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Old 11-04-2019, 09:44 PM
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Why isn't hockey heavily discussed in America?


I know it is a Canadian/Europeanized sport.

But why isn't hockey heavily discussed in America?

Even in the New York metropolitan area, you don't hear much Rangers/Devils/Islanders/Flyers enthusiasm like the Knicks/NY Giants/Yankees day in and day out.

The only hockey players Americans still talk about daily are Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Mario Lemieux, guys that haven't played in the ice since the late 1990s and 2000s.

Why?
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:30 PM
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Could depend on the area. The Penguins get pretty much near equal time with the Steelers and the Pirates. (Although I think the Steelers will ALWAYS be king) It could be just because we're such a big sports town in general, or that we've been so lucky to have so many great athletes.

And as you mentioned, Mario Lemieux. No, he hasn't played in over 10 years, but he IS the team's owner, so I'd say that probably has something to do with it. (He and his family are also involved in a number of charitable organizations as well -- the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Austin's Playroom, etc)
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
Could depend on the area. The Penguins get pretty much near equal time with the Steelers and the Pirates. (Although I think the Steelers will ALWAYS be king) It could be just because we're such a big sports town in general, or that we've been so lucky to have so many great athletes.

And as you mentioned, Mario Lemieux. No, he hasn't played in over 10 years, but he IS the team's owner, so I'd say that probably has something to do with it. (He and his family are also involved in a number of charitable organizations as well -- the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Austin's Playroom, etc)
But you have to admit, even here its a secondary subject and more around certain circles of people. Your General Issue person may not be able to name any player except maybe Sid. And most people have no idea Mario isn't still playing.

In other words I agree with the OP mostly and I always wrote it off to the wide range of climate here in the US and hockey only catching in with youth leagues and schools nationwide (note that world before hitting reply and frying my ass) lately. For those of us say over 30 we can talk baseball or football or basketball with anyone from anywhere because we grew up not just watching but playing as well. Hockey? Around us high school teams didn't show up until the 70s and even then they were rare. 1974 when I played the entire WPIAL roster was like 6 schools? PeeWee and such was maybe the 90s? Give it another 20 years and then grab a ouija board and let me know how it worked out.
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Old Yesterday, 02:47 AM
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Maybe they could try putting a light or something on the puck?

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Originally Posted by kopek View Post
But you have to admit, even here its a secondary subject and more around certain circles of people. Your General Issue person may not be able to name any player except maybe Sid. And most people have no idea Mario isn't still playing.

In other words I agree with the OP mostly and I always wrote it off to the wide range of climate here in the US and hockey only catching in with youth leagues and schools nationwide (note that world before hitting reply and frying my ass) lately. For those of us say over 30 we can talk baseball or football or basketball with anyone from anywhere because we grew up not just watching but playing as well. Hockey? Around us high school teams didn't show up until the 70s and even then they were rare. 1974 when I played the entire WPIAL roster was like 6 schools? PeeWee and such was maybe the 90s? Give it another 20 years and then grab a ouija board and let me know how it worked out.
Well, like I said, the Steelers will always be at the top, but the Penguins aren't that far behind.*

And I remember when I was in high school, because THOSE were the days of Mario and Jagr, (I was in 7th and 8th grade when we won our first 2 Cups)

Maybe I just have a lot of hockey fans in my family. (My cousin used to play for the Penguins youth hockey affiliate)


*Either way, they BOTH get more attention than the Pirates -- fuck Bob Nutting.
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Old Yesterday, 05:41 PM
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Maybe they could try putting a light or something on the puck?
They did just that: FoxTrax

Here is a sample.

The FoxTrax system was widely criticized by hockey fans, who felt that the graphics were distracting and meant to make the broadcasts cater towards casual viewers; sportswriter Greg Wyshynski stated that FoxTrax was "cheesy enough that it looked like hockey by way of a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers production budget", and considered it "a sad commentary on what outsiders thought of both hockey and American hockey fans". Acknowledging that Canadian-born journalist Peter Jennings (who was interviewed as a guest during the 1996 All-Star Game that introduced the technology) stated on-air that Canadians would "probably hate it", Wyshynski suggested that FoxTrax was an admission that American viewers were "too hockey-stupid to follow the play" or "need to be distracted by shiny new toys in order to watch the sport."

