Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On Hockey Without Research

  • It’s just cold soccer.
  • Or frozen lacrosse.
  • Chilly rugby, perhaps.
  • Every sport that’s a real sport is kinda the same thing: two teams trying to get a thing into a place with arbitrary restrictions.
  • You can’t use your hands, or you have to dribble the ball as you move, or you have to be European to be any good at it.
  • (We are not counting baseball, as baseball is just weird.)
  • Anyway, hockey was invented in Canada.
  • It’s important up there.
  • If there were a Canadian Ken Burns, there would be a 15-hour documentary about the history of the sport with long, sweeping pans over grainy snapshots of ponds and Don Cherry’s birthplace as famous Canadian actors read letters from Mark Messier or something.
  • I’ve said this before, but: Canada is to hockey what Brazil is to soccer.
  • They’re supposed to win.
  • And, after they win: riots.
  • Hockey is generally considered one of the Core Four sports in North America, and its history is similar to baseball, football, and basketball.
  • People’s game to play after work and school.
  • Semi-pro game with teams run by local businesses/rich folks.
  • Professional, but still scrappy and scuffling, game run by increasingly larger businesses/rich folks.
  • TV.
  • Entrenched, big-money concerns that have had laws either written or thrown out, depending on the situation.
  • Providers of content for EA sports video games.
  • SunRIIIIIIISe, sunset…
  • Hockey is played on ice because Canada is cold.
  • When it spread to America, it stayed up north.
  • Because winter exists up north.
  • As opposed to, say, Atlanta or Phoenix.
  • No teen fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning ever had their dad flood the backyard with the hose to make a rink.
  • Whereas all Canadians have been duct taped to a makeshift goal and forced to block shots ten or twelve times before they start kindergarten.
  • Hockey’s been on a bit of a slide, though.
  • I think the playoffs might have been shown on C-SPAN.
  • The one thing that hockey–the NHL in particular–will always have is the Stanley Cup.
  • Sometimes, you’ll hear it referred to as “Lord Stanley’s Cup, the greatest prize in all of sport.”
  • When they take the “s” off “sports,” you know you’re in for some high-class bullshit.
  • The team that wins the cup actually gets it for a year; everyone gets to take it home and put their babies in the thing and let their dogs drink out of it and whatnot.
  • You used to be able to get up to some serious nonsense with the cup, but now there are guys who travel with it and have all sorts of rules about not letting strippers put their assholes on it.
  • The Cup has been kidnapped and dropped in ponds and fallen out of cars and forgotten in a shitload of places.
  • But, again: we’re professionals nowadays.
  • Family-friendly.
  • Lord Stanley’s Cup now has a Twitter.
  • Which brings us to fighting.
  • Hockey is (remember: no research) the only sport that, once or twice a game, will stop the proceedings so that two men can punch each other in the face until one collapses.
  • It’s technically against the rules, which is why after punching each other in the face until one collapses, both men have to sit in a little room for five whole minutes.
  • You go, you sit by yourself, you feel the shame.
  • Unless there is a goal. Then, you can come back.
  • There is far less fighting than there used to be.
  • Teams used to get into full-fledged brawls.
  • My father swore he once attended a game between the Rangers and Flyers that featured a fight during the pre-game skate.
  • There’s an unofficial position on every team for a guy who’s not all that good at, you know, the actual playing part of hockey, but who’s excellent at punching people while wearing ice skates.
  • (Tougher than it seem: go try throwing a good jab on ice skates. You’ll break at least both of your ankles.)
  • They’re called enforcers or, colloquially, goons.
  • It turns out that the exact same thing happens to hockey players who get hit in the head a lot that happens to football players or boxers that get hit in the head a lot.
  • It’s almost as if humans were supposed to avoid head injuries at all cost.
  • But, as with a surprising amount of things, there’s a damn good Warren Zevon song about it:
  • Hockey locker rooms smell so much worse than any other locker room it cannot be described with mere words.
  • I do not understand icing.

30 Comments

  1. Lest we forget that hockey is a GIANT babe fest and I’m glad I have HD television.

  2. I’ve been known to drive to Providence, a place I’d otherwise never go to on purpose, for minor league hockey. Less finesse, more fights.

  3. ^ I’m okay with the fact that the Blackhawks won. I mean, I hate them, but he makes up for it. It’s all okay.

  4. Sir Luther Van Baconson

    June 16, 2015 at 10:28 pm

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