something is exciting in the world of sports… it is often referred to
as a “football atmosphere”. I remember the ECU vs. Tennessee
super regional baseball games in Kinston many years ago, which happened
to be Coach Keith LeClair’s last as head coach. If you were
there, you would probably agree it was a “football atmosphere”.
There has been many a basketball game in Minges Coliseum where there
“football atmosphere”. I would even say that the ECU Club Hockey
team had “football atmosphere” games last season inside Bladez on
Ice. Speaking of hockey (nice segue, huh?), I had the opportunity
to attend three of the Stanley Cup final games in Raleigh. It was
week ago that the Canes won the cup, and brought home the first and
only pro title to our state.
I must admit that I was never a huge hockey fan. Like most kids
growing up in the south in the 70’s and 80’s, there was just no
exposure to the sport. I had nothing against it; I just did not
follow it that closely since I never played it. Well, the arrival
of an NHL team in my old hometown in the late 90’s, and their recent
success has changed all that. Bandwagon fan you say? Sure I
am, and proud of it! I’m glad that I had the chance to see this
awesome team in person, and be open minded enough to realize what I
had been missing. This is what winning does, it creates new fans,
but in the process I learned just how exciting hockey can be!
It is hard to compare the Stanley Cup games to any other sport.
No other sport moves at the speed of professional hockey, no other
sport has players any tougher or with more heart than professional
hockey, no other sport can keep you glued to the action for the entire
game like professional hockey.
Game 7 was an experience I will never forget, and if you were lucky
enough to be there, you know what I mean. I have been to many
major sporting events (two Super Bowls, a Final Four, U.S. Open, major
college bowl games, etc.,) but game 7 of the Stanley Cup was another
level. I have never been to any event where the crowd from the
front row, all the way up to the nosebleed seats, never sat down…. not
even during the timeouts! The noise was also unlike anything heard
If things can get rockin’ and rollin’ at the next football game or
other sporting event you attend, perhaps we should now refer to that as
Since the Canes magical run, I have become sold on hockey. It’s
only 60 minutes from Greenville, and I encourage you to get to a game
next season, and see for yourself what everybody seems to be talking
about. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.