I remember this because I worked at the company that developed the technology (but in another area).

Last edited by snowthx; Yesterday at 05:41 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 05:45 PM
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They did just that: FoxTrax

Here is a sample.

The FoxTrax system was widely criticized by hockey fans, who felt that the graphics were distracting and meant to make the broadcasts cater towards casual viewers; sportswriter Greg Wyshynski stated that FoxTrax was "cheesy enough that it looked like hockey by way of a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers production budget", and considered it "a sad commentary on what outsiders thought of both hockey and American hockey fans". Acknowledging that Canadian-born journalist Peter Jennings (who was interviewed as a guest during the 1996 All-Star Game that introduced the technology) stated on-air that Canadians would "probably hate it", Wyshynski suggested that FoxTrax was an admission that American viewers were "too hockey-stupid to follow the play" or "need to be distracted by shiny new toys in order to watch the sport."

I remember this because I worked at the company that developed the technology (but in another area).
Whooooosh!!!!
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:18 AM
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The first part of hockey season competes with 4 days of NFL/college/high school football. The end of the season competes with baseball. And the entirety of the season competes with NBA/college basketball. All of those sports are more popular than the NHL, so outside of hockey-crazy areas it gets put below the fold, as it were.

That’s a shame. While hockey can’t compete with football it’s a better game than basketball and far more action packed than baseball. HDTV has been a big help for hockey because on a low resolution CRT TV the puck was hard to follow. The sport just never grew the way the others did in the US.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:19 AM
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Yeah, I’d say it depends on the area. The Nashville Predators have been a constantly successful team but football is still king in Tennessee. Same with Columbus Ohio. The Blue Jackets have been more successful lately, but tune into Columbus sports talk radio when the Jackets are in the playoffs and you’ll hear mostly talk about the OSU spring game.

But in Chicago, I’d say the Blackhawks get the third most attention after the Cubs and Bears.

There’s also a bias because ESPN doesn’t broadcast the NHL so they don’t cover it much. Hockey playoffs could be in full swing but ESPN will be showing yet some other expert’s mock NFL draft.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:57 AM
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It had a big flash of popularity in the '90s, right about when they expanded further and added teams like Anaheim and San Jose. But then it dropped off.

plus press coverage seems to have withered as well. ESPN treats it as 2nd tier now because they seem to have some sort of corporate mandate to try to force people to care about soccer.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:59 PM
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But in Chicago, I’d say the Blackhawks get the third most attention after the Cubs and Bears.
I'd say the Bulls, especially now with the Hawks being what they are, get significantly more attention than the Hawks. And during the Jordan years, of course, it was all Bulls all the time.

Last edited by pulykamell; 11-05-2019 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:14 AM
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Hockey fans don't want to hear it, but hockey lacks a bigger fanbase in America because of the fighting. If you had fights like that in basketball, people would call them animals.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:30 AM
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Hockey fans don't want to hear it, but hockey lacks a bigger fanbase in America because of the fighting. If you had fights like that in basketball, people would call them animals.
Sorry, I don’t buy that.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:53 AM
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*drops gloves*
You wanna go??
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:05 AM
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WAG: Hockey isn't as popular to watch or discuss as other major sports (at least in America) because fewer people played it as kids. The "barriers to entry" are higher than with other sports: you have to have ice skates and be able to get around quickly and easily on them, and you have to have a special place to play a game of hockey.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:35 AM
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WAG: Hockey isn't as popular to watch or discuss as other major sports (at least in America) because fewer people played it as kids. The "barriers to entry" are higher than with other sports: you have to have ice skates and be able to get around quickly and easily on them, and you have to have a special place to play a game of hockey.
Yet everyone plays soccer as a kid, even I played it in high school. You just need to not fall down in grass to play it. And it’s arguably less popular than hockey.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:41 PM
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WAG: Hockey isn't as popular to watch or discuss as other major sports (at least in America) because fewer people played it as kids.
This is the answer. Yeah, maybe in certain regions of America hockey is widely discussed (Pittsburgh, Detroit) but for the most part it was just not an available sport for most of us. Even now in the Columbus, Ohio area, where the sport has grown immensely thanks to having an NHL team, there are only a couple venues available to play hockey. If kids don't play it, they probably don't watch it and definitely don't discuss it.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
WAG: Hockey isn't as popular to watch or discuss as other major sports (at least in America) because fewer people played it as kids. The "barriers to entry" are higher than with other sports: you have to have ice skates and be able to get around quickly and easily on them, and you have to have a special place to play a game of hockey.
When I was growing up, hockey was only played in the northern U.S. and in Canada - basically in the places where kids would have grown up with ice skates and skated (and played hockey) on icy ponds in the winter.

