Friday, August 28, 2009

5 Things I Love About Hockey...

Among my daily internet stops includes Yahoo's hockey section. Over the last couple weeks they've added a feature called "5 things I love about hockey" where they have different hockey personalities name 5 different things they love about hockey. So, in an effort to steal their idea, I figured I'd put in my list....

1. The Stanley Cup- There's nothing like it in sports. It is truly unique, unlike the NFL, NBA, and MLB trophies-there is only one cup, when you win it, you don't get to display it in your teams facility, you get to spend a couple days with it, take it back to family & friends and then you have to bust your ass again to do it all over. Also, its the only trophy in sports where if you win it, you get your name on it forever, which explains why guys put there bodies through hell to win it

2. The Playoffs- Even when the Flyers are out, I watch every second I can of playoff hockey, the intensity of 2 teams going at it every other night for 7-14 days, developing a hatred towards each other in an effort to move on and do it again against another team. The best thing about the playoffs is even after a tough, physical 4-7 game war-they always* shake hands afterwards and wish each other luck (*unless your name is Sidney Crosby)

3. Playoff Beards- Perhaps the coolest thing in all of sports. Started by the Islanders in the early 1980's, the players stop shaving once the playoffs begin-the longer/shaggier/uglier the beard gets, the more it signifies how far you've gotten. This is one "team" thing that the fans themselves can join in on. It's fun trying to explain to non-hockey fans why you've grown a beard

4. The Fans- Hockey is probably the 4th among the "big 4" sports in America (behind football, baseball, and basketball) but we're far from being a "cult" sport (like indoor lacrosse) There is something about die-hard hockey fans, being able to name random European scrubs from a western conference team, being able to remember players from 15 years ago. Although the NHL will never be on the level of the NFL, the fans certainly are

5. Goals- In all other sports, teams score points fairly often, so when they do, it takes away the element of surprise. In hockey, there are usually only between 3-7 goals per game and those goals can happen at any time, you can never take your eyes off a hockey game. There is nothing like the spontanious celebration of a packed Wachovia Center standing and yelling in unison after one of the orange and black lights the lamp

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To Olympic or not to Olympic....

That is the question...Im very torn on this topic. As a hardcore hockey fan, I love the Olympics, its very entertaining, meaningful hockey that only comes around once every 4 years, plus its a great way to promote the stars of the league on a truly global level. Theres something about representing your country that gets these guys really amped up to play. But as a Flyers fan, I have to admit I'm a little worried about potentially having 5 guys, (Timonen, Pronger, Gagne, Richards, & Carter) playing in Vancouver this Feburary and potentially putting themselves at risk for injury. I realize that Olympic hockey is nowhere near as physical as a regular NHL game, but its easy to take a slap shot off the foot or pull a groin. The last thing I want to see is our season get ruined because one of our key guys missing significant time due to an injury they suffered at the Olympics or for that matter, Olympic training camp (hello Simon). I think back to Peter Forsberg at the 2006 games in Torino, he was having all kind of foot/groin problems and couldnt suit up for many Flyers games, but was willing to due whatever it took to play for Sweeden, not really caring about what potential harm he could do to himself & the Flyers that season. Ill be watching every minute of every Olympic game this winter, but I think I wont be rooting for a specific country, instead I'll be rooting for our guys not to get hurt. (For the record, I dont think Gags makes Canada's team)