Hockey is hockey   Leave a comment

Saturday, July 3. I am at the Buffalo airport. This is the day that I get to go to Florida and see my older bros and my nephew! My nephew Jake is 12 now and I haven’t seen him in about a year and a half.

Airports can be fun. I usually sit and watch people for a little bit but that gets old quick for me. I am watching people and doing the usual bit in which I try to guess where they are from or going.

Today I noticed shoes and styles. Not sure why but I caught myself thinking, “Why the heck does that guy have his jeans rolled up halfway to his knees?” Then I wondered if that was what a guy is supposed to do with his jeans. Maybe I am just ignorant on this topic. Maybe it is not proper for jeans to touch flip flops. If that IS the case then I wonder if it started as a religious thing. Maybe a certain religious group does not permit their pants to touch their footwear, and then it got noticed and caught on as a trend. I don’t know of it so maybe I am out of touch with the trends. That might be a sign of aging. Dangit.

I walked by a store and caught the reflection of myself in the window. I don’t look that friendly. I need to work on looking friendlier. Thankfully a man and his little boys were willing to take a chance on this gruff looking dude and tell me that I had dropped my boarding pass outta my back pocket. Nice folks. Very brave.

I do look kinda big though. I noticed that I’m a bit bigger than average. I like that. I don’t mind being big, and kinda gruff looking. It’s sorta macho. Very hockey. That’s my new adjective. Hockey is masculine. Hockey (the sport) is about speed and power and working harder than your opponent and shooting a puck harder and knocking people over but not getting knocked over. It is a great blend of skill and strength. You can’t be good at hockey without both. You can’t be just strong or big, you have to be disciplined and refined too.

Which leads me to soccer. I don’t think I will watch it anymore. Well at least not international soccer. Well at least not Ghana or Italy. I was rooting for Ghana in the world cup. I was rooting for anyone BUT Italy at first. 4 years ago when Italy played against the US in the world cup I was impressed with their skill, but I was even more so disgusted with their love of flopping on the ground pretending that they were hurt so as to gain a foul call against their opponent. In yesterday’s match Ghana was doing the same thing. I cannot stand that. It violates all the rules and standards that I hold as important in competitive sports. You want to be more skilled than your opponent, more powerful and faster. You want to outlast them and beat them with sheer effort. If you get lucky at times then so be it cuz at some point you won’t be lucky, your opponent will be.

You play through pain and at some point you are hoping that your tolerance for pain and discomfort is greater than your adversary’s. This is masculine to me. It’s not that I think flopping is feminine. It’s not. I watch lady’s soccer and they may flop or they may not. But, it’s definitely not hockey. Hockey is grit. Acting hurt is like throwing a fit on the floor. Like a child. I think that might correlate with the lack of military might for these countries. That isn’t proven, I’m just sayin.

This habit of flopping and pretending to be hurt says much to me. It is a statement that says, “I can’t beat you. You are better than me. You are playing harder, you are faster. You can only be beaten through cheating”. In most American sports this act is called “diving”. The person diving is given a penalty. They should also be given a skirt and a mylittlepony lunchbox. Again, it isn’t necessarily the act of a female but it is anti-masculine hence the feminine article of clothing and lunchbox. I had a Star Wars lunchbox.

It’s not even completely about winning. I think that is the difference. I like sports for the training and self-betterment. You analyze yourself for weaknesses and then you train as hard as possible to eliminate them. It requires honesty, intelligence, and a high level of determination. Then you play and those factors should get you the win. If they don’t then there are a few factors to take into consideration, but you don’t throw that all aside and just cheat for the win. That means all of the preparation was for nothing. It’s about making YOU a better competitor.

I don’t think that FIFA will change their rules about flopping any time soon so I won’t bother suggesting specific rule changes. If it happens then maybe soccer will be more popular in America, at least among teenage and adult males. That happens to be the population sample that I have heard the most complaints from.

I can’t wait for hockey season to start up again. Hockey is so hockey!


Posted July 5, 2010 by john b in hockey

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