While it's been quite some time since hockey moved to the more temperate climes in the U.S. (not to mention the downright hot climes ), it takes more time than one would think for a spectator sport to really take root with a fan base.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:56 AM
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Hockey fans don't want to hear it, but hockey lacks a bigger fanbase in America because of the fighting. If you had fights like that in basketball, people would call them animals.
Look at the stats. Fighting numbers have been in a steady decline for years. Cite from last year.

The main thing is that hockey translates terribly to TV. But, if you get people out to see live action hockey they get hooked.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:56 AM
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Look at the stats. Fighting numbers have been in a steady decline for years. Cite from last year.

The main thing is that hockey translates terribly to TV. But, if you get people out to see live action hockey they get hooked.
that's what I don't get. it's actually an exciting, fast-paced game to watch. Baseball bores me to tears (20 minutes of action packed into 3 hours) and football is not much better with all of the stoppages and reviews. Soccer may be a great game to play but I can't get into watching it. 90+ minutes for a 0-0 tie isn't all that engaging.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:09 AM
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It should also be pointed out that, for a long time (from the mid-1970s into the 1990s), the NHL didn't have a national TV contract in the US (or when it did, it was a limited schedule). TV coverage was a patchwork of syndication, local coverage, and coverage by cable sports networks (ESPN and SportsChannel). If one didn't live in a market that had an NHL team, seeing more than a few hockey games a year on TV (even seeing the Stanley Cup games) could be challenging.

The NHL has a lot better coverage on TV here now, thanks to a contract with NBC, but you had generations of sports fans who grew up with little exposure to hockey, especially compared to baseball and football.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 11-05-2019 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:52 AM
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that's what I don't get. it's actually an exciting, fast-paced game to watch. Baseball bores me to tears (20 minutes of action packed into 3 hours) and football is not much better with all of the stoppages and reviews.
Ah, but the OP's question wasn't "Why isn't hockey heavily watched?" It's "why isn't hockey heavily discussed?"

A sport, like a movie, that is all action and no plot may be fun to watch but leave relatively little to discuss. I don't know much about hockey, but I think one of the strengths of baseball or football is that it does give fans so much to discuss: the strategy, the choices made by players and coaches/managers, the moments when something exciting or noteworthy does happen.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:53 PM
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that's what I don't get. it's actually an exciting, fast-paced game to watch. Baseball bores me to tears (20 minutes of action packed into 3 hours) and football is not much better with all of the stoppages and reviews. Soccer may be a great game to play but I can't get into watching it. 90+ minutes for a 0-0 tie isn't all that engaging.
I have a hard time believing that baseball typically has "20 minutes of action" packed into 3 hours.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:04 PM
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I have a hard time believing that baseball typically has "20 minutes of action" packed into 3 hours.
I am not sure if you meant it should have more or less than 20 minutes.

Baseball: 18 minutes of action per game.
NFL Football: 11 minutes of action per game.

Hockey and Basketball at least are constant action with the exception of time-outs and commercial breaks.

