It’s October – which to me means pretty much 1 thing: hockey. Tonight marks the start of NHL’s 95th season, and in case you weren’t aware, I’m a hockey fan. More than that, I’m a Bruins fan, which means that this last year has been exceptionally phenomenal. Hell, this has been my desktop image since that fateful night in June:
Hockey is pretty much the only sport I follow regularly. I’ll watch football and baseball, but neither really capture me the way hockey does. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve stumbling across the ice, laughing with my friends at all our unskilled play. Not to mention the excitement of going to an IceCats game with the family. I live in Boston, a city known for hosting champion collegiate teams. And, while I’m not too good at it, I even play some fantasy hockey (which has really helped me learn more about the game, not to mention giving me more teams to root for).
I don’t know what it is. Part is the action, the violence, the skill. Part is the sound; the skritching of skates on the ice, the crack of sticks clashing, the brutal creaking of the boards as players slam into each other; the fans as they scream and chant and cheer enough to put any soccer hooligan to shame – they all reverberate so clearly in the arena. Part is the experience – being one of those fans, either when sitting in the cold above the rink kept warm through sheer blood-pounding excitement for the game or at a tavern, cheering at the TV and banging your glass on the bar. Part is the rivalry – sometimes sporting and sometimes bloody. And part is the exhibition of it – the majesty of watching order among chaos; luck and chance playing akimbo with skill, heritage, and passion.
You can truly lose yourself in all of it – something I’ve never experienced with any other sport. While a few of my more hardcore-hockey-fan friends have move away, I’m hoping I’ll be able to use this season and get a few more hooked. After all, we are the defending champs!