I think I’m falling in love with hockey.
It’s a weird feeling. I grew up watching hockey, and being from Detroit, was blessed with some great Red Wings teams throughout my childhood. I would watch every game I could. I knew all the players. I loved the Red Wings just as much as I loved the Pistons, which is incredibly shocking if you’ve known me the past few years.
But last week, I went to a Red Wings game where they faced off against the Boston Bruins. It was just the second Red Wings game I had been to in probably 10 years. The last time I went prior to that, the Red Wings won in a shootout and it was the loudest sports environment I had been in since I was at a Pistons’ NBA Finals game in 2005.
So, heading to the game last week, I had pretty high expectations. I showed up an hour early, hung around the arena pre-game and finally, at 7:30, the puck dropped.
The next three hours were filled with non-stop action. Even though the Red Wings lost, I had a blast. I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying it.
I am an NBA super fan through and through, and I do not think the NHL will ever surpass my love for the NBA, but the gap is nowhere close to what it used to be.
The NHL playoffs started this week, and I am so excited. My Red Wings just made the playoffs for the 24th straight year, and while sitting as the underdog against the Tampa Bay Lightning, I think we’re going to pull off the upset.
I think I’m starting to love hockey for a lot of the same reasons I have started watching soccer much more often in the past few years. I love basketball, but the stoppages are unbearable. Soccer and hockey are not like that. There’s always something going on. And while there isn’t as much scoring, having anything going on is better than constant commercials and dead time.
It’s a weird realization for me, but I have accepted it. I always felt like the NBA versus the NHL was a side that you had to take. I know that’s not the case anymore.
I can love one sport just as much as I love the other. That is the great thing about sports, you can spread the love however you want.
I know some people feel that you can only have one favorite sport, but I think you are wrong.
Two years ago, I never would have labeled myself a hockey fan. I took pride in being an NBA super fan and scoffed at the NHL at pretty much any chance I had.
That was the old me.
The new me loves hockey, or at least really likes it.
I do not know if I am ready for the big “L” word yet, but the NHL is certainly making its case.