Hockey Fever … le1987886/

I found the article interesting because as a sports fan who has lived and died over a professional team’s success, I find the whole emotional attachment fascinating.

I can understand the logic of hoping for a school team because they are friends and classmates, sons and daughters or neighbours. I can understand the logic of hoping for local teams like the Rampage.

I get the Olympic size events or World Cups or even hoping for a Canadian golfer or tennis player because we have pride of country.

I am not pointing fingers here because I am just as guilty as anybody, but it is interesting why we invest so much emotion into hoping for a professional team 500 miles away (or more if we like some other team) when the players themselves have no bearing on our lives.

Is there some primitive dynamic here, some evolutionary trait that forces us to join with others? Is the sport itself too uninteresting on its own that we need to be hoping for a team to enjoy the game?

And for me the there is absolutely no logic. I grew up hating the Yankees (of Mantle and Maris) because they always won. And it became really easy for me to dislike them when they were owned by rich guy Steinbrenner and led by a cocky Reggie Jackson. Growing up in Vancouver I was a big Canucks fan but after a few years in Rupert I lost the attachment and now actually dislike them.

My dislike for those two teams is just as irrational as my liking another team. Because when you look at the Yankees today, I see baseball players that I actually like. And on Vancouver nobody can not like the Sedins who were often criticized by fans during their first few years. Now I am not sure if the Canucks would trade them for Crosby and Ovechkin.

So as much as I dislike Vancouver for all the political power it holds over the rest of the province and the privileges it figures the rest of us owe it, if they do happen to win (and I still hope they don’t), seeing the Sedins hoist the Cup will make it somewhat bearable.

I’m a fan of the game. I play it and hope to keep on playing it for many years. I watch it on TV sporadically during the regular season but more often during the playoffs. I sometimes go see the local games ( UNB, high school and Midget AAA). However, as far as NHL goes, I’ve never been a huge fan of a jersey. Sure, I used to be a Habs fan when I was younger but in the mid-80s, some of the shenanigans from their administration made me abandon them and join the Nordiques fandom. In the early 90’s, I liked watching Lemieux and Pittsburgh has been a favorite of mine since then. And living in BC for as long as did made me appreciate the Canucks. I jumped on that band wagon the year the went to the final against the Rangers. So now, I hope for those two teams and this makes other people uncomfortable but that is their problem, not mine. In the playoffs, I get excited when they win and hope for the next game when they don’t. But even if they are out, I keep on watching because I like the game, not a jersey ( I already said that).

I am also fascinated and stunned by how much time, money and energy some people will spend on their obsession with a team. I live in an area where most people who follow the game are fans of the Canadiens, the Maple Leafs or the Bruins. And for some of them, their daily mood might be affected by their team’s performance. There is a lot of bantering and teasing but sometimes, some people are taking it very personally. I have a friend who is the biggest Chicago fan I’ve ever seen and right now, this isn’t the time for me to tease him because, in all honesty, he might avoid me for the next year. Like many others, he will probably stop watching the playoffs if his team loses in the first round. In my opinion, when this happen, these are fans of a jersey, not of the game.

Somehow, I equate this fascination with the fascination for reality TV shows or for celebrity gossip shows.

Saw then win their last cup (WHL) play their first NHL game, saw them play humiliated in bumblebee suits.
Have a classmate who played for them and coached.
Spent dinnertimes in the pub in shitty little towns like Likely and drove home in the dark so as not to miss the miracle games of 82.
Watched Linden play his ass off the last 5 minutes, even though the team had given up in that 7th game vs the Rangers.
This is IT. 41 years of waiting.

Say another bad word and I’ll hafta cut you into tiny little pieces and feed you to my Pomeranian…

I agree totally with the writer of the article, and feel that way about all professional sports. I simply do not get what it is that people find so entertaining and and fascinating about watching games being played by others. And to each their own for sure, I accept that, and the only choice I can make is to not support it personally. My disdain for hockey is downright un-canadian, but not because I don’t like the game, I played for years, and I do get the entertainment value and pleasant distraction elements, it just doesn’t work for me. And for those that choose to invest so much of themselves in the winning or losing of any particular sport team, or individual players like the writer of the article says, " don’t confuse sports and games with something that actually matters."

Say another bad word and I’ll hafta cut you into tiny little pieces …[/quote]

…with unsharpened skate blades!

There’s a fan of a jersey.