So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from prob2236. Show prob2236's posts

    So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    This is a follow up question from yesterday where I asked if the Stanley cup was the greatest trophy a championship team could earn and everyone said without a doubt yes.  But if the cup is such a prize, the cup playoffs are such a spectacle, and hockey really has every a great game would have.  Even we as boston fans rank this championship up amongst are greatest ever for any team. So why is hockey the least popular sport compared to football, basketball and baseball in this country.  Lets face it football is huge in this country, as is baseball and basketball. 
              In a lockout I can watch NFL once a week but my body who lives in Boston couldnt watch have the cup finals because he doesnt have VS network. 
              I bet fans around the US cant name 90% of the hockey players who play in the NHL.  Not just that but of great athletes from the other leagues hockey superstars again are on the bottom of the totem pole.  Crosby and Ovechkin are no were near as big as Brady, Manning, Lebron, A-Rod, David Ortiz but they are certainly just as dominant in there respective sport.  I bet you most casual sports fan around the US couldnt pick Martin Brodeur out of a lineup but any 17 year old girl whos even heard of basketball would be able to point out Dwayne Wade. 
             So why if hockey is such a great game, and it is, is it so unpopular compared to other leagues?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from lippa. Show lippa's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    I wouldnt put basketball above hockey.Basketball is like a pick up game now adays.Its started losing it integrity in the mid 90s.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from CablesWyndBairn. Show CablesWyndBairn's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    So why if hockey is such a great game, and it is, is it so unpopular compared to other leagues?

    In part, the reason hockey isn't as popular as the other leagues is because of the other leagues.  People relate better to sports they can actually play.  Plus, who the hell cares about hockey in the deep south?  Maybe the next generation will due to franchises in Nashville, Carolina, Atlanta (not for long), Florida, etc.  But hockey has its historical roots in the north and it will always be strongest there.  Can't play pick up pond hockey in Tampa, you play every other sport. 

    I'm still trying to figure out when Americans will embrace football (soccer).  I lived and breathed it for so long, it's ingrained in me, and for the life of me I can't understand why most Americans would rather pull out their fingernails with pliers than watch it. 

    It's in your DNA or it isn't.  It's the rare person that can embrace all sports because they just love to watch competitive events.   
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from prob2236. Show prob2236's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    Basketball is certainly more popular among fans.  Look at Jersey sales, you think people buy more hockey jerseys than Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Rose, Jordan jerseys.  Not in a million years.  Basketball is probably the third most popular behind football and baseball but certainly more popular than hockey.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from prob2236. Show prob2236's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    In Response to Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?:
    [QUOTE]So why if hockey is such a great game, and it is, is it so unpopular compared to other leagues? In part, hockey isn't as popular as the other leagues is because of the other leagues.  Plus, who the hell cares about hockey in the deep south?  Maybe the next generation will due to franchises in Nashville, Carolina, Atlanta (not for long), Florida, etc.  But hockey has its historical roots in the north and it will always be strongest there.  Can't play pick up pond hockey in Tampa, you play every other sport.  I'm still trying to figure out when Americans will embrace football (soccer).  I lived and breathed it for so long, it's ingrained in me, and for the life of me I can't understand why most A would rather pull out their fingernails with pliers than watch it.  It's in your DNA or it isn't.  It's the rare person that can embrace all sports because they just love to watch competitive events.   
    Posted by CablesWyndBairn[/QUOTE]

    I see what your saying but lets look at Boston than for that instance.  Now it will interesting now that the B's have won the cup but before this year I would say that Boston fiended more for Red Sox and Patriots than Bruins, Celtics may even be more popular in recent years. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Diggz. Show Diggz's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    The main reason that hockey has yet to achieve the status of the other major sports is reach and audience.  While hockey obviously moved into "non-hockey" markets in the midst of the expansion era, it still remains a sport more closely identified with cold weather climates.  Because of this, its reach is undoubtedly limited.  Add to that the fact that hockey is not a cheap sport to play.  A lot can be said for the sacrifices (financial, time, travel, etc.) that hockey parents make.  Looking back on it, I have no idea how my parents juggled the scheduling of my brother and I each weekend during hockey seasons.

    At any rate, due to climate, cost and a number of other factors, hockey is an un-attractive sport for a large number of people.  It basically boils down to the grass roots level.  Kids can play pick-up basketball any time they want because all that is required is a pair of sneakers, a ball and a hoop.  Baseball, though requiring a little more equipment, is still just as easy to latch onto.  And even football can be played with nothing more than a ball and an open field.

