Saturday, November 20, 2004

NHL?

's funny. My family and I had dinner with some friends this evening. The husband, we'll call him Mike since that's his name, is a sports nut. Used to be into sports betting pretty heavily. He doesn't seem to miss the NHL all that much. In fact, he figures the lockout has saved him, and the company he works for, money.

I ask those around me every chance I get about whether or not they miss hockey. No one seems to.

In a recent article, sportswriter Jim Kernaghan writes that prior to the strike there were dire predictions about how Canadians would go through withdrawals. How tragic this would all be to our collective psyches. He also writes that all these predictions seemed to be totally wrong:

Well, guess what? Nobody cares. The only reaction produced among fandom, it seems, is no reaction.

The sun rose the day after the league's owners bolted the door and everyone -- even people in other spheres of hockey -- is simply getting on with their lives.

He continues,

Those of us raised in the Saturday night culture of hockey made some enormous assumptions as the lockout drew nigh.

There was a time when one's social life revolved around the televised game, when parties and everything else planned for the evening were put on hold until the final whistle. Well, guess what? There is evidence the hold that hockey was presumed to have had on the hearts and minds of Canadians might not have been as powerful as we all thought.

He goes on to divulge a closely guarded secret; one I think is not exclusive to hockey. Very few people watch a game in its entirety (on television). Most will tune in and out...channel surf to other games, or other shows. Others will tune in only if there is some sort of suspense (like me...I won't really watch an NFL game unless it's close. Otherwise, what's the point?).

Sports in general, and hockey specifically, have to learn a harsh lesson. MOST of us are smart enough not to make watching a sport the sole purpose in our lives....or even a driving force.

I care so little about professional sports of any kind, that I don't care that hockey is locked out. I don't care that the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers had a big brawl. I don't care that Barry Bonds may or may not have been using steroids. And why should I anyways?