Thursday, February 21, 2013


A paean to hockey fans, penned by Will Leitch at Sports On Earth...
There is no such thing as a casual hockey fan. When you go to a baseball game, or a football game, or (especially) an NBA game, you will always find people only sort of keeping one eye on the game, checking their phones, there for conversation or social engagement rather than the game itself. There's nothing wrong with this, of course: Everybody who pays to get in can pass the time at the game however they'd like.

But you don't see this at hockey games. Hockey fans are into it, across the board, screaming and chanting ("Potvin sucks," still!) and stomping and going nuts, essentially for 2 ½ hours straight. Everyone's wearing a hockey sweater -- and it was a little crazy how many different names I saw on the back of Rangers fans' jerseys. Everybody at a Knicks game has Carmelo on their back, but I counted at least 35 different names on the back of jerseys in my section alone -- everyone's intense and everyone knows everything about everyone on the ice. It's like a massive family of people glaring in one direction.

Hockey fans are just so dorky, and I say that with nothing but respect: As a sports fan, I consider it the ultimate compliment. There is no posing, no ulterior motive, no nothing other than obsession with the game itself. There's a manic look in the eye of a hockey fan that doesn't compare to anything you see in the other three major North American sports; I might be a lunatic during Cardinals playoff games, but you can still tell, no matter how much I'm jumping around and biting the shoulders of everyone in my vicinity, that I'm aware the world will not, in fact, end if the Cardinals lose. The planet outside of the game exists, and I plan on returning to it. You don't get this from hockey fans. Hockey is all there is, and hockey is all that matters.


This is why discussions of whether hockey can "break through," whether it's a "mainstream" sport, are completely beside the point. Hockey fans could care less whether or not you accept their sport, whether you think it worthy of coverage, whether it won its time slot in the Nielsen ratings. You are a mere visitor to their lands. If you enjoy the game, that's great, but if not, they don't need you. This will always be their game.
Wanna understand us puck-heads better?  RTWT, as we citizen-journalists (and puck-heads) say.

Speaking of fans...

That would be Buck and I in the Blue Note Lounge at the Scottrade Center a while back.  You've seen these pics before, Gentle Reader.  And this one, too.


  1. The diehards in SJ don't wear jerseys
    They wear sweaters...
    ...and don't you dare call it a jersey

    1. I think that's true of die-hards everywhere, but that appellation is rapidly fading. Even noted hockey blogger Wyshinski has a feature he calls "Jersey Fouls," not "Sweater Fouls."

    2. I missspelled Wysh's name. I can NEVER get that right without cutting and pasting.

  2. Dead on concerning hockey fans not caring a whit about whether or not it's a mainstream sport, or a breakthrough sport, or even if everyone else believes they're idiots. And more power to 'em, as the man says. In that regard, I've found hockey crowds to be, in more than a few ways, akin to the sorts of crowds I was part of at heavy metal or hard rock concerts. We liked it and didn't give a damn if anyone else did or not.

    1. Heavy metal tends to be played at some rinks, too.

  3. Hockey fans could care less...

    Can't believe shit like that can get published. For anyone who still needs to be told, it's COULDN'T care less.

    Ok, I feel better now.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.