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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, 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, 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 donít buy that.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:53 AM
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*drops gloves*
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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 itís arguably less popular than hockey.
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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, 09:08 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, 09:12 AM
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Hockey is pretty strongly popular in some areas of the US, such as Minnesota, and the Detroit area. I remember visiting the Twin Cities some years ago in March, when the state high school hockey tournament was going on, and it had wall-to-wall coverage on one of the Minneapolis TV stations.

But, I get the sense that, in most areas of the US in which hockey is popular, it's still often not the most popular sport -- the OP gives the example of New York, which has three NHL teams (including the Devils), but they're competing for attention with two NFL teams, two MLB teams, and two NBA teams, most of which are probably more popular, in the absolute, than the Rangers and Islanders.

dalej42 mentioned the Blackhawks, here in Chicago - the Hawks won three Stanley Cups this decade, and as they did so at a time when most of the other Chicago teams were doing badly, they got a lot of attention here. But, the Hawks' decline over the past four years happened at the same time as the Cubs' ascendency, and as the Blackhawks are now terrible, they don't get much press anymore.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 11-05-2019 at 09:15 AM.
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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, 09:35 AM
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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 itís arguably less popular than hockey.
It's not just that they didn't play hockey as kids, but for the most part, it wasn't played in middle school, high school or college for most people either. Soccer at least checks all those boxes, even if it's not popular.

Meanwhile, people played football, baseball and basketball from childhood all the way through, and there's a huge fan base and established popular college and professional leagues in those sports.

Canada has that sort of thing in hockey (well, jr. hockey instead of high school I gather), and the Europeans have that with soccer.

Another way to look at it is to consider what level of understanding or interest your average Joe in Tennessee or Oregon would have with respect to hockey. They'd surely know the basics- played on ice, people wear skates, hit pucks into goals with sticks, contact sport, and players fight a lot. They would be likely to know that Nashville has a NHL team, and that there are NHL teams in California and Vancouver (maybe). But as far as the rules and players and everything else? They'd likely have no clue.

In large part, exposure brings success, and success brings more exposure. But there has to be that foundation of familiarity that hockey just doesn't have in the US. I have a feeling that soccer may have just enough familiarity to take over the fourth major sport crown from hockey, if it hasn't already.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
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, 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.

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Old 11-05-2019, 10:50 AM
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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 itís arguably less popular than hockey.
Soccer is slowly but surely on the rise. MLS has better average attendance than NHL and is catching up in ratings. Plus all the other leagues that are broadcast. I see a lot of fans of various international teams. I never see any fans of non-NHL hockey teams.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_..._League_Soccer
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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, 10:55 AM
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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 itís arguably less popular than hockey.
It seems to me that falling down in the grass is an important part of modern professional soccer.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:09 AM
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I had modest interest in hockey until moving to a city with a pro team. Now I actually watch games (well, parts of games anyway) featuring teams in which I have no rooting interest, and read hockey stories in the paper and online.
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Soccer is slowly but surely on the rise.
And the big bands are definitely making a comeback. Soccer has inevitably been the next big thing in the U.S. for decades.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:12 AM
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I had modest interest in hockey until moving to a city with a pro team. Now I actually watch games (well, parts of games anyway) featuring teams in which I have no rooting interest, and read hockey stories in the paper and online. And the big bands are definitely making a comeback. Soccer has inevitably been the next big thing in the U.S. for decades.
I'm not saying Soccer is the next big thing. I'm saying it's growing and is taking over hockey as the #4 sport. Still far below NFL, NBA, and MLB.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:24 AM
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Look at the stats. Fighting numbers have been in a steady decline for years. Cite from last year.

That is clear to any hockey fan. Fighting is going away. Goons aren’t being recruited. Small fast players are the norm. The league is very aware of CTE and other health issues. Old time hockey is dead.

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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?
New York is first a baseball town. Then football. Far behind that is everything else. If there ever was another decade when the Knicks didn’t suck interest will rise. That probably won’t happen until Dolan no longer owns the team.



I agree that hockey can be a rough game to get into on TV. There is nothing better live.

Last edited by Loach; 11-05-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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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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Last edited by RickJay; 11-05-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:43 AM
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That is clear to any hockey fan. Fighting is going away. Goons arenít being recruited. Small fast players are the norm. The league is very aware of CTE and other health issues. Old time hockey is dead.
I don't think it needs to be excised from the sport, but it doesn't require a "goon" like Probert whose job is basically to beat people up. Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but these days I see a lot more flagrant cheap shots (i.e. checks to the head) than I recall in the past, and those have become the big problem causing concussions. there needs (IMO) to be one or two on the team who have that "you f*** with my teammate, you answer to me" presence. People used to be wary of trying anything funny on Stevie when they knew doing so would have Probert and/or Kocur coming after them.

