Sophia Henry stopped by the blog today to share her Top Ten Reasons Hockey Is The Greatest Sport On The Planet. Be sure to check out her new book, Interference, from her Pilots Hockey Series that is out today!
- It’s on Ice – Come on. Have you ever tried to ice skate? Take the skill and balance that goes into that and then try controlling a tiny piece of vulcanized rubber with a curved stick at the same time. Oh, and do all that at top speed while grown men try to knock you down. This isn’t a field or a court people. Respect the ice.
- Down to Earth Players – For the most part, hockey players are down to earth, good people. They go home in the off season to hang out with their parents and friends and maybe fish—just like regular old Joes. Sure, you get a media hungry douche occasionally, but those guys are few and far between. The majority of players are helping elderly ladies cross the road and rescuing cats from trees.
- Toughness – Hockey players bleed and play the next shift. Hockey players get stitches and come back to the game. Hockey players loose teeth and still play. Enough said.
- Cellys – The celebrations after goals in hockey are epic—and creative.
- It Takes a Team – Hockey players know that one person can’t win a championship by themselves. There are superstars on every team, but even a superstar can’t win it all without help. Hockey players are humble and eager to give credit to their teammates.
- The Detroit Red Wings – Hey! It’s my top ten list. I get to list my favorite team of all time. If you don’t have a favorite team, just claim the Red Wings. No shame in that game. You went with the best.
- Legends – Hockey players have mad respect for the players that came before them and paved the way for the game as we know it today. The names Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, and Vladislav Tretiak are all well known to even the youngest players.
- Superstitions – Every real hockey fan knows why guys won’t shave that peach fuzz and 70’s stache once the play-offs start. Just like every real hockey fan knows that you must wear the same shirt you wore when the last time your team won and eat the same meal and tap your toes on concrete thirteen times before you start watching the next game. Just me? Whoops. But you get it.
- Tradition – Throwing octopi in Detroit, the crowd “white out” during Winnipeg play-off games, watching Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday. It’s traditions like these and countless others that keep the hockey fandom going strong.
1. The Stanley Cup – It’s the most respected trophy in sports. The same cup —though expanded many times over—has been passed around for over 100 years. There are superstitions around it. Guys play for The Cup—not a championship or a title but THE CUP. I cry every time the Stanley Cup is awarded—no matter what team it goes to. I cry as they pass the cup from player to player. The tradition gives me goosebumps. And let’s be honest, can you even name another championship trophy?