Yes…hockey season is finally here. Several thousand of my Canadian brothers just put down their Molson product and cracked their knuckles at my stupidity. Just hear me out.
I’m not a one-sport fan. I’m not a specialist. I’m like the Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders of sports fans, if they played in five leagues. I’m a multi-sport addict. I train my remote control thumb and couch-based criticism skills all year to be cynical and sarcastic about the prospects of teams and competitors in everything from football, to soccer, UFC and yes, Canada’s most beloved activity, hockey.
Given that I have to hold down a job, pretend that I’m a good husband, connect with friends and even carve up the ice a little in the Calgary beer leagues, I can’t possibly watch every game of every season in every sport.
The NHL season is over 80 games long, and really, it’s just practice for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The season is currently only 35 games deep, so we’re just getting to the point where things get interesting. Through most of the fall, my attention has been on the NFL regular season and soccer, with a few Flames games sprinkled in. The only other teams I watch are Pittsburgh and Washington, just because Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin deserve any fan’s attention whenever they step on the ice.
Since I don’t know how to write a column without a chart, here is my best representation of my main sports “responsibilities” throughout the year.
• I don’t count “Bowl Season” for college football. There is a national championship game and that’s it.
• NFL Sundays, the NHL playoffs, Olympics, March Madness and World Cup are all-encompassing events. These are all extremely damaging to my marriage given the extreme amount of time I spend yelling at a TV.
• Thank the sports gods that July and August are mostly built around free agent and transfer rumors. It’s a lot easier to follow by just checking a few web pages and let’s me play some soccer and golf, so my body actually sees the sun a few months per year.
OK, what was I talking about again…oh yeah, the hockey season.
What really kicks off my hockey fan interest for the year is the World Junior Hockey Championship. I look forward to this tournament like Tiger looks forward to road trips, and for the same reason, plenty of scoring.
The World Juniors start in only a week, and I can tell you that it’s time for this fan to start practicing “Oh Canada”!