    So even with its existence in warmer climates (and the NHL's refusal to understand that you can't force feed hockey to people where it won't be fully embraced) it essentially comes down to the fact that people that don't have the resources to play are far less likely to watch.  Remember Fox's awful attempt to market hockey nationally in the 90s by implementing the "glowing puck" to make it easier for non-fans to follow?  Hockey is leaving Atlanta in favor of Winnipeg for a reason.  As weird as it sounds, even here in Massachusetts (long known as one of the hockey hotbeds along with Maine and Minnesota), the sport was not anywhere near as popular as it is today until the Big Bad Bruins came to exist.

    As great of a sport as it is, while it may at some point surpass the NBA, the NFL and MLB will always be king.
     
  7. This post has been removed.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    IMO:

    The sport presents poorly on TV, though HD has helped

    The US audience tends to like scoring. Baseball had a renissance when the ballparks got small and the players got big. The World Series commonly recognized as the moment that turned baseball around from ttal decline was 1975, Red vs. Red Sox. High scoring games were the feature of that series.

    The neutral zone trap set the league back 10 years and it could not have been more poorly timed. The NHL moved into the Sunbelt trying to sell the open, fast high scoring game of the late 80's in the US and along came the trap.

    The rules aren't easy to understand, for a newbee offsides, when it is icing and just what is interference were all hard to understand.

    The fighting that core audience loves makes the game a bit of a cliche to many potential converts.

    The lack of marketing, punctuated by the Versus - NBC deal which has the NHl largely dark on TV except in hockey markets and the ESPN "news freeze" that followed the deal.

    Locking out the players for a year made a lot of folks learn quicklly how to live without hockey.


     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from red75. Show red75's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    Ice... it's that simple.

    Yes there are warmer climates where hockey has gotten a strong hold - Texas is the best example. There are strong youth, high school, college and semi-pro teams all throughout the state now, and it has had the most success of any of the sunbelt teams in terms of growing the sport.

    But that's the exception to the rule.

    If you simply look at where hockey is huge, where it's part of the fabric of society, it's places where ponds freeze over in the winter - Alaska, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Michigan, New England, Russia, Scandinavia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Canada.

    The one thing all these places have in common is that it gets damn cold in the winter.

    Yes indoor rinks can make up for this a bit, but to really get this sport into your blood, to become absolutely passionate for it, I truly believe it helps to have had the experience of just strapping on some skates and playing shinny, whether it be on an outdoor rink, a frozen pond, or some stretch of river somewhere. There are exceptions, but hockey is a climate-based game, and I don't think that's possible to get around on a grand scale.

    Look at me as an example - do you really think I would have fallen in love with this sport, as a woman, if I was raised in Louisiana? Would I spend my winters getting my teeth rattled in a full-contact league playing against dozens of like minded women if I called Little Rock home? It comes down to climate.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from JohnTAlouette. Show JohnTAlouette's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    In Response to Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?:
    [QUOTE]Ice... it's that simple. Yes there are warmer climates where hockey has gotten a strong hold - Texas is the best example. There are strong youth, high school, college and semi-pro teams all throughout the state now, and it has had the most success of any of the sunbelt teams in terms of growing the sport. But that's the exception to the rule. If you simply look at where hockey is huge, where it's part of the fabric of society, it's places where ponds freeze over in the winter - Alaska, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Michigan, New England, Russia, Scandinavia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Canada. The one thing all these places have in common is that it gets damn cold in the winter. Yes indoor rinks can make up for this a bit, but to really get this sport into your blood, to become absolutely passionate for it, I truly believe it helps to have had the experience of just strapping on some skates and playing shinny, whether it be on an outdoor rink, a frozen pond, or some stretch of river somewhere. There are exceptions, but hockey is a climate-based game, and I don't think that's possible to get around on a grand scale. Look at me as an example - do you really think I would have fallen in love with this sport, as a woman, if I was raised in Louisiana? Would I spend my winters getting my teeth rattled in a full-contact league playing against dozens of like minded women if I called Little Rock home? It comes down to climate.
    Posted by red75[/QUOTE]
    Well said. When it's cold outside, that means ice. Growing up in Mass., I spent my free time outdoors, playing sports with my friends. In the winter we shoveled the snow off the pond down the street. When frostbite started to set in, time to go home. A little harder to walk when you can't feel your feet. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from seobrien. Show seobrien's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    It is as great as the others, actually better.
    Just because the masses don't realize it makes it any less so.
    Think of all the Bostonians who watched this and are now converted.

