To Hock Or Not To Hock

Knowledge Droppings: In case you haven’t noticed, NHL is underway once again. In fact, we’re 17 games into the season. Should America be taking notice, or should the league just be moved to Canada?

BiCoastal Bias: I actually hadn’t noticed, Droppings. I would say thank you for alerting me to this fact, but I don’t know what I would be thanking you for. I’m surrounded by plenty of other great sports, sports far less likely to skip an entire season. I’d much rather watch “The Revolution” go after the MLS cup this weekend than watch an NHL game, and even if I was really in the mood for hockey, I live in Boston, a veritable hotbed for college hockey. (If that metaphor didn’t strike you as ironic, go back and read the sentence again.)

I don’t want to say that the league should be moved to Canada . . . more like returned to Canada . . . with a note that says, “Sorry we screwed up your best contribution to the sporting world, next to the funny designs on CFL footballs.” Seriously, what was the NHL thinking putting franchises in Phoenix, Nashville, and Atlanta? The very fact that the National Hockey League has a Southeast Division now tells you that someone pushed a bad idea way too far. Cities in which hockey is a sport that only the rich kids can afford to play in any capacity are not a good location for the NHL to settle, expansion teams there are guaranteed to be no more than a novelty destined to wear off around the same time everyone gets sick of watching the mascot float in from the upper rafters.

Believe it or not, the NHL could have recovered from the lockout, had they actually fixed the problems that lead to it. They should have come back this season with a 20 team league. That was the problem, wasn’t it? The NHL had overstepped its base – they had too many mouths to feed and not enough support, forcing owners to shut the whole thing down. Instead, they came back with a few rule changes intended to make the games more exciting. And while I definitely agree that the elimination of games ending in a tie was an alteration long overdue, the other subtle differences enacted aren’t going to make people come to the games in droves. The problem is that there just aren’t enough hockey fans in the very cities that these teams are trying to make money, and there probably isn’t a new rule that could change that.

Nonetheless, here we are a month into the new season, with the NHL throwing the same product at us that has already failed once. Maybe we’ll find the time to check it out somewhere between the Super Bowl and March Madness.

IntrinsicBent: I believe that hockey is America’s sport and I look forward to when it comes back next season. I’ve been anxiously awaiting it’s return after being out two seasons and was stoked to find it would be making a comeback on this post.

While waiting, I’ve discovered other high energy and popular sports to fill my time. Pro bowling is on fire. These athletes are almost as good as NASCAR drivers.

Another great one has been the spelling bee circuit. Remember when that kid in this year’s Bee (true fans refer to it as The Bee) that did that awesome Napoleon Dynamite impersonation and it seemed to terrify the geeks, er…….officials in charge? I mean, how fresh are questions like, “Can you use it in a sentence?” or “What is it’s origin?” or “Is there an alternate definition?” It’s downright spellbinding.

I have also been enjoying water polo. I mean Speedos®, dog paddling, and headgear in one action packed sport? How do you compete against that? It’s like wrestling with water and without the unitard.

Roller hockey is also awesome. It’s really as good as ice hockey except for the ice part and the talent of the players. I mean, throw it up for the Anaheim Bullfrogs, y’all.

Finally, I’ve been spending a lot of time playing Risk online with some really cool guys I met on a Star Wars chat board.

All that said, I am so glad that hockey will be coming back. I’m sure there will be a lot of hype. I think it really is my favorite sport to watch on television. Especially when Fox adds that red streak to the puck. Or is it blue?

So that’s my take. Hats off to Knowledge Droppings for letting me know that hockey will make a comeback. Everyone will be flocking back to watch those Russian and French dudes play. It’s the American Way.


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