Each different week in The Coach’s Field, Timothy Thomas explores the varied classes that may be realized from the world of sports activities.
I feel I’m a hockey fan, although “fan” may be too unfastened of a phrase right here. Whereas I get pleasure from watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs this time of yr, I don’t have a favourite workforce. I root for the house workforce (Dallas Stars), my household roots workforce (Washington Capitals), and the workforce with the arguably finest shade scheme, jersey, and mascot identify (Seattle Kraken). The Dallas Stars are at present within the Western Convention Finals, so like a pure truthful climate fan, I’ve the lights outdoors my home lit inexperienced in help.
However severely, hockey doesn’t get the widespread respect in American sports activities it most likely deserves. Or perhaps it does, and I’m solely now publicly recognizing the sports activities’ awesomeness. So in case you’re like me, a skeptic of hockey or somebody who figures the sport isn’t actually for “us” (traditionally, the game has lacked numerous superstars), let me encourage you to provide it a attempt. There’s no higher time to take action than through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Apart from, sitting with one thing totally different and out of doors of our familiarity may also help us recognize the sweetness and nuance of every part else.
Hockey combines all the weather of the sports activities we already love in America: the depth of American soccer; the nonstop tempo of basketball; the spacing parts of soccer; and the technique and historical past of baseball and golf. (The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy in American skilled sports activities.) It even has preventing in the identical vein as boxing and tender MMA matches.
So why doesn’t hockey garner extra widespread consideration? Some have speculated that the immense cost of participation in youth hockey (in comparison with basketball or soccer) prevents the game from experiencing fast youth development in America. Others have highlighted hockey’s lack of diversity. Lastly, some blame the marketing strategies. Or perhaps it’s simply because the Stanley Cup Playoffs happen concurrently the NBA Playoffs.
No matter your purpose for not watching or caring, I urge you to sit down by way of a whole sport. In fact, you most likely gained’t know the foundations, positions, or superstars. However sit, watch, and be taught, anyway.
God has given us authority over all of creation (Genesis 1:26-28). However once we overemphasize our jurisdiction, we will neglect that all energy belongs to him. So sitting and watching a sport we don’t know a lot about will be an act of submission and humility in a tradition the place we’re purported to know every part and management our time and leisure (Matthew 23:12; 1 Peter 5:5). Submitting to hockey (for non-hockey followers, anyway) is a reasonably trivial job, however it could actually nonetheless be a approach to observe humility within the totally different areas of life the place God calls us to be submissive (Philippians 2:3; Proverbs 18:12).
Maybe there is no such thing as a straightforward answer to growing hockey’s fandom. Perhaps all the aforementioned elements (e.g., price of participation, lack of variety, failed advertising) are what makes hockey so pleasing within the first place for its present area of interest viewers. However don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
So right here’s some teaching recommendation for the curious fan: Decide a workforce to root for or towards through the playoffs. Sit again and benefit from the superbly organized chaos unfolding on the ice. You may be taught to adore it. Or at the very least you’ll have one thing else to get pleasure from throughout halftime within the NBA Finals.
In any case, participating in hockey (or any sport we’re unfamiliar with) is a incredible train in training submission and humility—two traits we may all use to be taught from and love each other.