Hockey may be the national pastime in Canada but in the US, while there are the very diehard fans, it unfortunately usually comes in fourth place after the NFL, NBA, and MLB. But it shouldn’t have to. There’s no reason why Americans can’t latch onto hockey just as strongly as their neighbors to the North. The game has everything that it needs to be extremely popular in the US, and here are just five reasons why.
Sure, you’ll occasionally see a bench-clearing brawl in a baseball game or the occasional argument in a NBA or NFL game, but none of that can possibly compare to the real fights you can get in a hockey game. These are all out brawls and the best of them end up with blood on the ice.
It’s Fast Paced
Hockey rarely has the long stoppage of play that you will find in an NFL game, and it’s never as slow as a baseball game. Aside from a faceoff here and there, the pace is lightning fast and the game just keeps moving. Line changes keep the players recycling on the ice to keep things going.
Beyond Fighting, It’s Brutal
Fights are the only full contact aspect of Hockey. Checks into the boards and player contact keeps the game a brutal sport. Injuries can be very common and the brutality present in a single hockey game is enough to put even the most bloodthirsty NFL fan into a berserker frenzy of joy.
It’s Relatively Easy to Follow
Ice hockey is one of those sports where the rules are rather simple, and once you understand the offsides and icing rules and what a power play is, you’re good to go. It’s a sport that doesn’t really take that much effort to get into.
There’s nothing quite like the energy in a good NHL game. When power plays are delivering and everything is clicking, it’s one of the most riveting sports you can watch. The crowd naturally helps in this, and hockey fans are among the most passionate of any sport. Even minor league games are awesome, and they can sometimes be just exciting or more so than the pros.