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June 05, 2002

I have to admit that

I have to admit that I am developing ambiguous feelings about two sports that previously held no interest for me.

Thanks to the Hurricanes success in the NHL playoffs, hockey fever in the state has reached epidemic proportions. Before the Canes run for the Stanley Cup, I couldn't have cared less about hockey. I live in the Southeastern United States. The lack of significant snowfall in the Winter and the ability to fry an egg on any surface in the Summer doesn't really lend itself to ready adoption of what is essentially a Winter sport. Around here, attempting to emulate those movies that depict kids playing hockey on a frozen pond in the dead of Winter would only get you an honorable mention for swiftly removing yourself from the gene pool in the Darwin Awards. The decision to base a professional hockey team in the state certainly met with a lot of derision on my part. The only remotely redeeming quality that I could see about hockey was the near certainty that the opposing players would be involved in a knock-down, drag-out brawl at least once a period. (BTW, for those of you that do not live in the South and don't understand the draw of NASCAR, the same holds true. There is a high probability that one or more cars will be involved in a high-speed collision at least once during the race. It is for this 30 second period of time that most people watch the "sport".) Other than the fights, who cares about hockey? I mean, it like Soccer with sticks and skates.

And then the U.S. has to go and beat favored Portugal 3-2 in the World Cup. If I didn't care about hockey, I REALLY didn't care about soccer. I mean, it's like hockey except without sticks and skates. I'm not even sure that it has fights. It has yellow cards, and red cards, and most of the players in the U.S. have green cards, but... It's just a confusing mess of colors. I did play soccer for one season, very briefly when I was young. I played half-back, or wing-back, or wing-tip or some such position. My job was to stand in front of the goal and wait for the ball. I waited a lot. It was a lot like when I played outfield in baseball as a youth. I stood there chewing my glove and kicking dandelions most of the time. Don't get me started on baseball. (I'm actually thankful for the hockey and soccer happenings. It drives baseball off the front page of the newspaper. Except duing the playoffs, baseball has got to be the dullest sport on the planet. And it's still referred to as the National Pastime? But I wasn't going to go there...) Back to soccer...

The closest I ever came to liking soccer was when I read about that rugby player violating opponents during scrums. (Yes, I KNOW that soccer and rugby are two totally different sports. I'm just saying that's the closest I ever came to liking soccer. If you don't understand, I can't explain it to you.)

(Okay, I'll try to explain it to you. I'm an average American. As far as I am concerned, rugby and soccer are essentially the same sport to your average American. Therefore, something like one player goosing another player in one sport, which I found highly amusing, translates into some small appeal for the other sport.)

Anyway, I'm not sure what to do with the budding fandom inside. I really liked not caring about hockey or soccer. I guess I'll just ride out the wave of regional and national fervor while it lasts.

Update: Eric Olsen at Tres Producers also has thoughts on soccer

Posted by Kehaar at June 5, 2002 05:31 PM | TrackBack
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