IMHO Hockey has not flourished as much as the other three top sports due to limited television coverage - maybe one game per week nationally televised, and less advertising dollars, compared to the other sports. The two are dependent on one another, and I think have high impact to hockey's popularity and general awareness outside cities that have a team. Also, as stated, the difficulty of casually watching the game on TV (being at a game in-person is great, tho!).
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:29 PM
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Look at the stats. Fighting numbers have been in a steady decline for years. Cite from last year.

The main thing is that hockey translates terribly to TV. But, if you get people out to see live action hockey they get hooked.
This is my opinion as well. I LOVE going to hockey games, but you can't follow that little puck very well on television, even with HD. The same issue occurs in baseball, but at least you know where the ball is going 85% of the time - towards the plate. Even then, you have all kinds of TV imagery to show where the ball crossed the plate, the strike zone, and the path of the ball for replays.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:37 PM
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Individual games are nearly meaningless. Winning or losing a particular game doesn’t matter until in, or at least near, playoffs.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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Individual games are nearly meaningless. Winning or losing a particular game doesn’t matter until in, or at least near, playoffs.
I've been telling myself (and others) that for YEARS (although a strong argument can be made that individual regular season games mean a LOT more in the N.F.L. than they do in other North American professional sports leagues).
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:45 PM
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This is my opinion as well. I LOVE going to hockey games, but you can't follow that little puck very well on television, even with HD. The same issue occurs in baseball, but at least you know where the ball is going 85% of the time - towards the plate. Even then, you have all kinds of TV imagery to show where the ball crossed the plate, the strike zone, and the path of the ball for replays.
This as well.

It is probably good to go to a hockey arena or stadium and watch a game, instead of watching it on TV.

You cannot see the puck.

You can see the football.
You can see the basketball.
You can see the soccer ball.
You can see the baseball.

Also, not to cause any controversy, but the game of hockey is overwhelmingly white. Other than Evander Kane and PK Subban, not much black hockey players are well-known.

The game may be isolated towards America because of the diversity thing.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:01 AM
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Also, not to cause any controversy, but the game of hockey is overwhelmingly white. Other than Evander Kane and PK Subban, not much black hockey players are well-known.

The game may be isolated towards America because of the diversity thing.
It's true that the NHL player base is very white, though I suspect that, if the lack of diversity does play a role in the sport's comparatively low popularity in the U.S., it's probably not among the biggest drivers. I strongly suspect that some of the other factors listed in this thread (e.g., relatively few Americans ever play the sport themselves, the sport traditionally had only been popular in certain regions in the U.S., lower TV exposure for the sport in the U.S., particularly in the past) play substantially bigger roles.

Also, a big factor in the NHL's lack of players of color is where hockey players come from. This page shows the breakdown on NHL players from last season -- 44% are from Canada, a country with a substantially lower percentage of black citizens (about 3%) than in the U.S., in addition, about 30% of the NHL's players are European, mostly from Scandanavian, Germanic, and Slavic countries, which also have comparatively low black populations.

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Old 11-05-2019, 11:31 AM
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Hockey fans don't want to hear it, but hockey lacks a bigger fanbase in America because of the fighting. If you had fights like that in basketball, people would call them animals.
This is a common refrain but is in defiance of the facts and common sense:

1. Fighting in hockey is WAY down. There is far, far less fighting in hockey than there used to be; it's now a fairly unusual event, and it basically never happens in the playoffs, and yet hockey hasn't become substantially more popular.

2. The idea that Americans won't love sports with fighting and violence is bizarrely at odds with the plain facts. People love sports where fighting is the literal entire sport, like MMA and boxing. They even love professional wrestling where people just PRETEND to fight.

3. There just is not any real evidence fighting inhibits the sports' popularity. No one has been able to find a cohort of sports fans who would like hockey if not for the fighting.

The reason hockey isn't more popular is because it just isn't as big a part of American culture. I mean, obviously it is popular; the 24 American NHL franchises are hauling in fans and money in vast amounts. Why it's not AS popular as football, baseball or basketball is a complex answer - it has to do with history, inertia, culture, business decisions, and a million other things, but look, every country has sports it likes more than others for little other reason than that's just where we are in history right now.

