Not All Canadians Are Obsessed With Hockey

…Just saying.

When I first moved in with The Doc, his sons, ages 6 and 8, played hockey. A lot of hockey. Enough hockey to literally take up one day or another of every winter and spring weekend of their lives. They were pretty good at it and eventually went on to play on select and rep teams, something that took up even more time.

Hockey was never a game I could warm up to.  Maybe those damn cold rinks had something to do with it. Or maybe my feelings stemmed from the fact that I wasn’t a sports fan in general. (Although now days, I am an huge Blue Jays Baseball fan.) Or maybe it was that I wasn’t really a competitive person. After all I was an introvert and preferred to do things alone. It didn’t really matter because I did end up spending my fair share of time in those damn cold rinks. Not necessarily following the game, which moved a bit to fast to hold my interest, but following the boys. 

Over this period I saw my share of hockey parents both obnoxious and civil. Don’t get me started on the obnoxious ones. I let that stuff go years ago. Luckily, The Doc was a civil parent who believed that all kids should get to play no matter their skill set. Not so for many other parents who forgot that hockey was supposed to be a game for kids not a war between teams.

I saw coaches that turned me off and made me question their ability to be good role models. I got peeved when certain hockey moms running certain things were presumptuous enough to schedule me to do chores without even asking me. I had only attended a couple of games by this time and not one of them had approached or introduced themselves to me. Who the hell did they think they were? I was so quietly pissed at them that The Doc went in my place. No one, and I mean no one, tells me what to do without checking in first. I loved the boys, but I didn’t love the hockey culture or our weekends revolving around hockey. I showed up for the boys not the team.

When I was pregnant with my son, there were times that I hoped for a girl like me because I knew that if she took after me, she wouldn’t have the athletic ability or coordination to play hockey. Instead I got my son JT who was perfect because he was more like me than I could have ever imagined. Not only was he lacking the athletic ability or coordination to play hockey as a kid, he didn’t have any interest in the sport. He does now, but he is about twenty-seven years too late on that front. Having JT meant that my hockey days were behind me. YAY! What a joy. Drawing pictures, reading books and playing with knights and castles replaced hockey. These were things the wimp in me could get on board with and I never looked back.

Then last week, the World Junior Hockey finals took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They were supposed to take place in Russia but were changed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Canadian team won, which was nice, and I was happy for them; but I didn’t need to watch the game to be happy for them. Then a friend of mine asked me if I watched any of the games and I said, no I don’t like hockey. This friend didn’t seem pleased with my response. I could tell by the short intake of breath and the tone of voice that followed. But it was here, my friend said, as if I should have jumped on the bandwagon and devoted my time to these games. But I don’t like hockey, so why would I watch it, I replied. I could hear my friend’s unspoken thoughts in the silence that followed.

In the mean time, my thoughts were going in a different direction. Am I not allowed to not like hockey? Does not liking hockey make me un-Canadian? Is not watching these games a reason for me to be judged for my actions? I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in this person who didn’t seem to realize that what makes this world interesting is that everyone is different. We do not all have the same likes and dislikes. We don’t all have the same approach to life in general. 

Then I said, what I was impressed with was that a world championship hockey game was played and won in Halifax and none of the fans felt the need to riot through the streets breaking windows and jumping on cars. 

This was my takeaway from the whole event. And this is what made me proud to be a Canadian from Nova Scotia. I certainly didn’t have to watch the game to acknowledge that.

Thank you for reading. 

Photo:  Mariah Hewines, Unsplash

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31 thoughts on “Not All Canadians Are Obsessed With Hockey

  1. I like hockey. Do I love hockey? Meh… I enjoy watching my kids, and the Juniors was kind of exciting this year, but to call me obsessed would be incorrect. My oldest is in his last year of rep (13 years as a hockeymom). We’ll miss a lot of it but we won’t miss some parts… I especially won’t miss the late nights in winter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hockey is great for a lot of kids. 13 years is a long time to be a hockey mom. Kudos to you for all that support. I know what you mean about the late winter nights. My husband used to do that.

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  2. I’m not much of a spectator of sports, I’d rather play it then watch. But I did work at a lot of hockey games as a student athletic therapist on the bench and I know those mom’s, I don’t blame you at all. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good comment on that there were no riots of misbehaviour – so much sport seems to be marred by that in many countries (and ours is certainly one). I also loved your comment:
    “who forgot that hockey was supposed to be a game for kids not a war between teams” – precisely – but so many people have forgotten that.

    I’m like you and have no real interest in watching sport – if there’s an activity I like I go out and do it – otherwise I have no interest at all in it. My Mum played hockey though (although ours isn’t ice hockey) and used to play against all sorts of people – including the local miners who she said were very rough indeed!

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    1. When there is no ice, kids take their sticks and play street hockey. There is also a less popular version from gym class called floor hockey. Then there is ringette, which is a variation on the same theme. I don’t play or watch any of them. Ice hockey is the one that some parents get ridiculous over.

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  4. We had the same thing with rugby. It kept the kids off the streets, they learned the benefits of hard work and discipline, and they met a lot of interesting people. Unfortunately, as you say, some people don’t handle it well. I’ll leave it there, as I could easily do 1,000 words about things I hate in kids’ sport.

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  5. I could write a book about parents’ bad behavior at youth sporting events. They are a complete embarrassment. No wonder kids are confused. They get messages about going out and having fun and then look into the crowd and see some adult acting like a spoiled infant.’I have coached and watched these blowhards ruin it for others.

    I like almost all sports, but I’ve never followed hockey much. I am fascinated by their skating and stickhandling abilities, but I couldn’t name ten players in the sport now.

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  6. I used to watch baseball and (American) football, but not anymore. I can always find something more interesting to do (Look! There’s a book!). Our city’s major league baseball team did pretty well in the playoffs last year but, like you said, “I didn’t need to watch the game to be happy for them.”

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  7. I’ve been to a few professional hockey games, but it was a long time ago. It’s a whole mindset and culture unto itself. I know that I associate hockey with Canada and agree with you that it’s wonderful that the fans didn’t riot.

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  8. I can so relate. Not only am I not a hockey fan, but I am from Regina, Saskatchewan and I am not a football fan. And… I am from Saskatchewan, and proud to be Canadian. Kudos to ‘the Doc’ for stepping up to take your place at events where you were ‘volunteered’ to work. I would be as upset as you had every reason and right to be under the circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for being another Canadian who doesn’t care for hockey. I don’t care for football either. Being volunteered to work really rubbed me the wrong way. It would still rub me the wrong way these days.

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  9. That’s interesting. I’m not a big fan of hockey either. But if all Canadians are supposed to like hockey and all Canadians are supposed to be nice how come so many of them aren’t?

    Liked by 1 person

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