Here we are in Winter where in most places it's cold and much snow has fallen. The NFL playoffs are underway, the NBA is in full swing, and the PGA Tour has begun in beautiful Hawaii.
While all these games are wonderful in their own way, in my opinion the sport that should receive far more recognition than it does is my favorite spectator sport---the sport that may be the toughest to condition oneself for and the one that provides the most perpetual action of all sports.
The National Hockey League.
What other game on the face of this earth has an energy level so high that at any second can lift you out of your seat? Name a major professional sport that it's players must use some kind of physical energy and endurance every second the clock ticks? How about the sport that combines incredible skill, physicality, and intellectual acumen all at the same time? Can any other professional sport make you not want to go to the concession stand during play because something spectacular can happen in a bat of an eyelash? (This has happened to me far too many times)
What makes the NHL, in my NOT so humble opinion better than all other major sports? Aside from the above questions I posed about speed, skill, and the like, there is the uniqueness of the playing surface used --- a sheet of ice. This is why the action at most times is fast and furious.
This leads to the one other feature not seen in the sports.
While the other big time sports athletes use their feet firmly planted on the ground (or floor) to get into position, hockey players use skates to get around the ice surface. If this isn't the most graceful movement in sports, tell me what is?
Finally, the other three major sports use a ball of some sort to use for play. Hockey uses a round piece of vulcanized rubber --- a puck. The puck can be moved at speeds so fast that if a spectator loses focus upon the puck, it could take some time to relocate it. I find it amazing that the players can follow it ... then again, these are highly trained athletes.
With that being said, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are just weeks away in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The greatest winter athletes in the world will gather and we will all marvel at the great skills they possess. We may enjoy the beauty of figure skating, watch men and women fly through the air in ski jumping, or sit on the edge of our seats during bobsledding or luge, but no sport at this or any Olympics have the appeal and the fan base that hockey does.
Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy Major League Baseball, The National Football League, and the PGA Tour. I prefer college basketball to the NBA (don't like the NBA at all) but none of these sports for my money is as exciting as hockey, particularly the National Hockey League.
What do you think?
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