Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Why I Don’t Follow Hockey And Basketball

I know the world is in the midst of financial collapse and a flu pandemic, but I’d like to write here about hockey and basketball.

( Above—Women playing ice hockey 120 years ago.) 

I saw in my morning paper—which remains the most civilized and reflective way to get the news—that the Anaheim Ducks had eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the National Hockey League Playoffs.

This happened despite the fact that the Sharks had gained the best record in the NHL for the past season and that the Ducks were only the 8th best team in their conference.  Here are the final NHL standings for this season.

Hockey has something like 30 teams. 16 of them make the playoffs. Why even bother to play the regular season? Anybody who can muster just a halfway decent record makes the playoffs and then the best team can be knocked out in the first round. These same circumstances exist in pro basketball.  

The only sport I follow is baseball. In baseball 8 of the 30 teams make the playoffs. That’s better. The games mean something and fewer teams can coast knowing they have a playoff spot locked up.

In hockey and basketball, the games lack context and meaning. It’s a muddle. They just skate around or run up and down the court for six months waiting for the real action to start. Who would pay money to see all that meaningless mess?  

Our time and what we do with our time should have meaning and context.     

(Here is a history of hockey.)

April 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. I notice you didn’t mention football. It is my favorite sport. The percentages are better than hockey or basketball, with 12 of the 32 teams making the playoffs.

    Some think football is just blood and guts – a bunch of big, dumb guys beating up on each other. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a very intense, intricate game of strategy. I have often equated it with chess, the difference being the chess pieces are alive, and show up with unpredictable behavior on any game day Sunday. In addition there is the talent factor. But, most importantly, loyalty and pride truly motivate. The latter is somewhat lacking in pro ball, so that is why I love college football. Most of the players are fiercely defensive of their schools and alumni, unlike pro players, who play for several teams during their careers and seem more concerned with their contracts than they are with the fans.

    Attending a rival-inspired college game on a beautiful autumn afternoon in the state of Texas is one of life’s unique pleasures . . .

    Comment by Peggy | April 28, 2009

  2. Peggy—I very much like your ongoing kind comments at my blog, but I must admit I don’t much like football and that is why I left it out.I’m just tunred off the violence and all the macho in the TV coverage.

    Football though has found its well-spoken champion with you.

    I was regular at Brown University football games many years ago. They let kids run on the field at halftime and that was fun.

    Thank you for your offerings here. They help make the blog better.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 28, 2009

  3. Thanks for your nice words as well. It is very interesting that I love football as I do, being a “girl” and all. As a former paramedic, I do cringe at the hard hits and especially the cheap shots. And, the trash talk is disgusting. Some of those testosterone-crazed guys just don’t have a clue sometimes.

    But, if you can overlook some of that, the game is really interesting and amazingly complex. I ran around in a gold and green Bart Starr jersey when I was a little kid. I was addicted to the plays and mechanics of the game in high school while all of my girlfriends were more interested in their poms poms and cheers. The first time I heard the phrase “safety blitz” I was determined to learn what I needed to know to understand what in the heck it meant . . . =)

    Comment by Peggy | April 28, 2009

  4. Having once been criticized for not catching a puck that came whizzing toward my shoulder at a Redwings-Blackhawks game at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, I am more than a little shocked at your lack of interest in hockey! To say nothing of expenditures on NHL hockey jerseys!

    Comment by Newton | April 29, 2009

  5. Obese people can play baseball. That’s probably why you like it. Athletes play hockey, and almost every other real sport.

    Comment by Yawn | November 27, 2011

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