    It is the greatest sport there is. period.


     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ma6dragon9. Show ma6dragon9's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    In Response to Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?:
    [QUOTE]I wouldnt put basketball above hockey.Basketball is like a pick up game now adays.Its started losing it integrity in the mid 90s.
    Posted by lippa[/QUOTE]

    Isn't it sad that it takes hockey fans to point out the problems in basketball? Their joke of a commisioner sees nothing wrong, and fans support that garbage. What a disgrace.

    Basically, I think it's the American way of thinking that keeps Hockey down. Excite me! Excite me NOW! Score a lot of points! Dance and act like a fool! Thump your chest and look for the spotlight!

    Hockey is about skill, patience, comraderie, and honestly, intelligence. All lacking in our communities far too much, all lacking in the other major sports.
     
  13. This post has been removed.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from sportsnut4. Show sportsnut4's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    I think hockey is a niche sport in the US and always will be.  Michigan, the New England States, Minnesota, NY and Colorado are the hot beds of hockey.  The NHL always hands these teams to Atlanta (twice) Phoenix and 2 teams in Florida which is ridiculous.  Attendance had sagged badly until the last 3 years or so because of bad ownership.  Fans were fed up.  But the salary cap was the best thing that every happened to Boston as they are now on a level playing field while a perennial powerhouse like Detroit has to stock their roster with these restrictions.  Bruins fans were always out there, most kind of dormant, sick of the years of frustration from being cheap/bad trades/poor coaching choices/bad luck in general.  I was expecting the worst in game 7 and I've been through the loss to Phily in '75, too many men on the ice in '79.........well all Bruins fans know the stories.  This had a happy outcome.  From an opponent I felt no disdain for to a team that I completely despised by the end of the series only made it sweeter.  Congratulations to the Bruins and their fans.  Have a well deserved great time tomorrow at the parade.  It's been too long of a wait.  But worth it.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from JohnTAlouette. Show JohnTAlouette's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    When I was growing up, the most you could hope for was Bronco Horvath winning the scoring title. There was no chance with the original 6. Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Detroit. Forget about it. Then along came Bobby Orr.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigvig. Show bigvig's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    I havent read all the responses so its probably been said, but this is the simple answer:

    The MAJORITY, and its a HUGE MAJORITY, of people & kids in American cant/dont grow up playing hockey, therefore they dont relate to it.

    All you need to play football or basketball is a $10 dollar ball, and a whole group of kids can play.  Baseball requires a glove and someone with a bat & ball.  You can play all three of those sports ANYWHERE in America at almost any time.  HUGE difference with hockey.

    At a minimum you need a stick and skates.  Even on the cheap end youre looking at $50 bucks plus per kid.  Add to that, that you cant even play unless you learn to skate and it makes it INCREDIBLY difficult to even start playing.  PLUS you need ice.  Something thats not exactly abundant or cheap.

    Hockey is incredibly expensive and isolated.  It will always be this way.  Its like racing:  If you dont grow up in an area where its prevalent, or a family who participates, youre just not interested.  Sure, people jump on the bandwagon when a team is running good, but thats more of a community thing.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    I have seen a lot about kids playing the sport and one of the great stimulus factors can be a successful pro franchise in markets where the sport isn't played much. The number of kids playing and even the number of rinks in LA grew dramatically in the years Wayne Gretzky was in LA. The Lakers were in a rare down cycle under the Buss Family ownership, the Dodgers came back to earth after the 88 WS, the Angels were Orange County's team and the Kings were the hottest ticket in town.

    Families went to Kings games when they could get a ticket (4 years of sell outs), watched every game on the tube and kids started playing hockey either in rinks or on pavement with straight lines or traditional street hockey.

    So it isn't just it has to be cold outside. The Stars are an exception becuase the product in Dallas has been good more years than not since they moved from Minnesota (a hockey hot bed of the first order in the US). So hockey can succeed regionally in warmer climates but the product better be attractive. 

    Gaining a broader, national audience requires a very telegenic product and hockey from the arena to the tube translates about as bad as any sport. Football, the most successful US sports entertainment product is arguably better on TV. Same with basketball. Baseball has trade offs. Hockey hands down is better sitting with 17,000 close friends on the edge of your seat yelling "down in front" to the pink hat who wants to get a beer before a break in action.

    Just my takes
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ma6dragon9. Show ma6dragon9's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    Katz -
     Great point about being in person. I actually had that conversation more than once during the playoffs. So much happens away from the puck, there is so much more to see than what a camera can capture, for that, it does suffer to a degree.

