Long post because I've been a BIG professional sports fan my whole life. Growing up my family didn't really watch movies and sitcoms. Pretty much every night we watched the news before dinner and sports after and that's the way it is today in my home.
I think out of all the other major sports, hockey is the one you really need to have played growing up or had a family member get you into watching it.
I grew up playing baseball, basketball and football and that's what we watched in our home. Hockey would only get turned on in the house during the playoffs and if the Bruins were good. I also grew up in the 80s watching Larry Bird. It was hard to watch hockey over Larry Legend winning titles. Hockey was also very difficult to watch on 20 inch televisions with rabbit ears. HD and widescreen TVs have been HUGE for enjoying the game on TV. Not having hockey watching family members to teach me the game, I had a hard time getting into it because I didn't like the lack of scoring and some of the rules such as off sides. I thought off sides was dumb and related to if there was a rule in football prohibiting receivers to run past the safeties. I always thought they should get rid of the rule to increase scoring. silly thinking about that now
I really didn't become a big fan of hockey until I met my wife and started watching it frequently and understanding the game. Her family originating from Quebec were big fans and she grew up keeping stats for her high school and college teams as well as going to work for the Portland Pirates (minor league team) after college. Having watched the NHL a lot over the past six years, I now fully understand the game and can appreciate that though there isn't a lot of points being put on the board, there are usually at least a couple of dozen good scoring chances a game, which are just as exciting as the goals themselves. Soccer I'll never get into because the scoring chances are so infrequent and the game is slow. The speed of hockey, the hitting, fighting and strategy of the game I now find completely fascinating and if the Bruins are on TV in our house, that's what we watch. We watch many other teams games throughout the season especially near the end of the season when we want to learn more about who the Bruins will play in the playoffs.
The intensity of the Stanley Cup playoffs is unrivaled in sports. Every game is like the Superbowl. There's typically far less fighting in the playoffs (a part of the game I like and feel belongs in the game) because teams don't want to give up unnecessary power plays, but the physicality is through the roof and the refs let a lot of it go. Every game I've watched so far has had massive hits. Teams just absolutely hammering on one another and a lot of underdogs winning games and leading series, which is something you don't see in a lot of sports.
So now, my viewing preferences are:
I still watch a lot of Red Sox games and follow the team, but I have a hard time getting into the season until the NHL and NBA playoffs are through. I really think baseball should shorten the season on the back end. Cut the season to 140 games, ending the season in early September and expand the playoffs to include 8 teams from each league. The owners would hate this as it would cut revenue, but it would be better for the players and the fans. It would make August baseball more exciting because instead of 6-7 teams per league still playing meaningful games, you'd have 10-12 still pushing to make the playoffs.
Baseball also needs a salary cap in a bad way. Baseball is the only sport that doesn't have it and it's kind of lame that small market teams like the Royals and Pirates only make the playoffs once every 20 years or so and usually only through the luck of drafting a once in a generation talent. The game needs more parity. I say this as a fan of the Red Sox, one of the richest teams in baseball that benefits from having the bank to buy a championship or at least a playoff contender almost every single season.
ya friggen Hosers !!!!!!!!!!!!
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stanley cup playoffs is by far the best tournament in sports. i dont think that means we need to go and expand baseball playoffs. people criticize the nhl for to many teams going to the playoffs, and baseball not enough. baseball is simple and doesnt need to be changed. leader from every division plus the wild card. it wasnt so long ago people didnt want the wild card. i think the additional wild card this year in mlb is a bad idea, but i also think the nhl should go back to the rules before the lockout. i guess i just dont like change. also, just because its not labeled playoffs, doesnt mean september baseball isnt awesome.
Looks like Shanahan is going to be aweful busy this year. I don't ever remember a year where there were so many intent to injure type plays. Bit surprising with all the concussion talk these days. If that Pit/Philly series goes on much longer everyone will either be injured or suspended.
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