Hockey is the only sport I watch, and therefore the only sport I actually enjoy. The constant hitting, the teeth, the blood, the carnage, it reminds me of watching Hostel II for the third time in a row. Merely kidding, but it does invoke a respect and admiration for the athletes that are constantly moving, and are constantly getting checked into the boards.
To me, it is the only sport that doesn't have a huge fascination with its inner workings. People don't huddle around the screen for the NHL draft. "Woo, mom look the Pittsburgh Penguins are taking Plaxico Burress from the New York Giants!" It just does not happen. Not to say that I don't watch other sports, but they don't enthuse me, they don't get me off of my fat ass and scream when my team scores, or continually bite my finger nails until they bleed because the time is slowly closing in, and it doesn't look like we are going to score that final goal to put us into overtime.
I understand that all athletes work hard for their individual sports, and their individual teams, but it seems to me that Hockey, and Hockey players get the short end of the stick when it comes to dedication to their jobs. The fifth game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs went into three overtimes, or the time of one whole game. These players had battled for a full two games in 4 hours, and yet came out with the dedication and constant adrenaline rush to try to score that last sudden death goal. It was an amazing sight to see, and surely kept me on my toes shouting foul words toward my TV set.
The news stations around Pittsburgh were only halfway impressed with the Penguins when they reached the Crème de la Crème of Hockey; the Stanley Cup. Though they would still break with stories from the Steelers, and then their third or fourth stories would be those about the Penguins and interviews from the players. I understand that it is probably different and perhaps even less televised in other parts of the country.
I thought America loved violence and fights! Where have I been, obviously watching too much Hockey. Maybe it's America's hatred for other cultures, or other sports to come into their core and culture, but Hockey is something that a lot of Americans miss, and I hope in the coming years it is better televised and the athletes get the appreciation that they truly deserve.