    The football mess (though they won't miss games) and the impending lockout will only help hockey where, compared to the other sports, the stars are reasonably paid. Chara makes, what, 7.5? Comparable in baseball would be close to 20, a max contract in basketball, or 12-15 in football.

    Go ahead NBA/NFL, the NHL already took their hit and are on the upswing, have fun arguing over who should get the excess, keep overcharging fans, and keep handing out undeserved contracts and then whining about it. Go ahead, it only helps the fastest sport on ice.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Stuke50. Show Stuke50's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    On an encouraging note :  When Gretzkey left LA, he planted a seed that is today growing into a wee plant. There are some really good kids hockey teams in S.Calif and there are lot's of kids playing road hockey. As posted above, money and rink availability prevents the sport from flourishing..

    And on another encouraging note : The American people, flocked to their tv sets in record numbers, during last Winter Olympics. NBC has never had the ratings that it had for those Team U S of A  hockey games.

    And on another encouraging note : These Winter Classics are becoming very very hot games to go to. The TV ratings are the best they have ever seen as well.

    In the meantime, we Bruin fans can bath in the after glow of our Teams Cup victory, and wait till the puck drops for the new season.  Go B's Go

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelvana33. Show kelvana33's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    Why is NASCAR so popular? I'll never understand that one.
    The NFL is too big for the players to ruin it but it sure hasnt stopped them from trying.'
    I'll Never get the NBA.

    Like Bigvig said the reason why NHL isnt as popular is it being isolated. I do know rinks are popping up all over southern Cal and Texas so it will grow to some degree. College Football and College basketball are extremely popular but im my opinion cant hold a candle to the Frozen Four. Oh and it doesnt help that ESPN doesnt have it anymore as much as i hate ESPN it does help your sport.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from red75. Show red75's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    Katz, you do have a good point about success to an extent - my sig pic is from a women's league in the Bay Area, and hockey, especially the women's game, is big there. But success isn't always the key. The Caps have been fairly decent for a very long time (granted no Cups) but that has never really translated to strong grassroots hockey in Maryland, Deleware or Virginia, and MO. isn't a noted hockey hotbed, despite having a team there for 44 years. 

    I think an additional factor, of some sort, needs t be in play. In Cali, I think it was the overwhelming star power of Gretzky, and in Texas, I think it was the physicality of the game appealed to the Texas culture.

    It certainly is possible to grow the sport outside of cold climates, but it's not easy, and I think it takes more than just a successful team. I think an additional catalyst has to be at play. In the regions I noted in my previous post, that's just not an issue.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Macrawn. Show Macrawn's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    It was a fun series to watch. I was a big fan when I was a kid. 

    The big problem is the Bruins never spent money and let good players go all of these years. I don't see how anyone could stand to be a Bruins fan all of those years they let good players go because they didn't want to spend the money and just rolled around the dregs of the league. They start getting decent prospects and they sell them off. It's good to finally see the Bruins hold some talent for more than one season. 

    The NFL just does a better job at ensuring good competition every year. That's a big reason football is so great. 

    I'm also not one that gets a thrill out of seeing somebody club someone from behind with a hockey stick or start a fist fight. I can't believe that crap is tolerated in the game. That's probably the main reason nhl hockey can only go so far. 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from glenr. Show glenr's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    Personally I don't think being the less popular sport is a bad thing. For the most part hockey isn't poluted by loud mouth ignorant morons like basketball and football. The lack of huge national TV contracts and the fact that ESPN ignores it most of the time helps keep it from becoming sportstertainment.

    As for the sport's 'greatness'....HOCKEY IS THE GREATEST SPORT. It's by far the most exciting to watch. Momentum can change in the blink of an eye then change back the next blink. Players exert so much energy that 3 minutes on the ice is a long time, You can't beat it and never will.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Wheatskins. Show Wheatskins's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    Because Americans have trouble understanding a sport with a goalie.

    Or any sport that features only one way to score. i.e. put the puck in the net = 1 goal (1 point).

    If Americans had invented hockey, a goal would be worth 3 points, hit the post = 1 point, and hit the crossbar = 2 points. Therefore, you could win even if you score less goals than your opponent. Americans can understand that.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from mxx. Show mxx's posts

    Re: So why isnt hockey as great of a sport as the others in this country?

    In those non hockey pockets of the country, they don't play it, the schools don't play it, they never learned hockey, they never played it on a street or the ice as kids..............their just not aware of the game and how great it is.

    Unfortunate for them to miss out on such a great sport!
     

Share