Just in the last century, the complexion of American sports fandom has changed in a lot of ways. One hundred years ago baseball was an American obsession, and the other two major pro sports were boxing and horse racing. In the 1960s and 1970s baseball fell behind football, which itself had gone through a major shift where college football, while still very popular, had fallen behind pro football in overall attention. Basketball 100 years ago was basically about as popular as volleyball is today; it didn't become a pro sport until after WWII but grew in a hurry, and furthermore has become a sport dominated by African Americans, both physically and culturally, which wasn't at all the case 100 years ago. Horse racing has declined significantly. Boxing is a much less popular sport; there was once a time when the world heavyweight champion was essentially always the most famous athlete in America, and now I doubt most Americans know who that person is. MMA has eaten some of boxing's market, but that's a much more recent even than boxing's decline. Tennis and golf became much bigger sports, though the peaks of their popularity have also passed, both in fandom and participation. Bowling, which was once the biggest participation sport in America - a virtual obsession - and was getting sports coverage, has faded into novelty as swiftly as it arose.

It'd take me a whole book to explain that paragraph - to explain WHY those things happened. But it just does, and it's not at all predictable why.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:37 AM
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This is a common refrain but is in defiance of the facts and common sense:

1. Fighting in hockey is WAY down. There is far, far less fighting in hockey than there used to be; it's now a fairly unusual event, and it basically never happens in the playoffs, and yet hockey hasn't become substantially more popular.

2. The idea that Americans won't love sports with fighting and violence is bizarrely at odds with the plain facts. People love sports where fighting is the literal entire sport, like MMA and boxing. They even love professional wrestling where people just PRETEND to fight.

3. There just is not any real evidence fighting inhibits the sports' popularity. No one has been able to find a cohort of sports fans who would like hockey if not for the fighting.
They'll never get it. Hockey is a full contact sport. You can break a guy's back with a legal check, blind guys with high stick, slice their face open with an errant skate, but a little fist fight between guys slipping around on the ice is the violence that scares the powers that be... at the TV networks. That's who cared about the fighting. Hockey had a hard enough time getting network coverage, the whole league depends on that revenue. So right about the time hockey was about to consider 'goon' an official position, they went along with the networks and turned the sport into a version of the Ice Capades.

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Old 11-07-2019, 04:08 PM
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They'll never get it. Hockey is a full contact sport. You can break a guy's back with a legal check, blind guys with high stick, slice their face open with an errant skate, but a little fist fight between guys slipping around on the ice is the violence that scares the powers that be... at the TV networks. That's who cared about the fighting. Hockey had a hard enough time getting network coverage, the whole league depends on that revenue. So right about the time hockey was about to consider 'goon' an official position, they went along with the networks and turned the sport into a version of the Ice Capades.
And it's a better sport for it. Fighting was a waste of time, really. I want to see good hockey players play hockey.
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:14 PM
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And it's a better sport for it. Fighting was a waste of time, really. I want to see good hockey players play hockey.
I'm with you 100%. If I want to see guys slugging it out I'll watch MMA or boxing.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:08 AM
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Hockey doesn't have nationwide appeal so it's not going to be a major subject on sports TV shows. There's no more coverage of hockey in print because the last hockey fan who could read died recently. In cities with hockey teams there's a lot of coverage when the playoffs begin after two teams are eliminated in the regular season.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:22 AM
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Part if it is momentum, It's not popular partly because it's not popular. Another part is advertising. In the US the money is heavy into american football.

When Hockey really took off was when the US took the gold at the olympics, which was not hockey popularity so much as olympic popularity that hockey 'stole' for itself, then around that time the Islandards took the Stanley Cup away from a Canadian team and held it for 4 years, so we had the excitement of the drama of the game as well as national pride that we were the winners here to hold attention. But after they lost, people started to slip away from hockey and football was pulling them with big money ads.

