I am missing the NHL this year. Seriously. I mean, football is nearing the exciting end of its season, and then what? Hockey. But not this year. I am already dreading the void that will appear just after the Super Bowl and before training camp starts for next season. There is the start of the MLB season, when the Pirates will be contenders in the NL Central for about a week. Uhh. Then what? The NFL preseason starts in August...
In the meantime there will be a noticeable lack of the fastest game on ice. No checking. No acrobatic goals. No great saves. No Mike Lange telling Grandma to get in the fast lane (the bingo game is ready to roll). No grown men throwing down their gloves so they can throw punches. None of it.
I'm starting early and trying to replace my hockey. I actually watched the entire 2nd half of an NBA game earlier this evening - it was in HD so I figured I'd give it a try. I just can't get into it. Dunk, foul, lay-up, bad pass, turnover, foul, timeout. Not exactly thrilling. Then a fight broke out! Like hockey! These guys will probably be suspended for a few games, though, unlike the 5 penalty minutes they would get if it really was hockey. Oh, well. Nice try.
I'm not saying that there aren't great athletes playing the game. I just think that I may not be able to appreciate the NBA because I can't identify with the players.
Look at baseball - the post-steroid era ballplayers are just like guys you went to middle school with. In fact, Jack Wilson looks like he is still IN middle school.
In football there are chubby guys with bad knees and tiny guys who wear shoes that don't match. It sounds like a trip to the grocery store or a trolley ride into town.
And in hockey - I know tough and/or crazy dudes from all over the world. I know people with very few vowels in their last names. I know them. I am related to people like this.
I don't know any 7 foot tall bald guys with neck tattoos. And I for sure don't know anyone who can jump up and hang on the rim.
Now, I'm OK with the NCAA and the whole March Madness thing, when people discuss at length the toughness of the Valparaiso team this year (not because they have seen the team play a game, but because they wrote down "Valpo" in the second round of a bracket since it sounds neat). I love the single-elimination tournament aspect of it. The win or go home. It makes games exciting. That and the fact that at least a few of the guys on the court are playing for fun instead of bling. But the Madness only lasts for 3 weeks. Hockey needs replaced for 7 months.
I'm not sure who is to blame for keeping my hockey off the ice. From what I've read, it seems like everyone. But I don't really care. After the 6th of February I will enter the void, and it is not looking like the NBA will be able to have any effect. Even if it is in HD.