just like last night in Detroit. Ryan Ellis shoulder checks Dylan Larkin in the head, Larkin takes exception and they drop the gloves. Larkin gets the extra 2 for roughing while the hit to his head goes uncalled. last thing the team needs is one of their high scorers risking injury defending themselves like Mantha did last season. have a guy like Luke Witkowski or Givani Smith on the bench to send the message instead.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:55 AM
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If the hockey overlords are making moves to minimize fighting, that speaks to their recognition that it's a problem. If your average man on the street who avoids hockey isn't aware of that, then the old notion of fighting goons will still be there. I'm not judging the fighting as good or bad, I'm stating a fundamental flaw with hockey's appeal to the masses.
Sure, people who enjoy boxing like to watch fighting. Sure people who enjoy MMA like to watch fighting. But compare those to, say, baseball. Have 160 or so boxing matches in a huge stadium every year. See what kind of attendance they draw.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:06 PM
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If the hockey overlords are making moves to minimize fighting, that speaks to their recognition that it's a problem. If your average man on the street who avoids hockey isn't aware of that, then the old notion of fighting goons will still be there. I'm not judging the fighting as good or bad, I'm stating a fundamental flaw with hockey's appeal to the masses.
it's just conjecture that this is the case, though. I haven't seen anything that indicates fighting is limiting ice hockey's broader acceptance. The league may think so, but they weren't really cracking down on it in earnest in the early '90s when the NHL got a boost in popularity. A lot of that had to do with the film The Mighty Ducks which did well and prompted Disney to found an NHL team of the same name. If anything I'd bet it was Disney who wanted the league to sanitize the game for their benefit.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:07 PM
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If the hockey overlords are making moves to minimize fighting, that speaks to their recognition that it's a problem.
But that's doesn't at all prove it's a problem with attendance or interest. Again, you just haven't shown a connection. No one has.

Saying fighting is down because they're driving it down to fix attendance is like saying baseball has fewer stolen bases than it used to in an effort to fix attendance, or that basketball has more 3-pointers than it did ten years ago in response to attendance issues. The reduction in fighting is largely just a strategic thing; the assumption used to be that you needed players to fight because

1. It "protected" skill players,
2. It was good for morale in some way, and
3. Because you didn't have enough skill players to fill an entire team anyway so you might as well have fourth line guys who could do something else (note that goons were almost never defencemen, a rarer skill commodity.)

Assumptions 1 and 2 were simply wrong, or at least not right enough to offset the advantages of replacing goons with skill players, and Assumption 3, if it ever were true, isn't anymore, because there is a much bigger pool of skilled players to draw from now relative to the size of the league.
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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, 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, 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 11-05-2019, 04:29 PM
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I had modest interest in hockey until moving to a city with a pro team. Now I actually watch games (well, parts of games anyway) featuring teams in which I have no rooting interest, and read hockey stories in the paper and online. And the big bands are definitely making a comeback. Soccer has inevitably been the next big thing in the U.S. for decades.
The difference now is that the USA gets exposed to the top European leagues now. And, the time zones work out as the matches are played in the morning in the USA.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:08 PM
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I had modest interest in hockey until moving to a city with a pro team. Now I actually watch games (well, parts of games anyway) featuring teams in which I have no rooting interest, and read hockey stories in the paper and online. And the big bands are definitely making a comeback. Soccer has inevitably been the next big thing in the U.S. for decades.
On Monday mornings at my office, people will talk almost as much about the Premier league as they do about the Redskins' latest debacle.

There was a minor blip in interest in hockey when the Caps won the Cup in 2017, but it remains a niche interest.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:57 PM
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  #38  
Old 11-05-2019, 06:40 PM
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Why should it be?
  #39  
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.
  #40  
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.
  #41  
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.
  #42  
Old 11-05-2019, 08:59 PM
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It seems to me that falling down in the grass is an important part of modern professional soccer.
I'm half-Chilean. Soccer is "in my blood," so to speak. I played it when I was younger and I used to watch the World Cup religiously. But my interest in the sport has waned over the years, for several reasons. But probably the top two for me are: 1) all the time-wasting, and 2) all the feigning of injury one sees in the modern game. For me it's gotten to the point where when I see a soccer player "go down" I just switch channels 'cause I never know whether or not an injury in a soccer game is legit.
  #43  
Old 11-05-2019, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
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.
  #44  
Old 11-05-2019, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post

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.
  #45  
Old 11-05-2019, 10:29 PM
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We're impressed with them just staying upright.
Excellent post - user-name combo!
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  #46  
Old 11-05-2019, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs View Post
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.
  #47  
Old 11-05-2019, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by racepug View Post
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.
  #48  
Old 11-06-2019, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by racepug View Post
I'm half-Chilean. Soccer is "in my blood," so to speak. I played it when I was younger and I used to watch the World Cup religiously. But my interest in the sport has waned over the years, for several reasons. But probably the top two for me are: 1) all the time-wasting, and 2) all the feigning of injury one sees in the modern game. For me it's gotten to the point where when I see a soccer player "go down" I just switch channels 'cause I never know whether or not an injury in a soccer game is legit.
Soccer players pretend they're hurt. Hockey players pretend they're not.
  #49  
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.
  #50  
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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