At the risk of being disowned by my family and some friends, Ill go on the record right now and admit that Im a fickle hockey fan.
Im the bandwagon-jumping kind of fan that true aficionados of the sport detest.
Ill don my, dare I say this in this west coast paper, my Toronto Maple Leafs paraphernalia come playoff time and cheer on my team as though its a do or die situation, as though all my happiness depended on them winning. But, Im never really totally crushed when, without fail, someone else takes home the glory of the Stanley Cup yet another year and I have to put away all things blue and white for yet another season.
Still, the idea of dedicating a whole season of Saturday nights on the couch before it starts getting close to the playoff games, though it makes sense to many people, makes me a little blue.
Quite honestly I can think of better things to do on any given Saturday night than sitting around watching hockey on TV.
There, I said it. And I could very well be an outcast in Canadian society from here on in, enjoying a variety of activities other than Hockey Night in Canada on my Saturday nights alone, by myself, without another soul to keep me company.
As the NHL strike left many bereft on Saturday nights this season, I by comparison gained a whole new social life with hockey fans in despair. We played poker, a game whose 2005 renaissance I attribute in part to hockeys demise. When not playing poker Ive had a few Saturday "date" nights, curled up together with a good movie, usually on the CBC, which has been showing some great films to attempt make up for the hockey season. And to be perfectly honest, I cant actually remember now how I spent many of those Saturday nights but had it not been for the strike I most likely would have been watching hockey on TV.
Now dont get me wrong, its not that I hate televised hockey per say.
But lets put it this way if someone offered me tickets to watch a local Junior A hockey team play on a Saturday night, I would grab them in an instant.
What better way to spend a Saturday night? Because watching a local team live is not just about hockey, its about the whole experience of going to a game and cheering on your team.
I compare it to the feeling I had at my first B.C. Lions game. I know as much about Canadian football as I know about the red line rule in hockey, which is absolutely nothing.