REJOICE! Fans of the NHL may have the perfect storm set to propel their sport into the mainstream. NFL is mid season and the NBA is locked out. Very soon dedicated sports fans will realize that there is a lack of drama filled live programing. ESPN’s Sports Center will be grasping for highlight material. This is your moment to be relished hockey fans.
While many are just not turning on the t.v. during this lockout, some by force of habit, will tune into TBS to catch a dunk show. There will be none, here is the moment when through crafty marketing the NHL can, and should become a major winter sport. I mean lets be honest for a moment. Everyone loves a buzzer beater, its one of the most thrilling events in sports right? Sure it is, but how can one deny the drama, intensity and passion of the goal by Thomas Vanek last week as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Winnipeg Jets? It was amazing to say the least.
Maybe some fans are feeling alienated by the NBA. In particular the players, who are refusing to play because they feel they have been underpaid. With an average salary hovering near five and a half million George Washingtons each year, I’m slightly offended by this. In comparison, NHL players average 2.4 million per year according to Forbes magazine. With a staggering 10 players set to make over 8 million. Imagine being the top athlete in your sport, and making a meager 8 million per season. C.C Sabathia would dream of taking the mound for that chump change. King James wouldn’t even put on his headband at that offer. In comparison, were looking at players who play the game for passion. When was the last time you heard of a hockey player pulling a Carson Palmer, retire rather than play. Never. Its unheard of in this sport. These are players who covet ice time and dream of hoisting the beloved Stanley cup.
For you football fans out there, sure your season is well underway. The big hit days of old are gone, Mr. Goodell has ensured that. So maybe your looking for something that puts manly back into sports. Watch an open ice hit reel. You’ll never think a quarterback is tough again.
Don’t mistake me for a hater. I love all sports. Heck, I’ll watch curling, rather then do without. I love the well oiled machine of a two minute drill with Tom Brady at the helm or a windmill from the foul line. There is one painfully obvious reality though. Hockey has never gotten its dues, maybe, just maybe, this is the time for one of the most exciting and energetic sports in the world to shine. So if your looking to fill your NBA gap this winter, be sure to try some hockey. If that fails, you could always watch best of college basketball, Syracuse Orange.