A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sometimes it's hard work being a hockey fan

Being a hockey fan is great. I wouldn't trade it in for any other sport. Sometimes, though, it can be work. We all have had the experience of explaining the offside rule to our non-hockey fan friends. We have to explain the difference between a legal check and an illegal one. We have to explain line changes and delay of game. We have to explain all sorts of things that our friends have questions about. And we do it with a smile on our faces because we think we're going to convert someone to hockey. Education is key, and we're glad to do it. Sometimes, though, we all get engaged in "explain this to me" conversations that we loathe. I've recently been in a few such conversations. The following are actual excerpts from actual conversations I had last week.

Mike: Hey, aren't there two hotshot rookies this year?
Me: Yeah. Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.
Mike: Yeah. I knew there was a Russian and an American.
Me: Canadian.
Mike: Huh?
Me: Canadian. Sidney Crosby is Canadian.
Mike: No. No. I'm pretty sure he's American. They keep talking about a Russian and an American.
(this goes back and fourth a couple of times)
Me: (sternly) I'm telling you. He's Canadian.
Mike: (annoyed) Well, anyway... how 'bout that goal that the Russian scored?
Me: I guess you mean the one when he was laying on his back. Yeah. That was sweet.
Mike: No. It was like a shootout or something. The game was on the line and he went betwe...
Me: (interrupts) Marek Malik.
Mike: Huh?
Me: That was Marek Malik. In a shootout, in the fifteenth round. He shot the puck through his legs. Technically it should have been disallowed, but that's a hair-splitting issue that I'd rather not get into.
Mike: Nope. It was that rookie. They keep showing it and talking about him versus the American.
Me: Canadian. And (sternly) I'm telling you. That goal you're talking about was by Marek Malik. It was sweet as hell, though.
Mike: You're sure?
Me: Yeah.

And then this one:
Tripp: (points to my Hurricanes hat) You been to any games this year?
Me: Yeah. I've still got season tickets.
Tripp: What are there, like 50 games?
Me: There's 41 home games, and my package includes 24 of them. Sadly, there's only five more games that I get to go to in the regular season.
Tripp: Do you have playoff tickets?
Me: Well, I'm given right of refusal on my exact seat, and I'm gonna get the tickets. (goes into lengthy explanation of how playoff priority works)
So far, there's nothing wrong with this conversation, but it takes a turn here

Tripp: Do you think they'll do it again?
Me: (slightly puzzled) Well, it looks like we should make a deep run in the playoffs.
Tripp: That would be nice if they can get another one.
Me: Another one?
Tripp: Win the Stanley Cup again.
Me: We haven't won it before.
Tripp: Yeah. Just a few years ago.
Me: Ohhhhh. That was the Prince of Wales. We won that in 02, but lost to Detroit in the Stanley Cup finals.
Tripp: You sure? Cause I could have sworn...
Me: Yeah. I'm sure.
Tripp: Well, I guess you would know.
Me: (arrogantly) Yeah.

There was one other conversation that I can't recall the exact exchange (after all, I'm not Truman Capote). That third conversation started out with someone asking me "Why do we (Team USA) suck so bad?". I hate questions like that because there's no way they'll be satisfied with any answer. The question is too aggressive. It isn't like "hey, what do you think is the biggest problem".

Like I said, I'll answer questions about offside all day long. I'll explain the dynamics of a line change to the best of my ability. When I get annoyed is when I get in conversations like the first one. When someone who is out of their element doesn't want to hear the answers to their questions.

Is it because I acquaint myself with some really stubborn people, or does this happen to other people?


Josh Crockett said...

When I get annoyed is when I get in conversations like the first one. When someone who is out of their element doesn't want to hear the answers to their questions.

I call this "aggressive stupidity." Unfortunately, as an IT pro, I run into it all the time -- especially from people off the job who want my computer advice, except where it conflicts with their knowledge: "What's a Web browser? I don't need one of those! Delete it! I just want to get on the Internet!"

Scott said...

I'm pretty sure the Canes won the Stanley Cup a few years back. It was the same year the Panthers won the Super Bowl.

Stormbringer said...

Hey, at least you know people who are willing to talk hockey...I'm very lucky whenever my brother wants to talk hockey. And that only happens when there's hardly any basketball on that day/night or the day/night before. *sighs*

alyceclover said...

Some people cover up their ignorance or dumb remark by saying "are your sure, I could have sworn..." Knowing your interest in hockey, he was probably just trying to engage you in a conversation. Or something like that.


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