Monday, May 31, 2010

I think I'm falling in love.

I've spent several decades making fun of hockey--white foreign guys on skates, who cares?

Through it all, though, I've always admitted that, in person, it's a pretty exciting game. And recently I posted here, on on Facebook, or I tweeted, or I screamed out the window-who the hell knows any more?--that high-def TV has dramatically improved the game for me.

Being able to see the puck is, you know, a game-changer.

 My basic antipathy toward hockey is complicated, going back to what I perceiving as the open racism that was the centerpiece of the Flyers' early marketing to the white suburbs and the Northeast and South Philadelphia sections of the city. I also, for somewhat personal reasons, was always suspicious of how Ed Snider became the sole owner of the Flyers team when it was created.

But maybe it's time to move on.

This Stanley Cup Final between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks has been mesmerizing. Seeing the puck in play makes it easier to understand the strange rules, to see how a team attacks or defends and to understand the big picture. And, yes, now and again it is satisfying to just physically beat on an opponent, whether personally or viscerally.

I'm not sure I can get past the stupid fights that are "part of the game" during the regular season or the "Stepford" nature of Flyer fandom, but I am certainly willing, at last, to try.

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