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12-02-2012, 06:50 PM
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Location: Dallas, TX
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I don't know why I keep seeing soccer and the south being related so much in this thread. Doesn't pretty much every normal American kid enter athletics playing tee-ball and soccer? I was raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas and started playing ice hockey when I was 7 (we always played street/roller before that. When the Stars moved here it lit a hockey fire around the city).

I'm pretty confident that football is king below the Mason Dixon Line. A lot of high school games are now in crystal clear HD on the basic cable tv package. I think junior hockey is very equivalent to high school football (only a lot smaller and the whole getting drafted/traded). I saw a lot of good hockey players give the game up to play football because of pressure from their high schools.

I wish it was different, but I doubt hockey is ever close to being as popular as a whole in the US as it is/always will be in Canada. With that said, I think it's really cool seeing how much the hockey landscape has changed over the past 20 years. I can't speak for other southern US cities, but interest and participation in the game skyrocketed in the late 90's. Someone else mentioned the amount of rinks around Dallas. He's right. I can literally be at 10 (maybe more) ice complexes with multiple rinks within an hour. I think that it's awesome that some of the guys I grew up playing with or against have been drafted over the past few years.

Just look at Seth Jones. Texas born kid with the chance of being drafted in the top 3 of the 2013 draft. If that's not enough evidence that the game has grown in the south, then I don't know what else to tell you.

With all of that said, this lockout is doing a good job at screwing up all of the progress the game has made down here.

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