September 19, 2019

#HockeyIsBack

By: Stephen Skeel ’13

“There are people out there who look at a sport like hockey and they want the game to

matter, so it does.” This is the ending line of a promotional video by the National Hockey

League (NHL) to spark enthusiasm for its return after months of lockout. To the joy of

the sport’s fan base, the hockey season got underway about a month ago. Seemingly, only

a select group of people feels passionate about the sport. It’s not labeled as America’s

pastime, like baseball, and does not have the Thanksgiving traditions of football to appeal

to the masses. The United States does not even yield many of the stars of the sport; they

often come from Eastern Europe or Canada. However, self-proclaimed hockey lover

Tom McCune claims that “if everyone just had the chance to come to a game they would

appreciate it more than any sport.” Hockey fans love the fast pace and combination of

skills that, together, result in the loud, intimate setting of a rink. The sport is not for

everyone to play, due to its expensive nature and specific skill set. Tasso Karras, long

time employee at Hockey House, a hockey equipment store, explains that “some people

cannot handle it. It’s too barbaric and too technical.” Karras, himself a player, describes

how for him “hockey is therapy. The sound of the freshly sharpened blade digging into

the flawless ice relaxes me from the rigor of a typical school day.” McCune also cited

that “the youth hockey program in the United States is one of the fastest growing out of

any sport.” He hopes that “the change is coming.” Hockey also allows people to express

themselves. Karras proudly stated: “Ice is where I show my school pride; wearing the

letters of my school on my chest.” Karras continued, commenting that “some people just

wish they knew how to play but since they don’t, they disengage from it.” They should

not have to disengage entirely. It’s something for all to enjoy and now with the return

of the NHL, each and every one of us can once more become a part of the action by

watching the hometown Philadelphia Flyers or any other team we might support.