that more people see it. This is my plea to the American sports fan.... when you get the chance, no matter what city you are in, watch hockey, see if it is for you. It is too much fun to pass up, and it will eventually catch on to grow into something much bigger than it is now.