I read an essay by Joel Stein in TIME today and it sparked a chord in my heart. His whole essay was about how his editor doesn't want him to write about hockey in his articles anymore because it's not something that the majority of Americans can relate to. His editor, Josh Tyrangiel, says that he's "actually more likely to tackle somebody than put on ice skates."
Well, Mr. Tyrangiel, let me tell you a little something about the entire state of Michigan. Those of us who dwell in the Mitten (America's High Five!) have a love for hockey that is comparable with the love Homer Simpson has for Duff beer, or that the Pope has for the Bible! We love hockey, especially our beloved Red Wings, more than any other sport. Of course we love our Pistons, our Tigers, and even our Lions, but our love for the Red Wings is something different.
Look, I am the kind of girl who would rather paint her nails than watch sports. In fact, I generally will only watch if my boyfriend will agree to rub my feet or play with my hair. But anytime a game is on, I find this undeniable tug in my heart and I even find myself cheering a little. In fact, if I notice that when the Wings score I was doing something like, twirling my hair, I'll keep doing it. If I realize that while we deflected another possible shot by the opposing team I was scratching my nose, I'll keep doing it when they try to score again. Before I know it, I don't want to see how the season finale of Grey's Anatomy will end because I need to know how the Red Wings game ends!
Hockey is not something that is only played in Canada. Here in Michigan, we play hockey 365 days of the year. We start our boys -and even our girls! - at age 4, when they're barely big enough to hold a stick and stand up on that blade, and they keep playing until they're almost too big for the stick and you wonder how that blade is able to keep them standing.
Hockey should be a part of Joel Stein's column because, whether his editor realizes it or not, there is an entire state who lives for hockey. We aren't, of course, the only state in America who loves hockey, but I can promise you this, we love it and our players more than anyone in any other state. I defy you to find another state with more hardcore fans than the Mitten...I promise, it can't be done.
So Joel, whether or not your editor understands or relates to your hockey stories, keep 'em coming, because all of us in Michigan do, and we can't wait for more!