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Hockey in my heart, but not in my SoCal
Posted March 28, 2008

Jennifer Gilderman
Copy Editor

Our society surrounds itself with sports. Sports are truly part of our American culture and bring together family and friends.

Currently, in the midst of March Madness, fans around our nation cheer on their favorite college teams. Baseball’s opening day is just around the corner, and professional basketball is less than a month from playoffs.

Additionally, so is hockey, but let’s face it, you probably would not know that if you were not a hockey fan and there are just a handful of us here in Southern California.

I on the other hand, am obsessed with hockey; it’s my secret vice, and like a mad lady I sit on the edge of my seat, bitting my finger nails and yelling at the television screen as I cheer on my Ducks with pride.
I love the fast-paced game, hitting, fighting and exciting scoring changes that make for a great environment.

Living on the west coast, hockey has never really gained appreciation compared to other sports and teams such as the Lakers and Dodgers.

Hockey fans in the Southland feel like they simply do not belong.

Yet it has never been about hockey. The game has been relegated to the back pages of the sports section, highlights are non-existent on television and Ducks clothing is rare on city streets.

In fact, last year the Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup and have probable odds for keeping their crown and hoisting Lord Stanley two years in a row.

On Wednesday night the Ducks clinched their berth to the playoffs. And they did it by taking their cross-town rivals the Los Angeles Kings, to a tie-game, then overtime, then six rounds of a shoot-out, now if you don’t find this exciting I don’t know what is.

Yes, it wasn’t until the raising of the Cup in 2007 that the Ducks received the credit and media coverage they deserved for their accomplishments.

But everyone knew it would not last, and by July, the Angels’ Vladdy would be bigger news then the Ducks’ Giggy, and once again hockey would not matter.

Despite the week of hockey glory that all fans had been waiting for, the media would continue the following season throwing hockey under the bus.

Maybe I simply do not understand. Hockey is a great past-time sport with a lot of history. But just because it doesn’t snow here, or even drop below 65 degrees, does not mean that we have to associate this sport with cold weather geographical countries.

All I am asking for is that we simply warm our hearts for hockey.

So, for all the bandwagon fans, it’s time to grab your Ducks gear and bright orange rally towels, because with only three games in the regulation season, the Ducks will have a nice cushion heading into the play-offs.

And maybe, once again hockey will appear on the sunny streets of Southern California.

For all the football fans, hockey can be a great sport to watch during the football off-season. It has the hitting and speed you’re looking for, and even better out of a two-hour telecast, they actually play the sport for a full hour, rather than in football where the average game only has about 12 minutes of playing.

I apologize if I have offended any fans, but I think that hockey has the capability and components of attracting a larger audience. I promise, just go to one game, watch it in person or even on TV and you will enjoy it. A live hockey game is an exciting, heart pounding experience that is unlike any other sport.

So, I believe that it is about time that we break the ice, and start giving hockey the appreciation and attention it deserves.

Jennifer Gilderman, a senior communications major, is copy editor of Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jgilderman@ulv.edu.