Thursday, November 18, 2004

I Miss Hockey 

My junior and senior years in college, I lived with 3 other guys in an off-campus apartment. One of my roommates was a RTVMP major (that's "Radio/Television/Motion Pictures") and his career goal was to make a living as a soap opera writer. Now, I can hear the snickers, but thanks to the power of the writers' union, the annual salary was over $100K (and this was almost 15 years ago) for one 44-minute script every two weeks. Nice work, if you can get it.

So as part of his general learning of the trade, my roommate watched Guiding Light. Daily. And at first he did it alone. But within, oh, 6 months at the most, watching the day's episode ended up being more of a communal experience with at least 2 and sometimes all 4 of us watching (Taped, it proved to be a popular post-bar-hopping chill-out). Once we started watching, we became invested in the characters, thereby encouraging us to watch more. The girlfriends that occasionally made their way to our place had very little interest in watching, probably because they lacked that character investment.

And so it is that I think of hockey and how I miss it.

It's not so much that I adore the sport as much as it that I miss the storyline. Conditioned to the daily nature of baseball for six months, to have it end suddenly and be forced into the 2- or 3-times-a-week start-stop of the NBA is difficult for me. I have no great abiding interest in the Suns or Coyotes, other than the general enjoyment a winning local squad engenders, but it's nice to pick up the Republic in the wintry dark, bring it into the house, and read about the local club while enjoying a breakfast cereal of choice. Football, thanks to its weekly nature, makes for poor reading in that regard. College basketball can help fill that void, but frankly, until conference play heats up in January, it's fairly dry to me.

But hockey and basketball, particularly if you're lucky enough to live in a metropolitan area with both types of teams, that's great. It allows you to compare and contrast. Maybe one team is ascendant while the other is declining. Whatever -- it's like a soap opera with the "A" plot and the "B" plot. You really care about the "A" plot, but the "B" plot is a nice distraction.

Sadly, this fall, we've had no "B" plot.

The best I can do regarding Diamondbacks news is this -- Mark Grace will be the D-Backs' color analyst in 2005 and 2006. Many D-Back bloggers or internet denizens will be of mixed mind regarding this, cursing his return to the booth but thankful he won't be trying to manage in the organization. (Frankly, I don't share the negativity, though it's not like I think he's incredible either.) But the other news -- Garagiola, Jr. met with Randy Johnson, Moorad still not approved as CEO, coaching changes -- are just dull to me.

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