Hockey: The Ultimate Sport

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You know what is absolutely insane?

  Hockey is the best sport in the world but it is the least recognized in the United States.

  The sport of hockey has an underwhelming popularity of five percent in America. The National Hockey League is usually referred to as the No. 4 league in the US behind the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

  Many families aren’t into hockey as much as other sports. Football was always popular in the US and baseball is literally called “America’s Pasttime.”

  My family has always been hockey fans, more specifically the Philadelphia Flyers. My dad’s family growing up had season tickets to Flyers games in the old Spectrum stadium. My dad remembers the Flyers winning the Stanley Cup in both 1974 and 1975 even when he was only in elementary school. My late grandfather was even at the Spectrum when the Flyers hoisted te cup victoriously over their heads. Both of their loves for hockey were passed down to me.

  I’m told that when I was really young watching hockey with my dad, my eyes used to follow the little black puck on the screen. Now, I have full knowledge of the sport and even play it.

  In 2010, I became playing organized street hockey which is basically hockey with shoes instead of skates and a cement rink instead of ice. 

  As a hockey player (or a street hockey player) I learned many traits including teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership, camraderie, determination, and just fun in general.

  These are the same traits that come from ice hockey too. If a child starts playing any form of hockey at a young age, they will learn important character traits that will help their growth as a person and also make them better at hockey. Basically, playing hockey as a kid could make you a better human being in the long run.

  Besides acquiring positive character traits, hockey is just an overall awesome game to watch.

 It is fast paced. Because it’s on ice, the players move relatively fast so the puck can go from one end to the other in an instant. There could be a steal and a breakaway attempt in a flash.

 Hockey also allows tough contact so players are allowed to check their opponents into their board or flat on their butts at center ice. Obviously there are regulations for what you can do but clean hits are always allowed.

 One of the coolest aspects about hockey is fighting. Players are allowed to “drop their gloves” with their opponent and fight them if both parties want to. Nothing happens at the end of the fight and there is no declared winner but fighting is there to pump up the crowd, hype up your team, and show you are just better than your opponent.

  Another cool aspect of hockey are power plays. When a team commits a penalty, they get sent to the penalty box for two minutes meaning that that team would be down a man and the other team would have an advantage in players. This allows for the team who the penalty was committed on to have an easier chance of scoring a goal. 

  Powerplays are always fun to watch as shots are flurried onto the goalie and the chance to score a goal increases tenfold.

  Goals being scored are fun to watch as well. Like soccer, the main goal of the hockey is to score a goal on net and get the puck passed the goalie. There could be an amazing deke, an amazing shot, or an amaaing deflection. Scoring goals comes in a multitude of ways.

  As an goal scorer in my own league, I can confirm that scoring your own goal is one of the best, most surreal feelings in the world.

  This month, the NHL signed a deal to return to the hub of sports, ESPN. This deal ensures that NHL on ESPN would be intact for seven years where games (playoffs included) would be broadcasted, analysis will be shown, and hockey in general would be talked about more. This is a huge step up for hockey becoming the ultimate sport in the United States.