Real competition is on ice, not on the field


The NHL Playoffs are underway with the first round nearing its conclusion. Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was suspended for Thursday nights crucial game five after the fifth year player uttered an anti-gay slur from the penalty box during the game 4 loss to the Blues. 

To me, there is a clear winner when the “best sport to watch” debate begins. Sure, some will contest this for a number of reasons, and justifiably so. Good lord, if we all wanted to watch the same thing then the entire world would be enthralled with the table-tennislike action bounding back and forth on a soccer field; we do not want that, but I digress.

For me the sport is hockey … the laughter begins. Ha ha ha, go ahead giggle yourself to the brink of asphyxiation and then hear me out. I’ll wait.


Hockey is beautiful. 

Could this be outlined in a more poetic fashion, surely, but the point of hockey is not to be brash with words and open with emotion, it is to be quiet and to walk softly while carrying a big stick. Take into account a few things here; first, these boys are big. I am talking NFL, mammoth bodied gentlemen, and they not only perform at the highest level in their field but they do it all while atop a single blade and some ice. This is full contact figure skating people, what is not to love.

Secondly, unlike the previously mentioned sports of soccer and football, where flopping has become more abundant than effort or intensity, hockey rises about the influence, bordering on the verge of promoting violence.

In the NHL a player receives a two-minute minor for flopping; that is to say that they are penalized for acting rather than competing.Then you have the topic of fisticuffs. 

Say you and another player begin a discussion, possibly something regarding the obese nature of one or the others mother; rather than wait for the pavement of the parking lot hockey allows you to settle your squabble in short, on the ice.

In reality, these are the trivial aspects of the reason for writing this piece. What is really alluring you ask, the competition.

Today we see the shortcomings of a number of professional leagues attempting to create a vibrant product with uninspired talent. Today money runs the show, instead of the show garnering money and this is a problem.

Bryce Harper is one of the up-and-coming generations “super-athletes”, and recently he was quoted following candid comments about the direction he believes baseball needs to go. That direction, outlined by Harper, had nothing to do with doping regulations, ballpark activities or jumbotron hotdog races, instead, he pushed for more personality and celebration from players. He wants to “swag” it out.

I am sorry Bryce, isn’t your performance supposed to be your attention getter?

Hockey and its players refuse to succumb to this norm, the all about me attitude we see in professional sports. For that reason, you see something innately identifiable, passion.

Humans love to see others throw inhibition to the wind, pouring out their heart and soul in pursuit of something magical; whether that be and American Idol title or Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Do me, hell, do yourself a favor and tune into some playoff hockey. I promise there is no atmosphere that can compete, there is no competition that can compare and when the time comes for a champion to be crowned their effort will not be matched.