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Hockey: Underappreciated on West Coast

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Across the span of the sports universe, it is accurate to say that some sports receive more recognition than others.  For example, soccer is wildly popular throughout the UK and South America, but has had mild popularity among Americans.  Compare this to baseball, which is only popular throughout the US, Japan, and a few Hispanic countries.  Another sport that has been victimized of this same treatment is hockey.  Largely played in Canada and in parts of Europe, hockey is a rigorous sport that requires substantial amounts of alertness, skill, stamina, and strength from all of its players.  

With that being said, hockey does not garner all that much attention in the US, very much like soccer.  Take that with a grain of salt though; in the upper Midwest in states like Minnesota, kids play hockey in their free time on the icy streets, and in more populated states like California, fans flock to hockey arenas to watch a fast-paced and heart-pounding game while hoping to enjoy themselves in a fun, and sometimes chaotic, environment.  Unlike the MLB or the NFL however, the National Hockey League (NHL) has a significantly smaller following than other major sports organizations.  Fans of the game are part of a minority when it comes to the world of sports, but CHS does have several hockey fanatics, such as Anaheim Ducks superfan junior Caden Hengesbach.  When he was asked about why hockey fails to resonate with Americans like other sports do, Hengesbach replied with varied explanations on this phenomena.  

Well for starters it didn’t originate in the US like baseball or American football, which already puts hockey at a disadvantage,” Hengesbach said.  “Building off of that, lots of high schools and colleges don’t have hockey teams which I think plays a part in its lack of popularity as well.  Lastly, it’s really a sport that has a small niche of followers or that appeals to a lot of people.”  

Hengesbach also talked about how hockey is a severely underrated sport and how its thrills and historic moments have unfortunately been overshadowed by other, more popular, sports.  

“It’s such a unique sport and you are constantly being entertained.  Unlike [baseball and American football], hockey is non-stop action.  Whether it’s a fight, players knocking each other down, verbal insults, racing across the rink, or a goal, something is always happening, and I think it should be more appreciated because the sport isn’t recognized as highly as the more popular ones when it’s as, if not more, qualified than the others.”  

Hockey, while widely overlooked, is a sport that is constantly moving without any dull moments and a lot of interruptions.  Instances like those take spectators out of football and baseball games, but moments like those in hockey games keep them drawn in.  The game of hockey is a game that few people take the time to acknowledge, and considering its value as a fun and exhilarating sport, hockey should have a higher prominence in high schools and in the sports universe altogether.  Maybe in the future, hockey could rise to become one of the most popular and one of the most exciting games ever played, but the small few who embrace it can be grateful that they can watch a sport that gives them such a sense of energy and liveliness.


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Hockey: Underappreciated on West Coast