Last edited by kanicbird; 11-05-2019 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:46 AM
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When Hockey really took off was when the US took the gold at the olympics, which was not hockey popularity so much as olympic popularity that hockey 'stole' for itself, then around that time the Islandards took the Stanley Cup away from a Canadian team and held it for 4 years, so we had the excitement of the drama of the game as well as national pride that we were the winners here to hold attention. But after they lost, people started to slip away from hockey and football was pulling them with big money ads.
If you're talking about the Miracle on Ice then I think it only gave hockey a small bump. The old NHL American teams were competitive against Canadian teams before then. The Flyers were the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup before then and they might have provided a bigger bump to the sport.

The biggest increase in popularity for hockey comes from the advanced video that allows the puck to be seen on TV. That might have been offset by the decreased popularity from players wearing helmets and not knowing how to fight anymore.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:17 PM
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I think part of it just comes down to weather. Ice-skating at all is not an option for a significant portion of the country--we don't get much in the way of suitable ice during the winter, so you have to go looking for an ice rink to even learn the basics, and they're not all that common. There seem to be only 2 in my home state, and only 6 or 7 in DFW (which is home to an NHL team) meaning less than 1 rink per million people.

Consequently, most of us in the warmer parts of the country never even consider learning to skate, let alone to play games on skates. What are we qualified to discuss about hockey? We're impressed with them just staying upright.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:29 PM
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We're impressed with them just staying upright.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:09 AM
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I think part of it just comes down to weather. Ice-skating at all is not an option for a significant portion of the country--we don't get much in the way of suitable ice during the winter, so you have to go looking for an ice rink to even learn the basics, and they're not all that common. There seem to be only 2 in my home state, and only 6 or 7 in DFW (which is home to an NHL team) meaning less than 1 rink per million people.

Consequently, most of us in the warmer parts of the country never even consider learning to skate, let alone to play games on skates. What are we qualified to discuss about hockey? We're impressed with them just staying upright.

There are six rinks? I would have guessed fewer. And at least two of those are related to the Stars (local Dallas NHL team).

Another way to look at it is that if you're a kid in the South, or really anywhere that winter sports aren't a thing, your main exposure to hockey is going to be from one of two avenues- television, which is something you more or less have to seek out, and video games, which is also something you have to seek out.

Even now in November, the Stars are generally third, behind the Cowboys and Mavericks in sports coverage. And if there's a Rangers(baseball) related story, that'll come ahead of the Stars on the local news. Hell, in the past couple of months, the biggest single hockey related story isn't about the Stars lackluster play, or injuries, or anything on-ice, but rather that Tyler Seguin's mansion got destroyed by a tornado.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:15 PM
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There are six rinks? I would have guessed fewer. And at least two of those are related to the Stars (local Dallas NHL team).
I may have actually undercounted, because there are multiple facilities with variations of "Starcenter" as their name. Google's insistence on including roller rinks in the result further confuses matters. In the interest of correcting the exaggeration in my previous post:

2 x Children's Health Starcenter
Starcenter
Starcenter McKinney
Starcenter Community Ice Rink
Richardson Stars Center
Allen Community Ice Rink
Comerica Center (This is an arena with a Stars practice rink. Not sure if the rink is ever open to the public.)
Galleria Ice Skating Center
Nytex Sports Center
ICE at The Parks
Panther Island Ice (Outdoor rink open only from late November through late January.)
Classic Holiday Ice Rink Rentals (Which is a weird one. They rent portable "ice rinks" with plastic "ice".)

