It’s no secret. Professional football is, by large, the sport that most people consider “America’s Favorite Pastime,” followed closely by baseball. While these two true nationally beloved sports receive the most amount of attention by American viewers, there’s a sport that’s being overlooked: hockey. The National Hockey League has all the ingredients to make it an equally viable pastime to join in the ranks. Here are five reasons why hockey is America’s most underrated sport.
Each Player Is Recognizable
Hockey players are unique. From the way they glide on the ice, to the way they shoot, to the way they celebrate victories. No two players are alike. You don’t have to watch the sport long enough to distinguish individual players.
It’s Easy to Follow
The basics of hockey are not hard to learn. It’s a low scoring sport. Players are focused on making a goal and preventing the other team from scoring. There are fewer variances in the score to keep track of. And overtime lasts five minutes. Because it’s less popular than the other sports, it receives less betting action. Oddsmakers aren’t following it too closely when compared with other major professional sports.
This easy-to-follow sport, combined with its nature of racking in fewer spectators, gives hockey lovers a clear advantage in the sportsbooks. Once you learn more about the teams and players, it makes betting a breeze. Here’s where you can learn how to bet on NHL games.
Tickets Are Cheaper
The National Hockey League has an average ticket price just shy of $60, making it significantly cheaper than trying to snag a seat at a football stadium. Not only are tickets cheaper, but hockey arenas themselves tend to be smaller. That puts you closer to the action at a fraction of the price.
It Has the Longest Sports Season
Beating out the NFL, MLB, and NBA, the NHL has the longest sports season. The teams play 82 games, clocking in at 244 game days total, almost two-thirds of an entire year. This makes hockey season all the more enjoyable to watch because it gives you more time to follow your favorite team’s journey in the quest for the Stanley Cup.
The Games Are Shorter
Hockey games last around 2 hours. It’s 60 minutes broken down into three 20-minute periods, with short intermissions between each period. While the games are shorter, they’re jam-packed with action to keep audiences entertained. Watching one game can easily turn a detached, tag-along viewer into a fan.
The world of hockey is full of non-stop excitement. From players skating determinedly at 30mph, the constant back-and-forth hitting of the puck, the build-up between every goal, the sirens blaring for home team victories, down to the occasional fights that break out on the ice. Hockey players demonstrate true passion, stamina, grit, and glory every time they step out onto the ice. It’s a shame this sport isn’t considered a major contender in the vote of America’s favorite pastime, but maybe the rest of America will give it the attention it deserves soon. Especially during the NHL playoffs in April!