Hockey: A Sport and an Art

Don’t count hockey out of the running – Eagle Eye editor Alex Carlin proves why hockey should be on the top of your sports list


Alex Carlin, News Editor

What are your favorite sports?

This is a pretty standard question that can spark discussion and debate, especially among those with deep vested interest in the same sport. Answers to this question vary but the general consensus is pretty consistent; the world’s sport in soccer, and then the three major North American sports are baseball, football, and basketball. 

I love all these sports greatly as well, however I have one problem with this list. There are actually four major North American sports, the last one we share with our neighbors up north.

Combine the graceful art of ice skating with lightning speed. Combine precision passing and shooting with a tiny puck with booming hits and intense fights that would rile up any crowd. Add in a bit of flair while skating with the puck that creates dazzling moves and jaw dropping moments that anyone can appreciate. Play it on a frozen pond or in some of the most iconic arenas in the world like Madison Square Garden. Sprinkle in some of the best atmospheres you could ever experience as a fan and the best trophy in all of professional sports and you got yourself the sport of hockey. A dazzling piece of art that has been far too overshadowed in the world of sports. It’s time we give hockey the respect it deserves, it is an amazing game.

I myself was in the same boat as most of you just a year ago, going about my life not caring less about what was going on in the world of the NHL. Then come April, the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I decide that I should get into the sport of hockey as a fan, and complete my list of teams that I follow.

The Calgary Flames were the team that I went for, because of the local connection with the Stockton Heat as their AHL affiliate team. The Stanley Cup playoffs were the only type of hockey games I had seen before intermittently, and they looked exciting. And to say they were exciting was an understatement. In the first series where I was really a fan of the Flames, they beat the Dallas Stars via a goal in overtime in a winner take all game 7. Ever since that moment, I’ve been hooked on the sport and my team, who have very much had their ups and downs this season.

The more I follow hockey the more reasons I find to love the sport, and the more confused I become on why it is such an afterthought in North American sports. It really comes down to marketing, because in every other aspect it matches up to other sports There’s so much that hockey brings to the table.

The skill is definitely there, as mentioned in the intro. With all the elements of ice skating and the sport combined, it arguably takes some of the most skill out of any sport. The passion among the players and the fans is evident to see. The atmospheres are some of the best of any sports, and the players bring so much passion to the table. They will lay everything physically and mentally out there as well as being willing to fight for the logo on the front of their jerseys.

Oh yeah, hockey also has some of the coolest logos and jerseys out there, they are awesome. The history is also absolutely there, with the original 6 teams being founded in 1926, with the same teams forming the modern day NHL in 1947. These teams are the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Redwings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The biggest, one of the most storied, and one of the prettiest trophies in all of sports – the Stanley Cup – is the prize of some of the most intense playoffs.

One of the greatest athletes to ever step foot on this Earth that nobody talks about is hockey player Wayne Gretzky. His dominance is something that is unmatched and special, and should have way more recognition in goat debates. 

And of course, the miracle on ice. The greatest moment in United States international sporting history. The biggest upset of all time. A game which meant so much more than just the victory in the game for the United States. In the year 1980, the United States hockey team in the Winter Olympics beat a Soviet Union team while still in the midst of the Cold War. This Soviet Union team was considered to be far and away the best hockey team in the competition and was a heavy favorite to beat the United States team in the semifinals. However, the United States pulled out the win in what was dubbed by Sports Illustrated as the best sports moment in the 20th century out of any sport. “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” A call that meant so much to the United States, the world of sports, hockey, and at the time the entire world.

So, hockey. Are you sold yet? I promise you won’t regret it.