I'm a diehard hockey fan. It's something that most of my friends can't understand. They see the game as boring, confusing, and pointless.
They laugh at me for loving a sport that is so different than anything that they like.
They can't understand why I eat, sleep, and breath this game. While they're all induced in the sports-coma that is ESPN coverage, I'm scouring the Internet reading bios and scouting reports on foreigners with strange names.
They can't fathom the idea of what hockey actually is. To them, it's barely a sport. It's just a bunch of Canadians running around with no teeth clubbing each other with sticks. It's just a bunch of Europeans slapping a piece of black rubber on ice while people try to hit them. It's just a bunch of goons drilling their opponents in the face with bare knuckles. It shouldn't even count in their minds, after all, it's just hockey right? Nobody cares about it.
I know there are millions of diehard hockey fans like myself across the United States who have the same burdens on thier shoulders. The burden of being a hockey fan in a hockey-hated country.
Well, if you really want to try and convince your friends how great hockey actually is, you need to sit them down in front of a TV and play them what we all just witnessed.
What Team USA and Canada just displayed can not be put into words. The game even had Mike Emrick, the master of words and adjectives speechless at times.
For me to try to describe what this game was, would do it such an injustice.
What we just witnessed was hockey at it's purest. It was everything that every hockey fan has been brought up on how the game should be.
It was hockey ecstasy.
The intensity was surreal. It was almost as if Hollywood tried incorporating every element of what a suspenseful hockey game should be, and filmed it. Except, this wasn't staged, it wasn't Hollywood. This was real.
The emotions displayed by both teams in this contest was so unbelievable, that forget about speechless, I was thoughtless at times.
I couldn't even comprehend what I was witnessing.
From the outstanding goaltending displayed by U.S. netminder, Ryan Miller. To the ridiculous onslaught of firepower brought by the Canadians.
The physicality of both teams was simply brutal. This game was the epitome of North American hockey.
I have never witnessed a game like this in my lifetime, from the opening minute, when American blueliner, Brian Rafalski, put the puck passed Marty Brodeur. To the final seconds when Ryan Miller held off everything that Team Canada had to throw at him.
While American bodies were dropping down blocking everything that Canada threw at them, to Rick Nash simply steamrolling anything in his path.
Every aspect of this game was absolutely exquisite.
I've never found myself, sitting on the edge of my seat, anxiously counting down the seconds to a game that wasn't being played by one of my hometown teams before.
Forget about the impact that this game has on the Olympics (USA now has a bye into the next round, while Canada doesn't), this game means so much more to the sport of hockey.
So, if you ever find yourself in the situation that I constantly find myself in; trying to defend the sport that I love so much. Get yourself a copy of this game. Sit your ignorant friends down in front of the TV, and don't let them move until they have watched this game from start, to finish.
If they still can't appreciate the sport that we love so dearly, well, there's something wrong with them.
We might be the minority in this ESPN world of sports, but it's okay.
For we, the select few that call this game ours, are truly blessed.