Hockey: Why isn’t it more popular?

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I’m sure you have been ice skating at your local ice rink and have seen all the logos and banners of the local Bantam or Mighty Mites hockey teams that play there.

There is hockey around us, but why does no one talk about it?

Well, the answer to that is most likely the lack of a team in Kansas City, our local hub. Once a gets popular in KC, it does tend to reflect up here: I don’t recall any Sporting Kansas City gear around campus before they won their most recent MLS cup. Now it’s a daily occurrence.

The NBA is still very popular on campus, even though KC has no NBA team. I see Heat, Spurs or Lakers gear all the time. Personally, I think the media is holding out on the NHL – whether it’s not enough advertising or what – I don’t think it gets its fair share of SportsCenter highlights.

I guess I don’t really understand why.

According to ESPN’s Sports Science, the average NHL hit is 17 percent harder than an NFL hit, even though the players in the NHL are on average 20 percent smaller.

You know those big hits we all love in NFL games, they come around, what, once or twice ever game or so?

Those happen all the time in the NHL.

As for scoring… have you seen T.J. Oshie’s Shootout winner from the past Winter Olympics? YouTube it. You’re welcome.

That kind of play happens all the time.

Oh and the whole, “it’s just fighting, right?”No! Yeah, the teams may need to fight a little bit because a dirty hit wasn’t called by a ref, but it’s not the whole sport.

There are dekes by players like Steven Stamkos that put Dwayne Wade’s crossover to shame. It’s a sport that has everything.

I talked to Athletic Director Kurt McGuffin about the future of there ever being a hockey team at Missouri Western.

I asked if there was any chance Western could have the sport, seeing that there is a large youth academy here in St. Joseph in the St. Joseph Griffons who play at the Bode Ice Arena.

“We would only be able to add women’s hockey if they were to add hockey,” McGuffin said.

He went on to say that equipment sports like hockey, softball or lacrosse (which there has also been talk of adding) are expensive.

So, the hockey future of Western, much like a team in Kansas City’s Sprint Center, looks bleak.

I wrote this column to try and get some students to try something new. Flip on a hockey game every now and then, broaden your horizons. Go watch a Missouri Mavericks game with some friends.

I have never seen a bored person at a hockey game, even if they have no idea what is happening.

It’s quick, there are big hits, they fight every now and then and when the home team scores, the place goes crazy. Check it out. Go to your local rink play in a pickup game. Oh, and if you want to sit around and watch hockey – hit me up.

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