Instead of writing a weekly series about "Why I Love Hockey," like I did earlier this summer with baseball, I think I'm going to limit myself to one self-indulgent post.
Puck Daddy has been doing this fantastic series on their blog called, "Five Reasons I Love Hockey." Since I know we'll never get asked, I figured I'd make my own list to share. Hopefully, they will not be upset by this, and if you want to share your list, feel free to leave it in the comments.
1. Hockey Sweaters
Readers of this blog know I love uniform aesthetics. When it comes to my personal tastes, nothing beats a hockey sweater. Seriously, even some of the so-so ones are better than the best unis in other sports. It's just something about the tradition of it all, how their look hasn't changed much over time.
Yes, I know RBK did ruin a bit of that a few years ago with the Edge jerseys, but they still reign supreme in my mind when it comes to sports apparel. It's why I have a collection of them.
2. The Stanley Cup
Try to name the championship trophies from the other major professional leagues in North America. Unless you really pay attention, you probably can't. Yet almost everyone, regardless if you like hockey or not, can name the Stanley Cup.
There is something to love about a trophy that spends a day with every member of the team that wins it. Also, if you win it, your name is emblazoned on the side of it forever (or at least until that band is removed).
3. A Clean Hit, Especially in Open Ice
Everything about a solid hit is awesome. The sound, the collision, the crowd's reaction. Everything.
4. The Stanley Cup Playoffs and All the Traditions That Come with Them
There isn't a better time of year for hockey fans. The playoffs come with so much excitement and drama, along with tradition.
I love the handshake line after every series. For four to seven games, these men destroy each other and try desperately to beat each other. Yet when all is said and done, they shake hands and congratulate each other. There is something uniquely awesome about that moment.
The tradition of the team captain not touching the conference champion's trophy because it's considered bad luck. This isn't the trophy they want. They want the cup, and you don't touch it until you win it.
Finally, the playoff beards. Seriously, how much more manly can you get? Players are already playing with broken bones and they have beards? Excellent.
5. The Flow of the Game
It's just something about the way the game moves. The flow of everything. The movement of players on skates, the way the puck glides.
No sport can copy what hockey has and the fast-paced movement in which everyone seems to know their role within a split second turns the game into poetry in motion; the ice is their canvas, their play pen.