Thursday, October 23, 2003

Why I hate hockey, a sport I used to love more than any other to watch.

The first in a series of very occasional sports posts...

2-1 final scores are great in soccer, but hockey's scoring dearth is depressing. the game has been ruined by
a) steroids, which in turn have led to players who are TOO FUCKING BIG. If i want to watch football, i will. I'm sick of every player looking like a linebacker, with hands that match the profile. 6'6" 245 is NOT hockey size.
b) rink size. they are too small. in part, this has to do with a, cuz bigger players take up more room on the ice, obviously. but still, a bigger euro style rink would make for more scoring and skating. course, you would have to get rid of some seats (and premium seats!) so fat fucking chance.
c) goalie equipment. too much too big. every year they say they are making stuff smaller, but come on--goalies should look the way JD did in 1979.
d) bad rule changes. the NHL made several changes to slow down the Oilers in the 80s (couldn't have too many stanley cup games in CAnada now could we?). some of those rules were idiotic--what the hell is wrong with a two line pass? of course, no one can get around to changing the rules back to when hockey was...exciting.
e) a diminished talent pool, though in fact a) is the root of this. i'm sure there are plenty of 5'11" guys languishing in lower divisions or in europe...
f) coaches who are afraid of their own shadows. Anyone with knowledge of Italian Serie A soccer from the 70s knows that catenaccio grew out of coaches worried about getting fired, so thus, play for the 0-0 and you are better off. hockey is thick with coaches who play not to lose, and that leads up to..
g) the trap. the worst thing in hockey, other than a).

fuck it, i can't watch it any more, and it really does make me sad. farbeit from Bettman et. al. to learn from baseball--what energized baseball more than any in modern history? why, it was a home run race between mcgwire and sosa, probably juiced up with the tightest wound baseball since 1930.

my two cents.

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