Face Off: Hockey is best

Face Off: Hockey is best

Tommy Callaghan, Web Editor

A sport that has been ingrained in the fabric of the modern day Winter Olympics since their creation in 1920, a sport that has experienced both triumph and tragedy, a sport that is known for its physicality and intensity: Hockey is a sport that has held a spot in the the heart of Americans for decades.

To me, the passion Americans have had for Olympic hockey goes back to the 1980 games; more specifically, the semifinal game against the USSR. While of course I didn’t experience this live, the majesty of that semifinal still provides and integral component of the United States hockey program.

Because that team responsible for the Miracle on Ice was comprised of amateurs and did what was thought as the impossible, their influence expanded beyond just the athletic world. In a time that was considered the height of the Cold War, this was a tense interaction between the two countries after only a short time before, USSR had treated to boycott the summer games.

But aside from the history, Americans love the sport of hockey. Like many sports, the objective is simple — score the most goals. But adding in the technique needed to skate dynamically, the strength to endure each check and the knowledge to play intelligently and creatively, makes hockey the most demanding and entertaining sport in the Winter Olympics.

Though hockey can be expensive to play and somewhat confusing to watch (what the heck is icing, anyway?), that hardly matters. Lucky for us, expense is not an issue. While attending the Olympics to spectate will be expensive, sitting on a couch is free. As for the confusion involved in watching, the important thing is that the U.S. scores more than its opponents. The referees will handle the calls, the players will worry about playing and the audience only has to watch.

While almost every sport in the Winter Olympics don’t get their fair share of attention, hockey is a standout spectacle that continues to amaze our country, especially during the Olympics.