The Sports Daily > Barry Melrose Rocks
Why LD Loves Hockey, part 2

Remember my first section of my 5 Reasons I love Hockey? Well, here’s part 2

3: It’s not basketball

I remember P.E. class as a youngster, which I never liked all that much anyway. Considering I was a youngster in central Vermont, gym class from about mid-November to almost April was indoors. This meant that for the majority of the time, we ended up “playing basketball”. I put “playing basketball” in quotes since most of the time wasn’t spent actually playing the game, but instead we were practicing the skills, such as sprints and dribbling drills. I never was all that enthralled by the game to start with, and after spending what seemed like forever trying (and failing) to get my arm at the precise angle for a correctly done lay-up, I hated the game. I still don’t like it at all to this day. Now, I don’t mean to insult anyone who likes the game—it’s just not my thing, to say the least.

But for about two glorious weeks, the janitor would concede that he’d have to wax the floor again anyway, so the gym teacher might as well break out the crappy plastic hockey sticks and let kids scuff the hell out of his floor. Sure, we had to split up into teams and spend most of the class waiting for the teacher to call one team out so I could go in. And yes, we spent more time “practicing skills” than actual game play, but it wasn’t trying to do “the Spider” drill with a basket ball.

4: You can hit people and sometimes get away with it.

This ties into reason #3 a bit. Over my floor hockey career, let’s just say I got more than one penalty. Usually it was high-sticking, because the teacher would insist on no sticks above the knee. But that’s not the point.

Another thing that annoys me in other sports (especially basketball, I find) is how some players can get knocked around and there is no penalty, but other players get breathed on and there is a penalty. Hockey is relatively equal in this respect—everyone’s getting knocked around to some degree.

It takes a level of tenacity and yes, truculence to be a hockey player. Players get throats slit with skate blades, (links not for the faint of heart) teeth get knocked out, players get bruised and broken, and so on. And yet they still come out.  These players still come out for more. You have to have some serious guts to play hockey. That or a team of some serious personal nurses and a crapton of Vicodin.


Yes, there will be a part 3 (at least, since some of the other reasons get a bit lengthy. I can be rather verbose at times.)