Sports are a fascinating, exhilarating, exhausting and often maddening enterprise. If you allow them to, sports can take you on a dizzying thrill ride, with peaks at the highest reaches of ecstasy and valleys that can plunge you into heart-wrenching depression, while reaching every level of anticipation, frustration and anxiety in between.
And all of this can be experienced while being planted squarely on your living room couch.
Sure, there is a lot that can be learned and experienced from personally playing hockey, football, baseball, water polo or what-have-you; but the incentive and commitment that goes with being a participant is much different than that of being a fan. My own 19-year hockey career was at its core driven by a deeply instilled passion for the game, but it was often directed by a host of different personal variables.
One might get into the game as a hobby and to meet friends, stay in the game to parlay their skill set into a college education (or in rare cases a career) and continue playing the game into old age to stay in reasonable shape. But in any case, the players are integrally connected to the game they play whatever its outcome may be.
So why do people sit glued to couches, bar stools and $250 nosebleed seats every-other night from April to the dawning of summer watching a group of 20 and 30-year-olds they have never met playing a game on a sheet of ice that they have no stake in? Why do people put friendships on hiatus for reasons such as “they are a Blackhawks fan,” and making conscious decisions to cancel on a planned get-together because “we just won Game 6 and Game 7 happens to be on the same night as our date”? Continue reading