There's a new champion in hockey. In case you missed it, The Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Islanders last week to win the Stanley Cup. I missed most of it, save the headline. Generally speaking, I'm a pretty good sports fan, but it's been some time since I paid attention to hockey. When I was a freshman in college, I used to root on the Colorado College Tigers. It was a fast and fun way to spend a Tuesday evening. Then there was the time when my father made a sucker's bet on the Colorado Avalanche to win it all at the very beginning of the season. It was the first year of the franchise's existence, having morphed from the Nordiques of Quebec to become the new kids in the Mile High City. That sentimental bet was never collected on by my father, who made his last flight before the Stanley Cup came to Denver. I cashed it in and have had a silly sentimental attachment to them ever since.
But not enough to watch a whole hockey game. The same can be said for basketball, which I used to watch up close and personal in high school, where Boulder High won a state championship in my junior year and made it to the finals when I was a senior. After that, I couldn't keep up the fixation. College and professional basketball takes place during that time when I am recovering from twenty-some weeks of football. My concern rays have been worked to their breaking point, but that doesn't keep me from throwing in on the NCAA tournament brackets. I tend to treat them more as math exercises rather than trying to make any competitive sense out of them. I watch the scores and the brackets collapse, and await the outcome, but watching a whole game? I've got baseball to think about by then.
Baseball fills the summer months, and I can usually be counted on to sit still for nine innings on any number of occasions, and I even try to make it out to the ballpark once or twice to take in all the spectacle in person. I'm lucky enough to live at the confluence of the National and American Leagues. There's almost always some baseball excitement in the Bay Area.
And now there's the World Cup. I was working with a couple young men the other day, installing new computers in our school's lab at the end of the year. They had grown up south of our border, and were rushing about, trying to get everything buttoned up before the first match started. It was like the start of a month long Super Bowl for them. And the rest of the planet. I won't be watching. I prefer games where the points pile up more dramatically than one to nil. Sure, I may peek in as things get closer to their conclusion, or if the team from the USA makes any sort of run, but I've got all this baseball to watch, and start working out my fantasy football roster. They're just going to have to figure out who the global champion of the world's most popular sport is without me. I hope they're up to it.