Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/21/13 at 12:19 PM ET
from Will Leitch of Sports On Earth,
Tuesday night, I went to the Montreal Canadiens-New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden with Sports On Earth hockey writer Joe DeLessio and I was reminded once again how hockey fans are the greatest fans in the world. There is no such thing as a casual hockey fan. When you go to a baseball game, or a football game, or (especially) an NBA game, you will always find people only sort of keeping one eye on the game, checking their phones, there for conversation or social engagement rather than the game itself. There's nothing wrong with this, of course: Everybody who pays to get in can pass the time at the game however they'd like.
But you don't see this at hockey games. Hockey fans are into it, across the board, screaming and chanting ("Potvin sucks," still!) and stomping and going nuts, essentially for 2 ½ hours straight. Everyone's wearing a hockey sweater -- and it was a little crazy how many different names I saw on the back of Rangers fans' jerseys. Everybody at a Knicks game has Carmelo on their back, but I counted at least 35 different names on the back of jerseys in my section alone -- everyone's intense and everyone knows everything about everyone on the ice. It's like a massive family of people glaring in one direction.
Hockey fans are just so dorky, and I say that with nothing but respect: As a sports fan, I consider it the ultimate compliment. There is no posing, no ulterior motive, no nothing other than obsession with the game itself.
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