No, I'm not talking about those creepy Disney things like Lion King on Ice. I'm talking about this kind of ice:
Yes, I think it was inevitable, really. I've officially become a fan of the NHL.
I've said in the past, it always surprised me that I never got into watching the NHL. To wit:
My favorite sport to play in school (and the only one I was good at) was floor hockey
I used to watch Roller hockey when it was on ESPN
Field Hockey is one of my favorite Olympic events
I generally prefer cold weather activities and sporting events related to same, IE, the ice in hockey
But I never did. I've watched a few games in the past, but it didn't "stick". I realized now why that is: I couldn't see the puck. You see, I have very poor eyesight. Without my glasses, I'm pretty much blind. I can see colors but I can't see any details farther than 3 inches away from me. Even with my glasses my vision is not all that good. When it was on my TV, I couldn't see the puck.
Then, in November, the new Las Vegas team announced their logo. After reading a discussion about it on the Trading Card database, I wanted to see it, so I put on NHL TV on my phone to see the new logo. I left it on while I did other card stuff, and I ended up enjoying what I was seeing. My TV has been slowly dying for the past several months, and I've mostly switched to watching everything on my phone. Since I have that set up directly to the left of my computer, I've actually been doing more watching of sports than I have for years, literally. Looking over to my TV would give me a headache if I did it too much, so I would mostly listen and look up when I heard something interesting going on.
On my phone, even though it's smaller, I can see the puck! I can see everything and I can even read the bottom scroll.
Since November, I've been secretly watching On the Fly every night, and catching games when I could. I find it's not as easy as it is with the NBA, because they don't repeat as much. Other than the local MSG broadcasts of the Rangers and occasionally the Devils they don't seem to repeat. As I'm usually awake in the middle of the night, I usually sleep through the games. But I have managed to see a few, and I'm sure in time my schedule will come around and I'll be able to see more. (Due to my health issues my schedule is constantly changing- it's very frustrating, actually). The NBA games of the night usually repeat 4 to 5 times, however many fit in until roughly 1 PM the next day. It's not uncommon for me to watch all or part of 5 or more games in a day. This is probably because I have League Pass. That's going to play a role when my schedule comes back around- I can watch the repeats of the NBA games, and watch the non-repeating NHL games live. I don't know if their version of League Pass repeats like the NBA version does, but I don't have the funds to find out.
I did take a little break for the Simpsons marathon that started on Thanksgiving, but I took a break from the NBA for that also, and you all know by now how much the NBA means to me.
I've also been reading up on the history of the NHL. Wikipedia has a ton of information. I've read the history, I've read the rules, I've read about the lore of the league and the history of some specific teams, with the intent to read all of the team's histories as time goes on. I also had the idea to see if I could find games on YouTube- and I was able to. I've now watched games as old as 1960! There's still a lot more to watch but there's plenty of time for that. Finding full games isn't always easy, mostly it's highlights. That's fine too- it's all new to me, it may be old news to everyone else but not to me. Most of the highlight reels on YouTube are fights instead of great goals or saves, though...
There are some things I don't know yet. For instance, I read they got rid of the tie due to shootouts yet the records still include three numbers. Wins and losses is pretty self explanatory, but what is the third number? I'm sure there's more I don't know, but if I knew what it was it wouldn't be in the list of things I don't know, right? What I don't know far outweighs what I do.
I have not picked a favorite player or team yet. Although I am located in the state of New York I don't associate with NYC and being in my home state does not automatically give the Rangers or Islanders an edge- Buffalo is so far away that they are not even shown on TV here. (About an 8 hour car ride- I'm literally closer to the Boston Bruins than I am the Buffalo Sabres). The fact that I can see Rangers games on local TV- and occasionally the Devils and Islanders as well- may mean I watch more of them than any other team, though...but I tend to go "big picture" when I do sports, and will watch any team, any time. Even my least favorite NBA team is watched regularly when they are on. That's not to say that the Rangers or Islanders may not become my favorite team anyway. Time will tell as I see and learn more.
One thing I really like is that they don't have stoppages in play every three seconds like the NBA does at the end of games. They also don't run out the clock, at least in the games I've watched. That always drives me insane with the NBA. One game I watched this past week was well in hand and yet they were still going at it full force at the very end of the game, with the clock running out and they weren't just standing there- they were still playing!
Now, this is a card blog and I think you know what that means...however...I don't really have the funds to take on a new sport full time. To be honest, I am barely hanging in with the NBA and NASCAR. Having to spend $500 or more a month on the medicine that keeps me alive is not really conducive for chasing cards like I want to, you know? In the 2016-17 NBA season I've purchased a grand total of 1 blaster for myself. I did get a box of Hoops and Donruss as gifts but if it wasn't for them I'd have about 55 cards to the entire season.
So, here's what I'd like to do: I'd like to turn the thousands upon thousands of NBA and NASCAR duplicates into NHL hockey cards. As I have so few (exactly 3000, but a good number of them can stand an upgrade) you can now consider me a source to dump your unwanted overproduction era duplicates :) I have my tradelists on the Database in the right column on my blog, and I've got boxes upon boxes of cards not listed that I've gotten since I last updated those in 2014. Who's up for trading? My goal is to eventually type up my trade lists similar to my wantlist up at the very top of the page but I am not quite ready yet for that.
With that said, don't be too surprised to see a repack, some actual packs, or perhaps even a blaster from time to time, as finances allow.
One other thing to say- the blogosphere played a role in this. I found myself really enjoying the hockey posts on the various blogs...quite a bit. I want in on that action, LOL. My friend Ricky, who doesn't blog, sent me about 2500 of the 3000 I got and I need to thank him as well.
Here's a couple of posts I've written in the past that are somewhat germane to this post:
Expanding Horizons Recapturing a long-lost sense of wonder Epic Mailday Part 1 (note- I never posted part 2)