For the Love of Hockey

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I think I was Canadian in a different life. Not because of my love of French, though strong, or my craving for maple syrup, though incessant; no, this Canadian lifestyle manifests itself through a kind of hockey mania. While my friends enjoy watching baseball and eating hotdogs or tailgating at football games on Sunday afternoons, the American sport fetish skipped me completely, leaving a puck-shaped hole in my heart.

Of course being born and raised in the South makes this love a forbidden one. As we play yet another round of h-o-r-s-e in P.E., my soul yearns for the crack of a slapshot, the whistle of a perfectly timed wrister. The coach tells us to pick up the pigskin, we're headed to the field. No, my heart screams, not another touch football game! You're smiling! How can you enjoy this? We march to the stadium anyway, the others oblivious of the superior game waiting for them on the ice. Our team gets the ball first and runs it past the blue line, ahem, the fifty yard line. Stop, start; stop, start. Fifteen minutes later and we've advanced exactly zero feet.

This madness does not exist in hockey. There is no mass-tackling, blitz-faking, backtracking nonsense. Just the smooth sound of sharpened blades gliding over polished...

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