I hate hockey

Note to readers: I have been doing my best to have a positive message behind my columns for several weeks now, but I couldn’t make it any longer. My apologies in advance.

The National Hockey League is expected to announce the cancellation of its entire season Wednesday. It will be the first professional North American sports league to cancel an entire season due to a labor dispute.

I wonder whether it will spill over into next season or possibly even forever-I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I can’t stand hockey, and I am happy with its current state of indefinite suspension.

I don’t have a problem with the existence of hockey or the NHL, but I do have a problem with the fact that ESPN gives the NHL airtime on “SportsCenter.” The only thing more boring than a baseball score is a hockey score, and hockey highlights are the worst. You can rarely see the puck, even in slow motion, and the plays dubbed as highlights aren’t exciting enough to make an appearance on a lowlight reel of the NFL.

This year has been amazing. The only thing ESPN says about the NHL is that they aren’t playing. No highlights, no mention of players I have never heard of, no obscure references to things like one-timers, lamp-lighters or hat tricks.

Now “SportsCenter” has more time for meaningful discussion of the NBA and major NCAA basketball conferences. In fact, the lack of a hockey season might have influenced the intense scrutiny of baseball’s problem with steroids. So many reporters that would have been covering hockey games have nothing else to do-they must be investigating baseball players. If a break from hockey is all it took to expose the corruption in the game of baseball, then we should take as many breaks from hockey as possible.

Am I the only one that has actually enjoyed hockey’s absence? I know some people will be livid with my inability to understand the complexities of the game or my pathetic eyesight, which can’t discern a hockey puck from a lump of coal, but I just don’t care.

Hockey is nothing more than a boring, outdated Canadian game with very little relevance in American society. The game of hockey is fast-paced enough (maybe a little too fast-paced, considering the miniature size of the puck), but the low scoring is antithetical to everything Americans love. Why do you think soccer never took off in this country? Hockey’s golden age ended when Wayne Gretzky retired, and it will probably never recover.

I haven’t met a single person that was even mildly upset about hockey’s labor dispute, which seems to highlight just how irrelevant hockey has become.

In fact, there are still a good number of average folks walking around unaware the hockey season is even in jeopardy. If the NBA, the NFL or MLB went on strike, you would definitely hear about it.

Nobody seems to know the NHL is in trouble because nobody really cares. The day that hockey mattered is long gone. Thank God.

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