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What it means to be a hockey fan:

Well, with the Stanley Cup finals concluded, and with the champions having been crowned (hockey puns, wow), the summer begins, a long summer that reminds us how much we miss the ice and the excitement that is the fastest team sport on the planet. I am a huge New Jersey Devils fan, die hard as a matter of fact, and although I’m slowly adjusting to baseball, playing it and following the Yankees (my other favorite childhood team), I can’t help but think how hockey has impacted my year as a whole and my life.

You see, with any sport, there are fans. Fans are what makes professional sports a business. Without them, well, there would be no professional sports, at least not the kind where athletes get paid or there are fortune 500 companies that happen to have their offices in the confines stadium or arena. And while we’re at it, we might as well call these arenas our second or third homes, where we love to let go, shout, celebrate, and socialize.

Hockey is so much more than that though. No other sport has a blaring horn that goes off every time a point/goal/run/wicket/etc. is scored and allows for music to be played at full volume with a bunch of fans almost instantaneously yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs. No other sport carries the sensation of an immediate temperature change as soon as you enter the arena bowl. No other sport is as fast paced, bone crunching, or skillfully played like the game of hockey. And while many of us fans can and do play hockey, there’s nothing like doing the second best thing; there’s nothing like watching a game live on T.V. with commentators like Doc Emerick making you scream every time a shot on goal barely misses the net.

And just like that, before you know it, it’s only a matter of time before hockey begins; only a matter of time where players hit the ice and we, as fans, buy tickets again to experience the greatest thrill that is anything but defying gravity. Only three months until it starts all over again.

The New Jersey Devils posing with the Prince of Wales trophy as 2012 Eastern Conference Champions of the National Hockey League.
Photo credit: New Jersey Devils

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