As Canadians, there are certain things that happen during the year that are a given, they are part of our culture. We live, we die, we pay our taxes, we shovel snow, and we love hockey. Hockey, some claim born and bred in Canada (at least the modern form of it) has been a part of our country’s way of life for over a century. We all remember as kids waking up on a cold winter day, grabbing our skates and gear and heading to the hockey rink. The thrill of lacing up and hitting the ice is a dream come true for many Canadian children who wait through the summer months for hockey to begin anew. It is our winter passion.
Besides playing hockey as children (and a lot of us as adults), there is another given during the hockey season. We really love to watch hockey. Most Canadians grow up watching hockey and idolizing many hockey superstars who play in the NHL on their favourite teams. It is a family affliction and many families get together on Saturday evenings to watch the iconic Hockey Night in Canada to cheer on their favourite teams playing the sport they love. We dream of someday playing in the NHL as children and scoring the winning goal in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. We play the game to live the dream. It is this dream that impassions our competitive drive to participate.
You cannot walk down the street in most Canadian cities during the hockey season without hearing chatter about “the big game” that happened the night before. Opinions are freely expressed about players, coaches, teams, and games. People love to play it, watch it, and especially talk about it. The excitement hockey can bring is an ever intoxicating feeling for the majority of Canadians. Emotions can run high as people experience the thrills winning and the disappointment of defeat through their favourite teams. It is a passion that many Canadians live and die for. Many people feel hockey has grown past its status as a common sport into something bigger than us all. It is something that cannot be explained with words.
Hockey is an ever growing sport in Canada. Calling it a sport in Canada is almost downplaying the importance of it for Canadian culture. It is more of a way of life. We play it, watch it, bet on it, join hockey pools and talk about it daily. The passion and excitement we feel when the puck drops at the start of the season until we see the Stanley Cup raised at the end makes it a truly special experience. We live it with our families and friends. We support it by buying tickets to games, purchasing hats and sweaters of our favourite teams and players, and by collecting memorabilia such as hockey cards. As Canadians we never seem to get enough of the sport we love. This drives the passion which transforms hockey from a common game to the ultimate Canadian icon.
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