Hockey is a very underappreciated and under viewed sport pretty much from West Virginia south. If you’re a football fan there is no real reason you wouldn’t enjoy the beautiful sport of hockey. These guys are flying around out there on one of the hardest and slickest surfaces known to man, throwing their bodies into each other, throwing them selves in front of a puck ripping through the air at 100+ miles an hour, and if you’ve got a problem with a guy on the other team you just toss the mitts off and pound the shit out of each others toothless faces. Tell me how the hell it gets any better than that.
Now I know a big reason a lot of people don’t watch it is because they know nothing about it. It’s a cultural thing that’s predominant in the north just like football is predominant in the south. I started watching hockey a couple of years ago and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Very fast paced, very physical and it takes the whole damn team to win it. You may have 5 skaters and the goalie on the ice at one time but you’ve got 4 lines of guys that rotate in and out for fatigue and situational hockey. The sport isn’t hard to learn either from a fans perspective. You have 2 wings, a center, 2 defense men, and a goalie on each team. You can get penalties for offsides, hooking, slashing, or fighting. Penalties land you in the penalty box for a set amount of time usually 2 minutes for small penalties, and the bitch about it is that the player isn’t replaced they just have to play 5 on 4 or “shorthanded”. That’s really about all you need to know to first watch it.
On top of it being a physical smash mouth game to begin with, it does take some insane talent and hand eye coordination. It’s hard as hell to ice skate to begin with. On top of the actual skating in every direction they’re handling a tiny puck with a stick while they have other giant dudes flying at 20 mph trying to take your head clean off your body. Plus you’ve got to try and shoot this tiny ass puck by a guy who is almost as big as the net you’re shooting in. Seeing someone fire a slapper from the blue line by the goalie through a crowd of defenders may be one of the most impressive feats in all of sports. Play off hockey is on another level from many other sports I’ve seen too and it’s coming April 6, if you’re needing something to fill the void from March Madness ending this just may be what you need to get your fix. So if you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. If you’re not really getting it at first, pound a couple beers and just enjoy the monstrous hits and cheer like hell when the team you’re pulling for scores. If you’re still not sure, watch this bad ass video of dudes getting lit up mid ice and against the boards, hopefully you change your mind.