A Canadian explains why he prefers hockey to baseball, basketball, and football

An e-mail from a reader.

Hi. My name is Brian Sturm. I live in Toronto. I'm a big fan of the site.
I have a few American friends and they always ask me why I like hockey so much — or at least why I hate baseball, basketball, and football.
First of all, that's not true. I don't dislike those sports. Yeah, I do make jokes sometimes about how no one cares about them or how they get crap ratings. But I do follow them a little bit. Usually during the playoffs I'll check them out. But that's about it. And I once joined a fantasy football league, but I didn't know what I was doing and had never heard of most of the guys. I drafted a tight end in the second round and everyone laughed at me. Um, okay. I stopped paying attention about a week into the season.
I guess the main reason I'm not big into baseball, basketball and football is that I never learned how to walk, run or jump. So I never played those sports. If you've played a sport, your more likely to follow it, you know? But not knowing how to walk, run or jump — not really understanding the skill involved in say, running backwards, or changing direction mid-walk — it's hard for me to related to those sports.
I mean, it's cool to see Adrian Peterson run past someone, I guess. But in a lot of ways I kind of feel like I could do that if I had been taught how to run as a kid. It just doesn't do as much for me as seeing Sidney Crosby pull up on an odd-man rush and laser a pass right to teammate's stick. I know how tough that is because I played hockey. They'll show a Derek Jeter catch or a Brett Favre pass sometimes on the top plays on SportsCentre and I usually just wait for the highlight to end and another hockey one to come on.
Sure, I've played ice baseball and ice basketball and ice football a few times. And I had fun playing. But it's not the same as what they play down in the States. So the NFL and NBA and MLB is kind of foreign to me.
I grew up in an icy area, so I was always on skates as a kid playing hockey. That's just what you did. It's not weird up here. I guess it's probably like how in Florida it's warm and they don't learn how to skate.
For years I've wanted to learn how to walk, run and jump. But at this point … I mean, I'm 26. What's the point? It's not like I'm going to suddenly start playing baseball. If I take walking lessons, it will be me and a room full of 8-year-olds. I'll be the creepy old guy getting walking lessons. I don't even think I know enough people who can walk and run to play baseball with anyway. Plus, there's more to it than just knowing how to move without skates on.
I had a few friends growing up who played those sports because they knew how to run and walk. And I thought that was pretty cool. But at the same time, they were kind of their own little clique at school — almost like outcasts. Wearing their Jerry Rice jerseys and stuff. And their baseball hair.
Anyway. That's all I wanted to say.
Hopefully I was able to clear some stuff up.
Sincerely,
Brian Sturm


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