Americans do not appreciate hockey nearly as much as they should. The Stanley Cup Finals ranks as the lowest viewed final of the four major sports; it even ranks lower than sitcom re-runs.
What American sports fans fail to see, apparently, is that hockey should rank first among all sports. Those more partial football fans can relish in hockey during the football off-season and enjoy both.
Hockey is an amazing niche sport, which is one reason that the rankings for its finals are not higher. The sport has yet to spread across all of America, as most hardcore fans reside in the Midwest or on the East Coast.
Football takes the lead as America’s most-watched sport, followed by baseball — still dubbed “America’s Pastime,” even though it really is not. But people neglect hockey, sometimes not even considering it a major sport. Baseball makes me fall asleep, and basketball consists of egotistical dimwits, so why people watch these sports rather than hockey astonishes me.
While football brightens my Sundays, Mondays and sometimes Thursdays, hockey can be watched all week, giving me plenty of opportunities to watch my Blackhawks do some damage.
Hockey excites viewers; it is fun to watch, fast-paced and amazingly skillful. Though nothing compares to watching it in person, everyone should set up shop in front of the TV for the Stanley Cup Final.
Over a hundred million people watched this year’s Super Bowl, but only 2.9 million viewers watched Game 2 of the Stanley Cup last season, according to a Minnesota CBS affiliate.
It can be argued that because the Super Bowl is a one-time show, its popularity increases. Combining its once-off nature with the level of pomp and circumstance demonstrates why it is so much more popular than other sports’ culminating events.
But the same week as Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, an NBA playoff game drew 10 million viewers. To me, basketball does not and cannot compete with hockey on levels of excitement. I am not amazed throughout the entire game at what a basketball player can do, but the level of precision that hockey players have at a professional level is astonishing.
All sports have a higher level of play in the pros, but hockey impresses me so much more. That’s not to say that basketball players do not have talent or that baseball players throwing 90 mph do not seem to defy logic.
Maybe it is because I spend so much time in water that watching someone skate backwards while taking a shot and then getting smashed into the glass makes me sit on the edge of my seat. But I know that I am one of a minority of people who really, truly love and appreciate hockey.
Juliet Suess is a senior ECLS major. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @WklyJSuess.