Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hockey - again

For the third time, I’m attempting to watch a NHL Stanley Cup.

I have never been able to stay awake for an entire hockey game. For whatever reason, I the puck hits the ice and my head hits the pillow.

Years ago when Dallas was in the finals I made valiant attempts to stay awake for the games to see them hoist the large trophy, but I never made it.

I usually awoke sometime during Jay Leno’s monologue.

Since I’m a native of South Texas and only once in my youth had the chance to play on ice (Freeze of ’83) it would be understandable that I have limited knowledge of hockey. Tennis shoes, boots, and flip-flops don’t make good skates.

Football, I have always enjoyed. I get it: it makes sense to me.

Basketball has taken more time, but I get it and I enjoy the physicality of the sport. College basketball is without question my favorite sport to watch live in person. I have been passionate about college B-ball since the new gym was built at Navarro College while I was a student there. Professional B-ball is fun in the playoffs, but the regular season has become too much dominated by personality; college basketball remains one of the most team-oriented team sports today.

With the technology available today, hockey has grown as a sport from being one that is dominated by the north to one that exists even in the Texas/Mexico border region. Austin has a fairly successful minor league team – the Icebats.

I never could figure out the name since the bats for which Austin is famous LEAVE when the weather turns cold. We have FREETAIL bats, not ICE bats.

Maybe the Icebats have been successful because they really come from Superman’s secret North Pole Ice Palace and use the power of Kryptonite. Take that you mythical Jackalope!

But still, hockey has remained much like soccer in my sports brain.

That move stealing the puck is a penalty, but that move knocking out a few teeth is not?


Maybe someday I’ll understand it.

Barring a miracle with under four minutes remaining, the Anaheim Ducks ( I can’t help but think even Icebats has to be a better name) will bring the Stanley Cup to California for the first time in its 100+ years. I managed to stay awake for two of the three periods as the first period was just ending when I turned the television on and other than a few nods now and then, I have watched the last two periods in their entirety and that’s a record for me.

Maybe next winter I’ll get to an Icebats game live with a true hockey fan and he can let me know what the hell is going on play by play.
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