I am not a sports person. I like baseball, but I don't follow the teams; I just watch the World Series! LOL The reason I like baseball is because I can understand the most of the rules and keep up with the action. I hate football and I tolerate basketball.
Our oldest son Samuel is a sports nut. He loves baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf . . . and hockey. Especially hockey since we moved to Canada. Hockey is to Canada as football is to the US. Hockey is as Canadian as baseball is American. Little boys in Canada grow up playing street hockey like little boys in the US grow up playing basketball in the driveway. So it was just the thing to do when we moved to Canada: become a rabid hockey fan.
So I've heard all the hockey talk all season (and hockey has a LONG season) from Sam and his friends. He's been to their houses and they've come to ours. And this year, Vancouver is in the playoffs. I didn't expect much. I've heard from the natives that the Canucks are heartbreakers. They get your hopes up by getting into the playoffs, then get knocked out in the first round. But now they're halfway through the second round, after winning the first series against the Dallas Stars, and tonight they're doing very well. I'm pleased, if for no other reason than my boy is thrilled.
So, I've been watching a few hockey games. The first game I ever watched was last Monday night. The Canucks have played every other night for the past week, and I'm beginning to make some observations.
1 - Canadian hockey fans are more boisterous than their American counterparts, at least more so than the Anaheim Ducks' fans. This is in direct contrast to most other areas of life - it's my observation that Americans are generally louder and more excitable than Canadians in all other areas.
2 - Many, if not all, hockey players have numerous scars on their faces, and most of them are missing teeth - not just a tooth, but teeth. And they don't wear their teeth during a game. I guess they might swallow them and choke during a game. Then there would be no more hockey because all the players would be dead.
3 - Most of the players are . . . to put it kindly . . . not handsome. I guess that has to do with the scars and the missing teeth.
4 - Hockey is a very very fast-paced game. It is not like a baseball game, during which you can sit back and talk a bit, go get a hot dog and a Coke, visit the restroom, and never miss a thing. If you blink during a hockey game, you've missed something. Usually a fight.
5 - Hockey players like to fight. I have a Canadian friend who says he went to a fight and a hockey game broke out. Tonight I learned that when two (or more) players from opposing teams take off their gloves, it's a bona fide fight. And they're doing a lot of it tonight. Seems the Ducks like to mess with the Canucks' goalie. And the other Canucks players don't like it when you mess with their goalie. So if you get too close to him, somebody will reach out and whap you on the head. Or knock you down. Or hit you with a stick. Or trip you. Or smack you into the wall really hard.
6 - Which brings me to this observation: Hockey is a bad-boy game. One player can be minding his own business, and a guy from the other team will poke him, push him, trip him - anything to get his mind off that puck. And every player is just doing everything he can get away with. And they can get away with a lot. It's a little boy's dream!
7 - I cannot keep up with the puck. The only way I know where it is is to see where all the players are knotted up and fighting over something on the floor. On NBC, which is, of course, an American network, the producers helped out the viewer: they put a little computer-generated yellow tail on the puck, so the American viewers could follow it. The Canadians laughed about that. A lot. Needless to say, there is no little yellow tail on the CBC. And I'm learning to follow the puck.
8 - Hockey playoff games are some of the most exciting TV I've ever watched! I will watch as many as the Canucks make it into. I have to go, because the game is now tied and I hear some pretty exciting stuff going on. Go Canucks Go!