Hockey games are not for me

Kristine Gill

Hockey is the only sport with its type of physical contact. Is basketball this rough? No, there are fouls. Can you kick your opponents in soccer? Nope. Can you grab at other swimmers’ ankles? Hell no — but what an exciting twist that would be. The first place swimmer would have to keep well ahead of the other swimmers or else he’d find himself gurgling in the abyss.

No, hockey is the only sport I can think of that allows certain types of checking. I’m not sure what they’re “checking” for really. Maybe to see if it’s number five who reeks, or if 39 skipped out on the Old Spice that morning.

Deodorant or no deodorant, hockey smells — like feet, putrid ogre feet. Rank, sick-nasty hobbit feet, or something. And they act like something out of Middle-earth too. When our Kent State hockey team lines up to cheer on a teammate and begins pounding its sticks against the ground while bellowing, the team starts to resemble Ura-khai in their savage hunt for Frodo. Hurry, someone paint big white hands on their helmets. You got yourself Saruman’s army.

I also like watching players fake injuries. Go ahead. Scoff. I’ll admit it; you throw me in the rink and it doesn’t matter how much padding I have on, when a beast of a player checks me into the wall, I will go down — and cry. But grown men? My roommate and I noticed a strong correlation between poor plays in a game and injuries. The goalie lets one through? Eh, let’s throw ourselves on the ice just for dramatic effect. Then, let’s lie on the ground for an amount of time proportional to the amount of embarrassment we have caused ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to discredit these players. They skate better than I walk.

Twenty-minute breaks between periods lead to long-winded conversation about Zambonis and their potential to kill. We were all mesmerized by its smooth trail and zigzag pattern.

A little girl ice-skated during the first break, and it was precious. She did a little routine for us. It made me wonder what I might be like today had my parents forced me to perfect a sport or athletic activity at a young age. I think I might have died if they had put me on skates.

We tried naming professional ice skaters. Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Nancy Kerrigan, that girl who was “sabotaged” by Tanya Harding. Check out this conversation:

” Oh, so she sabotaged the other girl,” I said.

“Yeah and she won first instead,” my roommate said.

“What did she do to her? Mess with her skates or something?”

“No. She had her boyfriend break her legs with a baseball bat.”

“Oh geeze, oh my goodness,” I said.

See, when I hear the word “sabotage,” I picture a covert operation involving stealth and precision, without traceable ties. There is nothing covert about beating someone’s legs in with a bat. Great plan. Might as well have your boyfriend scream, “I AM NOW GOING TO BEAT YOUR LEGS IN AND SABOTAGE YOU . ARE YOU READY?”

Snap back to the game here. We just scored! At the Kent State Ice Arena, it is apparently a two-man job to carry a single school flag in a celebration lap around the rink.

The lesson here is to avoid the ice. Avoid the stench, avoid the sabotaging and enroll your kids in something like flag carrying.

Kristine Gill is a freshman pre-journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].