Posts Tagged ‘hockey’

Let me start this blog by saying that I’m a huge hockey fan. I’ve been to several Preds games this season and have watched or listened to nearly every broadcast courtesy of Pete Weber and Crispy. I wear my Preds sweater with pride. That said, I’ve been reading the Twitter updates from friends here in Nashville who are bashing the local paper for putting more press toward the now 7-7 Titans than the 4th place Predators and I’m concerned that they think Nashville is Saskatoon Jr.

The South is obsessed with football like Saskatchewan is obsessed with hockey. We don’t have frozen lakes where kids learn how to skate as soon as they can walk. The kids in the South aren’t raised on hockey – they’re raised on football.

Most families in the South have a connection to football that helps bring them community. They know someone playing college football or their kids went to school with someone who plays now. Whatever the connection, it brings community.

You don’t have to look far to see where football is most popular. Mississippi raised the most current NFL players and the Universities of Tennessee and Florida along with Miami (FL), Florida State, Texas and Oklahoma have sent more players to the NFL (1545 as of last November) than historically talented schools like Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC.

According to ThePhysicsOfHockey.com, in 2005 nearly 54% of all NHL players were Canadian. Only 18% of NHL players that year were American. To skew the stats even more, Canada’s population is roughly 33 million while America boasts around 300 million.

Still not convinced? Check out this stat from Bob McCown’s The 100 Greatest Hockey Arguments:

Consider that for a population of roughly 33 million people, Canada has 3,000 indoor rinks and another 11,100 outdoor rinks. That’s one rink for every 2,357 Canadians. It’s an astounding ratio when you think of it. In fact, we have a lot more rinks per person than we do hospitals.

Second on that list would be the United States with its 2,400 rinks, 2,000 of which are located indoors. On a per-capita basis, you’re talking about one rink for every 123, 000 Americans.

Again, I love hockey, but I know that it’s not regionally popular and will never be as popular here as football – even if the Preds ARE red hot (which they are!). Don’t get mad at your local media outlets for talking more about NFL stats than hockey stats. After all, you wouldn’t move to Saskatchewan and expect to get football coverage over hockey coverage. Or would you?