I think that's an exhaustive list, so there are 12 in the metroplex. (Not counting the rental place, which I don't think factors in a discussion of hockey exposure.) Some may not be open to the public, and one is closed all but 2 months of the year, but there's somewhere around 1.5 accessible rinks per million people. That doesn't make for a lot of opportunity to get hands-on with hockey.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:24 PM
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I think that's an exhaustive list, so there are 12 in the metroplex. (Not counting the rental place, which I don't think factors in a discussion of hockey exposure.) Some may not be open to the public, and one is closed all but 2 months of the year, but there's somewhere around 1.5 accessible rinks per million people. That doesn't make for a lot of opportunity to get hands-on with hockey.
And all that spread out over about 9300 square miles. I can't imagine that it's not a massive undertaking for a DFW kid to play youth hockey.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:27 PM
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Part of it might just be limited attention that has to be rationed or budgeted out. With 4 major professional sports leagues, it's hard for fans to be equally rabid or enthusiastic about all four of them. The top three - NBA, MLB and NFL - already draw considerable attention. There is bound to be some drop-off in interest or enthusiasm with the 4th.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:12 PM
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Hockey is huge in San Jose, where I spent 20 years beginning just after the founding of the Sharks. They routinely sell out a 17k seat arena. As far as discussion, I had plenty of coworkers to talk about games with. It didn't get much airtime on sports talk radio because the stations are based in S.F. and the the hockey fandom is limited to Silicon Valley. (Plus nothing but football and baseball gets on the anyway. )

I'm excited about getting a new team in Seattle.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:18 PM
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Hockey is huge in San Jose, where I spent 20 years beginning just after the founding of the Sharks. They routinely sell out a 17k seat arena. As far as discussion, I had plenty of coworkers to talk about games with. It didn't get much airtime on sports talk radio because the stations are based in S.F. and the the hockey fandom is limited to Silicon Valley. (Plus nothing but football and baseball gets on the anyway. )

I'm excited about getting a new team in Seattle.
yep, I remember when that expansion phase happened, there were Sharks and Mighty Ducks jerseys all over the place. IIRC it even influenced some NBA teams to change their logos and color schemes; in '96 the Pistons changed their logo and colors from the red, white, and blue they'd used forever to a teal, red, and orange scheme which fans hated.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:05 PM
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yep, I remember when that expansion phase happened, there were Sharks and Mighty Ducks jerseys all over the place. IIRC it even influenced some NBA teams to change their logos and color schemes; in '96 the Pistons changed their logo and colors from the red, white, and blue they'd used forever to a teal, red, and orange scheme which fans hated.
I wonder if that influenced the SuperSonics changing their colors the same year (1996). They went from the green, yellow, and white they had since 76 to an ugly green orange and red. Basically identical but replace teal with green.

They wisely changed the colors back in 2002.

Then in 2008 they went away forever.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:01 PM
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I wonder if that influenced the SuperSonics changing their colors the same year (1996). They went from the green, yellow, and white they had since 76 to an ugly green orange and red. Basically identical but replace teal with green.

They wisely changed the colors back in 2002.

Then in 2008 they went away forever.
I have to dissent. I actually liked the Sonics' uniform change. Mostly because I'm generally not a fan of the color yellow.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:24 PM
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I have to dissent. I actually liked the Sonics' uniform change. Mostly because I'm generally not a fan of the color yellow.
I figured somebody somewhere liked it, now I know who.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:57 PM
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The Nashville Predators are venerated, locally.
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:40 PM
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Why should it be?
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:06 PM
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Even in the New York metropolitan area, you don't hear much Rangers/Devils/Islanders/Flyers enthusiasm like the Knicks/NY Giants/Yankees day in and day out.
...
Just to back this up, someone once called in to WFAN (the NYC sports radio station) to ask which teams callers wanted to talk about most often. The response was off the top of the host's head, and I may have a couple of details wrong, but the list went roughly like this:

1. Yankees, then a big gap
2. Giants, then another gap
3-5 clustered closely Mets, Jets, Knicks, then another gap
6. Rangers
7-9. Nets, Islanders, Devils, not much interest among callers

So yeah, hockey definitely attracting much less attention among listeners of that station anyway.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:57 AM
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Hockey rinks per capita by state. Also consider, this is just indoor rinks. I grew up playing hockey in rural Minnesota. My town had an indoor rink and two outdoor rinks. It has to be below freezing for long stretches of time to maintain outdoor ice, and even a little further south it isn't feasible. Hockey is popular in places where it's easy to play and there's a strong culture surrounding it. That doesn't exist in most of the US.

NHL players by state of birth

Last edited by Trom; 11-06-2019 at 12:01 PM.
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