#5: You'll finally have something to talk about to that Canadian person you know
This is the game that causes Canadians, a group often stereotyped for their kindness, to turn into police car burning riot members. You have to wonder if there is something to that. Well, I'm here to tell you there is. Hockey is the National Winter Sport of Canada, and has been so loved by our neighbors to the north that hockey has become a tradition, one more deeply rooted then any sport is to most Americans. Hockey fans everywhere and I graciously invite you to come find out why.
#4: Hockey is for everyone.
For years now the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has been leading efforts to reach out and show people that hockey is for them. They have both youth programs, most of which encourage diversity and are gender nonspecific usually up until high school, as well as programs and leagues for adults who have never laced up a pair of skates in their life. Both hockey players and fans love the game they have come to call their own, and will not hesitate to help a new player or a new fan understand game.
#3: You could really use a wardrobe change.
Hockey jerseys are
some of the most distinguishable sports jerseys, and are made to
handle hits, skate blades, sliding across the ice, and more.
Unfortunately, they have a price tag that reflects it. NHL jerseys have become iconic in style and many have logos and patterns on them are quite unique to the
sport. Perhaps you remember Cam wearing a Red Wings jersey while he, Ferris, and Sloane run around Chicago playing hooky? Or even Snoop Dog wearing a Throwback Pittsburgh Penguins jersey in his music video 'Gin and Juice'. I'm no fashion expert, but a good hockey jersey can add a
whole lot of color and style to your wardrobe. Best of all, you have
plenty of options too. All NHL teams have a home jersey, an away
jersey, and an alternate jersey (also called the 'third jersey'), not
to mention the fact that retro style jerseys are also available.
Here are a couple of Jerseys that I am particularly fond of.
And here is Rhianna wearing an Ottawa Senators alternate jersey. Personal expirence has led me to believe that often times in life pants are overrated. Good call Rhianna.
#2: Because it's the cup.
There's nothing in sports quite like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and I'll tell 'ya why. Now, during the regular season, each team plays 82 games over the course of about six or seven months. After such a taxing season the best of the best still manage to dig within themselves to work hard, stay in playing shape and come up with their very best play, a true testament to their work ethic and willpower. This creates an atmosphere which is absolutely electric, charged with the hopes of the fans and the dreams of the players. From a Bruins fan who recently saw his team win the cup after a 39 year drought and having only been a fan for 12 of those years, I can tell you that watching your team win it all is one hell of a feeling.
#1: Hockey is growing.
A recent poll found that when Americans were asked to pick just one sport as their favorite, 5% picked hockey. This initially does not sound high, but it happens to be the same amount of Americans who picked basketball as their favorite sport. The story is similar internationally: hockey is growing and fans are popping up in more places. Currently, hockey is beginning to catch on in European countries. In fact, the first team to win the Stanley Cup under an European captain was the Detroit Red wings in 2008. For comparison, the first team to win under an American captain was the Dallas Stars in 1999 and to add even more perspective, the second team to win a Stanley Cup under an American captain was the LA Kings in 2012. In the 2010 Winter Olympics. the US Men's Hockey Team would take the silver medal in what was an extremely close loss to the heavily favored Team Canada. With the next Winter Olympics months away and the NHL season starting up in a little more then 3 weeks, now is a great time to become a hockey fan.
So what now?
Okay, so I'm going
to assume here that you are on board with this wonderful game,
because lets be honest, it's awesome, and you're definitely on board.
So, now you need to find out how the game works. My suggestion to you
would be to find a team you like and become a fan. It doesn't really matter which team, although if you have friends who are fans, it helps to root for the same team. All that
matters is that you like that team, and here's why: When you are a
fan of a team playing, you are more invested in their games then
someone who is not a fan of either team. Because you want to see them win, you will be more invested in the game and more likely to question what is happening, and why it's happening, and hopefully, you'll learn pretty quickly.
I hope to see you this season,
Steve is many things; man, myth,
legend, fighter, lover, stunt pilot, blindfold trapeze artist,
Honorary Shaman of the Inuit tribes of Greenland, amateur egotist,
and mostly a sarcastic jerk. He resides in Worcester, Massachusetts
whenever school is in session. He loves the winter, hockey, cold
things, metal music, playing his bass guitar, video games, and also hockey. His strengths
include math and not doing your math homework for you. His only
weakness is pretty girls in band T-shirts. You can follow his shenanigans on Twitter: @OcelotAlaykum.