5 Things I Don’t Understand About Hockey (As a Sports Noob)

    February 4, 2013 at 4:30 am

    I went to the first Rangers game of the season at Madison Square Garden. This was the only professional sports game that I have ever been to, excluding the class trip to Shea Stadium where the class arrived after the third inning and left before the seventh to “beat the traffic.” What I saw shocked and confused me.  Here are 5 things I don’t understand about hockey as a total sports noob:
    Not Enough Fighting

    things i don't understand about hockey

    If fighting is the best part of the game, why isn’t there more of it? The Rangers game was off to a good start; as the teams stood lined up on the ice, and just before the puck could be dropped for the first time, a fight broke out between a Ranger and a Penguin.

    It was awesome. They punched each other until their helmets flew off. The referees looked on with patience. After they decided to separate on their own, each player received a small penalty.

    But that was the only fight during the entire game. Why? Why aren’t there players that exist solely to come out and comically pummel one another in all their puffy protective gear? Why isn’t there a fight after every penalty? Or between quarters? I do not understand this about hockey, not even a little bit.

    Terrible Seats

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    Another thing I don’t understand about hockey is why anyone would ever sit up in the ‘nosebleed’ seats. Your view of the team would be better if you were watching the game on television, and you wouldn’t have to pay ten dollars for a cup of beer or a tiny mushed-up cheeseburger.

    Why travel all the way to Madison Square Garden, wait in line, get your bag checked, get shoved around in a crowd of strangers, squeeze down a tiny aisle and be confined to one small sitting area if your favorite team is so far away that they look like jumping beans spilling out across the ice? Every time you want another drink, you have to rub your fat ass in people’s faces as you try to get out of the aisle, linger by the staircase until you’re allowed back onto the floor (you aren’t allowed to walk around in the seating area when the game is going on — that means exit only, no re-entry until there’s a break), and repeating the butt-show so you can get back to your crappy seat again.

    Wouldn’t it be more comfortable, at that point, to watch it on television?


    Miserable Fans

    things i don't understand about hockey
    The Rangers got their asses kicked. The Penguins, despite having the least intimidating name ever, crushed The Rangers. About four minutes before the game ended, it was clear that all hope was lost for The Rangers, who were losing 5-2.

    People started leaving early. Even the people who were sitting close to the ice in seats that cost upwards of $200 individually began to vacate prematurely. This baffles me about hockey. I do not understand it at all. Why would a person pay so much money to be unhappy, leave the event early and not even enjoy what they came to enjoy?



    Another thing I don’t understand about hockey, or any sport, really, is why it’s so important for ‘your team’ to win. It’s not ‘your team.’ Not only is it a group of complete strangers who have been assembled to play a game, but the players on ‘your team’ are removed and replaced almost at random (if you consider ‘due to budgeting and some statistics’ random). You aren’t even rooting for a permanent cast of characters that you know and love, like The Golden Girls.

    You’re not even being patriotic by caring about any one hockey team; many of them are from other nations. There is literally zero relation between you and the team you arbitrarily choose to love.

    People care so much about sports that grown men will literally cry when a team they like loses, and I have scientific evidence of this in a lyric written by Hootie & The Blowfish:

    “And you wonder why / I’m such a baby / Cause the <a href=”http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/hootietheblowfish/onlywannabewithyou.html”>Dolphins</a> make me cry.”

    This has been a phenomenon for a long time and I simply do not understand it.


    Why Are There Children on the Zambonis?

    The zamboni comes out to clean the ice between quarters. Each time, a different child is seated on the back and an announcement on the loudspeaker tells the audience his name (they were all boys) and says he’s the “zamboni kid” of the day or whatever.

    Why are there children on the zambonis and why do all one thousand of us have to know his name? Do they all have cancer or something? I don’t understand this about hockey, and I would like to ride on the back of a zamboni, so any help from you would be greatly appreciated. If you get me on the back of those things I will totally do you a favor. A non-sexual one. So you just think about that.

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