A few years back, my wife got some tickets to a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game from her workplace. We took one of our friends and invited my Dad to come along. He’d never been to a hockey game before and immediately became a fan. In fact, so much of a fan that I had to start following the sport myself in order to keep up with him. Then the Canes made a thrilling, and unexpected, playoff run that culminated in an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. Needless to say, we were all hooked from that point on.
Sadly, my interest in that sport has waned due to a series of labor stoppages. If they don’t feel playing, I don’t feel like watching. Simple as that.
Now, I’m picking up baseball and I’m finding it interesting how learning it differs from learning hockey. Besides the obvious difference in play and speed, I went into hockey pretty much blind. I knew a few of the teams and had a general idea of how it was played, but the in’s and out’s of it were completely new.
Now I’m the process of learning the in’s and out’s of baseball, but I’m coming from a more secure base than when I learned Canada’s national pastime. I know the teams, I know how it is played (hell, I played it myself in grade school), and I am familiar with the flow of the game. Some of the more esoteric rules I’m still learning, but I’ll have that down in a little while. It’s a much different feeling than learning hockey. But, that shouldn’t be a surprise as the two sports are about as different at night and day.
Hockey is fast, baseball is slow. Hockey is physical, baseball, well… isn’t. Hockey is a constant blur of movement, while baseball has long periods where not much is happening. It’s a completely different mindset, in other words. You approach watching a baseball game from a much more leisurely place than watching hockey. Not that that’s bad, mind you. Just different. So far, it’s been an adjustment, but one I’m enjoying.