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2011 Bucket List - #38 Attend a Hockey Game

I’ve admitted several times in the past here on the DP that the sport of hockey is one of intrigue to me. While being one of the major four sports here in America, hockey always seems to be “the sport that could”. By that, I mean hockey has many reasons why it is often an after thought when it comes to the major four sports, and always seems to have so much potential to have a larger piece of the pie than it currently does. While this is no blame on the National Hockey League, or hockey players themselves, there just seems to always be that missing “something” that hockey lacks that the other four have. 

I’ve been to one hockey game in my lifetime, and it was during my college years. At that time, I never really had any feelings toward the sport itself. I was very indifferent. After all, besides a short-lived experience of playing street hockey growing up (which I was terrible at), and the occasional hockey video game play with a few russian friends growing up, the sport was never really on my radar. Besides Wayne Gretzky, and a few others, I really could not point out hockey players if them were sitting in my living room.

My first hockey game, a Syracuse Crunch game, of the American Hockey League, sparked some interest regarding the sport. I wasn’t sure if it was due to the sporting atmosphere, or the live experience, or the fact there were a few people there with me who were able to explain and relay certain intricacies about the game, but that experience helped give a new perspective on hockey.

Now, once again, I admit, I am not a huge hockey fan, and many hockey enthusiasts may completely disagree with some of my viewpoints and necessary changes for the sport to be appealing to the masses. However, after watching, and thoroughly enjoying the 2010 Winter Olympics, especially, the hockey games that were played, I gained a new respect and appreciation for the sport. I’m not sure if it were the rules, or the grand stage of the Olympics, or the best players in the game, the international product was far and away more entertaining that the NHL. In fact, following the Winter Games, I wrote A post about, A Non-Hockey Enthusiasts Look at Interest in the NHL, which expressed my thoughts on how the NHL could capitalize on gaining and keeping the fans it captured throughout the games.

The entertaining games on television gave me hope that maybe I was wrong about the game. Maybe there was hope. Maybe this flirtatious relationship between hockey and I would finally amass to something! Anything!

After the games, I knew I needed to get out and see another game in person. So much so, I included it as one of my Bucket List tasks for 2011. Tonight, I had the opportunity to attend an Federal Hockey League (FHL) game between the New York Aviators and the Cape Cod Barons.

Attending the game with my tag-team partner, who by the way has not been to a Hockey game since her days in High School, was an experience that furthered my intrigue in the sport. Similar to my last experience, the game, which we had great seats for, was fast, hard hitting, athletic, and entertaining. For most of the game I was intrigued and lost within the game, similar to any baseball, hockey, or football game I would watch. The final conclusion as I walked away after a 4-1 Aviators win – Hockey is a great sport. However, a sport made for live experience and not television.

The next day, there was hockey all over television, and to be honest, I watched it for about 6 seconds before turning to college basketball.

Would I ever go to another Aviator game again?

Absolutely! 12 dollars tickets, and an entertaining sporting product on a Friday or Saturday night in the winter, why not?

Would I watch hockey on television, or begin to follow the NHL?

Absolutely not.

I guess my intrigue with this sport continues…

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