NEW YORK, NY – Do you hear that? That galloping sound is the sound of Soccer passing Hockey – like the rest of the field passing Karma Shield – in the hearts, minds, and television sets of many Americans. While the NHL Lockout continues with players and owners are still fighting over the some major payroll issues and some draconian changes to free agency, soccer has maintained its steadfast rise into the homes of suburbanites all across the ol’ U-S of A.
NBC has gotten in on the action, buying the rights to English Premier League soccer starting next season. They already have the rights to the MLS (yes, thats still a thing). This all means that we’re all going to have to sit through the endless NBC soccer promos during Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame games, the Triple Crown races, and whatever other sports NBC shows. For those of you who can’t stand soccer, here’s a few alternatives to pass the time until we get our NHL back.
European Handball: Its kinda like hockey, except with a lot more handling of balls. Its kinda like basketball, except the players don’t date Kardashians. It’s kinda like water polo, except with a lot less chlorine. You get the picture by now. The Champions League is the premier competition in European handball. Look for Hamburg to make a deep run in the competition. I’ll be pulling for them. Who doesn’t like a good Hamburger? I know the Yimminites are with me.
Field Hockey: I know many of you are thinking of college coeds in sleeveless shirts and skirt-shorts, knocking a ball around with a stick that seems too short to be effective for anything. Apparently, however, outside of the States, this “sport” is played by men.
Thankfully the men don’t wear skorts, but their shorts are short enough to make a ‘70s ABA player blush. The similarities between this game and our beloved ice hockey stop at the word “hockey.” When we say hockey, we’re talking about pucks, ice, checking, fights, and Lord Stanley’s Cup. Outside of North America, when they say hockey, they’re talking about this abortion of a physical activity that’s played on a field that’s faker than Craig Sager’s hair.
Jai Alai: It may just look like racket ball with a funny-looking paddle, but apparently Jai Alai is a gambler’s paradise. It’s big in Florida among gamblers who want to keep away from the ponies and greyhounds. It all seems strange to me since I can’t even begin to understand how the sport works other than there’s a ball that travels about 150 mph. Any Basques out there in Mattville that want to impart their wisdom about the sport-with-the-silly-name? I did see the most interesting man in the world playing Jai Alai in one of those Dos Equis commercials. Maybe I should give the sport another look.
That’s all I’ve got today. I’m filling in for Cookie on short notice so there isn’t much in my idea bank. Lets all hope the NHL and the players figure out how to split hockey related revenue while honoring current contracts soon. I don’t think I can go much longer without real ice hockey. My prediction is they settle this thing before Thanksgiving and the season will start the first week of December. But that could just be wishful thinking.
Tune in later this evening for Dr. Diz’s College Football talk – and how Romney was robbed by Ron Paul.