Learning to love hockey

By Bret Lewis, KFWB sports anchor
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Bret Lewis

Bret Lewis

OK. People that love hockey… REALLY LOVE HOCKEY! And can’t for the life of them understand why everyone else doesn’t. Yet surveys of favorite sports show about 2% of people say hockey is their favorite sport, while 45-to-50% pick football.

Here’s a theory why. You can become a football fan just watching it on TV. When they started adding all the extra cameras, replays, etc. in the ’70s, football shot to the top of the list of America’s favorites. Just the nature of the game lends itself to television.

On the other hand, there is no sport that has a greater disparity between being at the game and watching it on TV than hockey. The non-stop energy at the arena simply does not translate to the home screen.

But now we have two teams moving toward a second round showdown in the playoffs — the Kings and Ducks. About the best that most of us can do is enjoy the passion of the fans if you yourself are not one. Last season, I won’t pretend I was a huge Kings fan. But I know a lot of people who are. And I was happy for them.

And, one other thing. Over the years I’ve polled a lot of other sportscasters and it’s unanimous — hockey players are the best athletes to deal with in sports. Bar none. Almost never a prima dona. Mostly humble, polite men from the farm lands of Canada, Sweden and so on. For that reason alone, I’ll root for them.

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