Hockey players in space — and other reasons to love the sport
Published: Friday, October 9, 2009 - 1:32pm
Most people seem to think that hockey players are toothless morons. Well, let's take a look at one of them: Col. Lee J. Archambault.
After playing four years of Illini hockey, Archambault graduated from the U of I with honors and went on to the U.S. Air Force. In 1998, 13 years after joining the Air Force, because of his outstanding achievements he was selected by NASA to become an astronaut.
On both missions Archambault brought an Illini hockey jersey, both on display at the U of I Ice Arena. He can still be seen at Illini games.
Things like that are why I like hockey. It takes real skill to be able to skate like that, not to mention trying to score a goal.
Rodney Dangerfield once said, "I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out." Fighting is another thing entirely. Believe it or not, fighting in hockey is highly discouraged. In collegiate hockey, any kind of fighting will most likely get a player ejected and even suspended for the next game.
Though there are people on some teams unofficially known as "enforcers" — people who keep the other team in check and make sure they don't pull anything — those players still have to be good at hockey to make it viable to put them out on the ice.
Another reason I love hockey is simply the sheer excitement of being at the event. The last hockey game I went to, I had no voice the next day. The fan support is amazing. Next to soccer, it's one of the loudest sports fan-wise, making a hockey game a great place to be.
The Chicago Blackhawks have shown fans everything one can expect from a hockey team, from great scores …
… to amazing saves.
NHL.com now streams entire games live on their site so even if you don't want to pay the money for a ticket, you can still watch the games.
Really, though, you can't learn much about hockey without going to a game (such as the U of I men's). If you haven't been to one, I highly suggest going. You won't regret it.