Not only am I new to the love of Hockey, I am new to STL Game Time. I learn quickly though, and know that if I misstep in this effort I will be put right back in my place where I belong, and I expect it. Having recently experienced my 2nd and 3rd Blues game consecutively this week, I find my self mentally checking off what I have learned about hockey, and what I love about hockey.
I grew up in a baseball family and have only recently learned to love hockey. Now firmly planted on the bandwagon with more enthusiasm than knowledge I now give you what I have learned/love about hockey, specifically Blues Hockey.
1. There are two kinds of people at a Blues game: fans and duesches. This is not the case at a baseball game. Its America's past time, so America shows up: fans, duesches, kids on a field trip, guys bringing dates, families, the whole gamet. When you walk into the Trade Center you can immediately tell who the fans are and who the dueschses are. The fans gather at meeting points between periods with other fans. The duesches gather at the concession stand and in front of tv's showing other games. The fans paint their faces, have blue and yellow wigs, and a commemorative jersey on their back. The Duesches are wearing other teams jersey's, cardinals baseball caps, or pink Blues jerseys (I have deamed these duechettes). The fans rush back to their seats after the horn blows so they don't miss a second of game play. The duechses are walking in front of you to get to their seats during game play. The fans read STL Game Time. The Duechses don't know when the next game is until somebody tells them they have an extra ticket.
2. Hockey seems to be the only sport in which fights not only DON"T break the momentum of a game but move the game forward with more passion. The fans NEED the fights, the checks, the pucks in the face of the guy on the other team. The team needs the fans, so the energy goes around on this great merry go round of players energizing the crowd with the pure virility that is a throw down and the crowd energizes the players by soaking up the barbaric karma and throwing it back on the ice. Watching the player skate gracefully over the ice, the puck smacking sound of passing and steals, a check, its all just whetting the appetite for something where gloves come off.
3. Hockey rarely stops. You can literally take a nap during a baseball game and miss NOTHING. Hockey keeps you firmly planted on the edge of your seat the entire time. When stoppage of play does occur you find yourself taking a breath, forgetting that you haven't done that in the last few minutes. There is no chance for you to get distracted in a conversation that involves anything more than mentioning to they guy beside you that the air horn kid needs to grow a pair if he wants to get three sets of blasts out, or screaming at the duesch in front of you to sit the hell down. It captivates you and holds you.
4. Hockey is about getting the puck in the net and keeping the other guy from getting his puck in your net. This sounds like a "duh" statement but hear me out. In baseball and football you move the game play one base at a time, one down at a time. Its like taking baby steps toward the end of the game. In Hockey you just go for it. Everyone's focus is the same and there isn't any of this baby step nonesense. None of this "one down at a time boys". Its go out there and do whatever it takes to get that little black puck in that little net with that great big guy in front of it. Yes, there are other sports that opperate this way, but I'm not into college basketball and last I checked we aren't Europe so I'm not going to find anything other than a high school soccer team to root for. Besides, there aren't any checks in those sports.
I feel as if I have worn out my welcome in this rant, and will therefore wrap this up. I apologize if my ignorance of the sport has offended you or the game and welcome any feedback that puts me in my place, or teaches me anything about the sport of hockey that would make it even more enjoyable. GO BLUES!