A collaboration; from Pure Nerd Nip:
Yeah, I’m as shocked as you but it had to happen eventually, our inaugural post on sports. Now while I have my issues with most professional sports organizations; chief among them using public money to fund private enterprises and for the most part they are boring to watch, sports themselves are a highly worthwhile endeavor. They promote teamwork, fitness, and one would hope sportsmanship. And really isn’t ‘sports fanatic’ just the normie way of saying ‘geek out’?
Last night saw the passing of the Stanley Cup to the Los Angeles Kings; and while their refs seemed to be really interested in preserving home ice advantage, I sincerely offer they and their fans a hearty ‘grats. Last week I was talking with my good friend That Geek Chick about why hockey in particular strikes a chord among the geeky. It has to be more than just popular icons like Wil Wheaton and Kevin Smith publicly showing their devotion to the sport. Although it couldn’t hurt that Smith features it in every movie from Clerks to Clerks 2; we came up with a few core reasons why we love hockey and you should too.
-Geeks empathize with underdogs: Lets face it; in the world of professional sports hockey is the picked on little brother. It doesn’t have the draw or money making potential of your foose or baseketballs. The players aren’t particularly pretty, most of them missing teeth and have more gashes and bruises by the time they hit 20 than most people will see in a lifetime. It’s rough and tumble, seemingly without rules, it’s scrapy and we like it that way!
-It’s easy to understand: Hockey doesn’t get mired down in minuta of rules and lost in endless stats and data that may be overwhelming to the uninitiated. There’s 3 basic penalties: offsides, icing, and don’t be a dick and hit other people with your stick; that’s about it! Granted, just as you can with any other sport (and really any other thing worth being geeky about be it comics, or movies, etc) you can certainly loose yourself in history, and individual players/teams backstory, stats, etc; but you don’t have to and thats a beautiful thing. One can sit down without knowing anything about either team and simply appreciate the artistry on the ice; which leads me to our next point:
-It’s fracking entertaining: The games are (relatively) short, fast paced, and action packed. The last baseball game I went to absolutely nothing happened. We got up to get snacks and drinks and in that 5 minutes the only two runs of the game were scored. There’s no downtime like baseball, there’s no running out the clock as in football; hockey moves and you as an observer move with it. You get nervous anytime the opposing team is in your zone for more than ten seconds. The expectation is to not see the other team score; so when it does happen it’s devastating or exhilarating depending on which side of the net you’re on. Sorry basketball but I can’t empathize with a “close game” being 103-99; well i guess those 3 times they didn’t score were real cliffhangers, but it’s ok the other 50 times they did make it really helped them shake it off. No! that kind of mindset dilutes itself till it’s almost worthless. Give me a game that can hinge on a single mistake or that if you act like a douche you can get punched at any instant!
-Puts the team in teamwork: Beyond all that I believe hockey has the most team aspect of any team sport. Most sports can get away with a successful team having 2-3 superstars and the rest of the spots filled with bodies to flesh out the roster. While there are names like Lemieux and Gretzky that will undoubtedly stand the test of time, hockey truly is a group effort. With line shifts seamlessly happening every 30 seconds or so, being able to grab a W even if your captain spends three quarters of the game on the bench, and the absence of even one player can really making a difference; it really is like The Avengers on ice!
So what do you think? Hockey yay or nay; or is everyone out there still all football ftw?
Stay nerdy my friends!