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[password]Oh, the good ol’ hockey game!
It’s the best game you can name.
And the best game you can name
Is the good ol’ hockey game.
— Stompin’ Tom Connors (The Hockey Song, 1973)
The temperature hit 90 last week, pools are open, and kids are counting the days until school ends. So it makes perfect sense that all of us are fixated on . . . HOCKEY?
That’s right, hockey. With the Bruins [team stats] in the Stanley Cup finals, it seems New Englanders can talk of nothing else. Red Sox [team stats] vs. Yankees? So what? First Republican presidential debate tonight in New Hampshire? You’ve got to be kidding me!
So what if it’s practically summer? If Tiger Woods can play golf when Bostonians are freezing their butts off, why can’t the Bruins play hockey when it’s 90 degrees?
Of course, not so long ago, the sight of a puck and a sheet of ice after April 1st made me downright hostile. Never a fan of our endless winters, it used to be that the sight of anything even remotely frozen past the first day of spring made me want to scream.
The truth is that, back then, even in the dead of winter, I could muster little enthusiasm for the sport.
What a difference a decade makes!
Four kids and 14 hockey teams later, there’s no sport I’d rather watch than hockey, and an ice cold rink on a hot summer day now seems downright refreshing.
I may have started out as a reluctant hockey mom, but when my daughters started asking for Bruins tix for their birthdays and my son started sleeping with his Bruins jersey under his pillow during playoff season, I knew there was no turning back.
Does that make me a “pink hat” (a johnny-come-lately, bandwagon fan — usually female — who doesn’t really know a whole hell of a lot about the sport)? Maybe, at first. But now my hat is strictly black and gold.
Some writers are critical of the new found enthusiasm for the sport that, in Boston, has recently played ugly stepsister to baseball, basketball and football. But with the Bruins playing such an exciting series, maybe Bostonians are finally tuning in to the fact that there is no better spectator sport than hockey.
In hockey, unlike in baseball, there’s unrelenting action, there is never a rain delay and million-dollar players don’t go on the DL for blisters.
Where in basketball, you can miss an entire quarter and still not miss the game, in hockey, every second counts. One trip to the rest room, and you might miss the whole thing! And, unlike basketball free throw contests, in hockey the referees don’t dominate the game.
Although it requires great skill and finesse, hockey is also a much more physical game than either baseball or basketball (unless, of course, you are one of the Sedin brothers).
And, unlike football, hockey doesn’t require a full day commitment to Route 1; you don’t have to endure a 30-second delay between each play; and, oh yeah, the NHL is actually playing this year.
Yes, we are once again a Hockey Town. And that is as it should be.
So, you can call me a “pink hat.” I don’t mind. There are many others here in Boston who are even later to the game than I. (Even Dennis & Callahan have found the sport after all these years.)
Like the Bruins mascot, I’ve got my victory dance ready. Do you?