Canucks and Beyond

Hockey Sufferance

07/17/2007 at 9:25pm EDT

It’s July 17th.

The weather is running in the plus-30c (or plus-90F) range in most of North America.

People are camping or swimming or whatever; generally kicking back a bit.

And, sure, that includes hockey fans—there’s other things in life you know, besides hockey. (Really! Someone told me.)

So, let’s look at what’s going on in the world that doesn’t wear skates… and more importantly, whether it’s likely to distract any of you. For instance:

There’s a first-timer showing off his skills in the Tour de France; there’s Michael Vick and his love of dogs keeping plenty of folks occupied; Britain and Russia are doing their very best to re-enact a Robert Ludlum spy novel; the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears to be having fun with Latin American economics; and then there’s Victoria Beckham’s new television show out there, apparently a major crash & burn.

All entertaining or important in some ways, perhaps. Regardless, it would seem that most people have other stuff on their minds besides the NHL.

But are hockey fans on hiatus from their favorite sport? Well SOME are getting out of the rink for a little while… but I think it’s fair to say that a whole hell of a lot of fans still think it’s the mid-point of the NHL season.

Today I received an email from a friend—and rabid hockey fan—which sort of makes the point:

“Despite there being nothing happening in hockey, I’m still checking TSN/Spector’s/Kukla 20 times a day. I think there’s a touch of the penitent in hockey fans. When I’m watching football, it’s all thrill of victory/agony of defeat/drunk. For hockey, I SUFFER for it.”

Yep. And he isn’t the only one. Sure, things are a little quieter, but it’s not at the standstill you would think (or we expected around here). There’s still a ton of blogs keeping busy with updates; there’s podcasts going up as normal; there’s hockey news, news, news everywhere. And even if it’s not news that matters to anyone else? It sure as hell matters to hockey fans.

In the first 16 days of July, Kukla’s Korner has had well over 4 million page views. 4 million!

That’s some serious traffic for any sport website, much less one covering a sport during the off season—a sport that gets less respect than a Pauly Shore movie, for godsakes.

So, thank you for visiting Kukla’s. But more importantly, thanks for being hockey fans.

You may suffer for your sport, but wow, you guys are dedicated.

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