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Question for USA Fans

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Old
04-30-2005, 11:44 AM
  #1
Captain Leaf
 
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Question for USA Fans

Will hockey ever become a big time sport in the USA again .I know there is no TV coverage of the World Championships but will Phil Kessel be the guy to put hockey on the map in USA??
What do US fans think it will take to get hockey on the map .Please dont tell me that US fans are too slow to follow the puck or crap like that ..is it because its"winter" sport , an expensive sport to play or a "white" sport .
I would like to hear from American born fans of the game .I have frinds in the USA and i can tell you first hand they have as much passion for the game as i do or finnish fans do or anyone else for that matter .

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04-30-2005, 11:48 AM
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To be honest I think its gonna take a "Tiger Woods" of hockey to really put this game on the map in a big way in the States. i.e. A minority American with world class skill.

Unfortunately its going to be a while before that guy comes along --- and ironically I think our "Tiger" will be from an exapansion city such as Florida, Atlanta, Dallas or somewhere in Cali.

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04-30-2005, 11:59 AM
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hockey is a niche sport in the us...there isn't a whole lot the nhl can do about it to change that...

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04-30-2005, 12:06 PM
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I think it really comes down to familiarity. Most of the hockey fans I know played the sport growing up. Those that didn't have little interest in it. Since it is a very expensive sport, not many people play it. So its cyclical.

Hockey is pretty much invisible in much of the country. I have some friends that are very intense and knowledgable about baseball, basketball, and football, but don't know the first thing about hockey.

I have spent my life in Boston, which is one of the few hockey hotbeds in the country. Even so, in my experience, 1 in 10 sports fans are hockey fans in Boston. Compare that with about 9 out of ten Boston sports fans that are into baseball, and probably 8 out of ten that are into football. Basketball, probably 4 or 5 out of 10. These are obviously rough estimates, but you get the idea.

When the local teams make it to the playoffs, more people are intersted, but it is still very much a niche sport. I am of the opinion that the NHL should embrace that concept and cater to the hardcore fans.

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04-30-2005, 12:08 PM
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It has to do w/popularity and accessibility IMO.

The NFL wouldn't be the NFL without the success and phenomenon of college and high school football. It's a communal thing. An American football roster is large enough that almost everyone has family or friends who play for their school's team. Baseball is our "national pastime", and Basketball has it's niche and accessibility.

Hockey just isn't a cultural "thing" yet below upstate New York. Ice rinks are sparse and ice time costs in the thousands because of it. IMO the NHL needs a big market like New York, LA, or Chicago to not only win the Stanley Cup, but string together a dynasty.

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04-30-2005, 04:12 PM
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The lockout won't affect states up North like PA, NY and further up or Minnesota, Detroit, the top half of the USA will be fine, the bottom half is another story.

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04-30-2005, 04:30 PM
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Continued improvement of the grass roots programs. Introduce young kids to the game. I think it will take some time but I believe hockey is growing slowly across the country,but steady.

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04-30-2005, 04:35 PM
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There are no familiar faces in the NHL like there are in basketball and football. Baseball is beginning to have that image problem IMO with all the central american players coming into the league.

I won't disagree with the claim that americans do not accept ties. It's true. The average american fan wants to see a winner declared.

Also IMO americans are attatched to a players development. We love watching college football because it's the best football players 18-22 right here in our own country. If the best hockey players 18-22 went to US colleges, the sport would be gigantic and the NHL would follow the collegiate success. The majority dont play in college or even in the country. Most of the best NHLers spent there younger careers in Canada or Europe, then they come here to play in the states. Most Americans just dont feel the attatchment to players who come and play on there cities NHL team. Ovechkin should have been huge in the nations capital and would be if he played college in the US. Instead he's just some guy to the lot in Washington

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04-30-2005, 06:09 PM
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first time, long time.....tks for having me

imo, what we have here is the potential for another NASL....unlike the die hards, the regular fan hardly missed hockey this year...how will a 'major' league survive if it doesn't have a national contract(if ESPN fails to re-up)..check out this week's SI, lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the US..hockey may have just done too much damage to itself to regain a foothold in thins country

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04-30-2005, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankeecpt15
first time, long time.....tks for having me

imo, what we have here is the potential for another NASL....unlike the die hards, the regular fan hardly missed hockey this year...how will a 'major' league survive if it doesn't have a national contract(if ESPN fails to re-up)..check out this week's SI, lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the US..hockey may have just done too much damage to itself to regain a foothold in thins country
i think that hockey's status as a peripheral sport in the US is going to help, actually. from most "fringe" fans that i've talked to...they haven't said, "well, this lockout opened my eyes, screw hockey." many didn't even know there WAS a lockout until the season was canceled. the diehards will be back, obviously...but the fringe fans didn't care enough to begin with that the lockout was going to damage their interest in the game. it's sponsorship\corporate interest that will need to be won back...not fans.

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04-30-2005, 06:18 PM
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HDTV could revive Hockeys fortunes a bit. It benefitts the most for the major sports from the increased resolution and field of view. Thing is, hockey does really well with a handful of rabid American fans, such as myself, and can pack an arena to the gills in a major city. Outside of that, no one really watches it on TV in the same way as basketball or Baseball, so its the TV audience that needs to grow. I think a lot of the changes we will see to the product will have this in mind.

(insert flaming puck graphic jokes here)

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04-30-2005, 06:33 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungryforHockey25
The lockout won't affect states up North like PA, NY and further up or Minnesota, Detroit, the top half of the USA will be fine, the bottom half is another story.
exactly.

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Old
05-01-2005, 12:57 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake Plastic Sabre
exactly.
Actually, NMK's post is more accurate than the one you quoted.

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05-01-2005, 01:33 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrass
I am of the opinion that the NHL should embrace that concept and cater to the hardcore fans.
theres much more money to be made in the legions of band wagon jumpers than in actual hardcore fans.

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Old
05-01-2005, 08:29 AM
  #15
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I dont know about where other people are, but hockey is spreading like wild fire in the Midwest. Im 26 and when i was in grade school there were only about 5 kids in my whole school who really knew anything about the blues, let alone played or knew the game(im on the IL side of STL). Now there are rinks and leagues forming everywhere(roller and ice). When I was a senior a league actually formed for the local HS's. And i think the more kids that start playing, the fan base will start folding in #'s in the us. I mean the other major sports in the US really can tgrow anymore. But I feel the NHL will eventually start stealing some of their future fanbase.

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05-01-2005, 08:47 AM
  #16
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a good start would be ESPN showing the games instead of bowling poker and other wanna be sports

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Old
05-01-2005, 09:52 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topshelf331
I dont know about where other people are, but hockey is spreading like wild fire in the Midwest. Im 26 and when i was in grade school there were only about 5 kids in my whole school who really knew anything about the blues, let alone played or knew the game(im on the IL side of STL). Now there are rinks and leagues forming everywhere(roller and ice). When I was a senior a league actually formed for the local HS's. And i think the more kids that start playing, the fan base will start folding in #'s in the us. I mean the other major sports in the US really can tgrow anymore. But I feel the NHL will eventually start stealing some of their future fanbase.

You bring up what I think is a paradox concerning hockey in the U.S. While professional hockey flounders (at least at the NHL level), hockey as a participation sport has grown by leaps and bounds. I think it's more "screw the NHL" than "screw hockey."


Last edited by Rabid Ranger: 05-01-2005 at 10:46 AM.
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