I know I’m not alone. Unless you live in Canada (or Minnesota, so I’ve heard), not a hockey season goes by without someone asking you “Why do you like hockey so much? I watched a game once and I don’t get it.” We all know the solution - take them to a game, but like a 4-year old staring at a new vegetable - they won’t try it because they already know they won’t like it.
But you try to explain it anyway. I rely on every hockey fan’s go-to argument, I find something I know they find to be difficult and add ‘…now try it on skates.’ It’s like explaining my iPhone. Some people can’t justify owning one, especially if you compare it to a Blackberry. Both phones pretty much have the same set of features. But after all the side-by-side comparing, when I throw in ‘…it’s also your iPod’ people usually concede that’s the thing that makes it unique.
‘Imagine playing basketball but taking out all that wasted space in the middle. Have the top of one key touch the top of the other key. And play that on ice wearing skates!’
‘Imagine playing football but you don’t huddle, you only have 10 seconds between plays and sometimes you play 3 games a week. And play that on ice wearing skates!’
There’s no way to explain it in baseball terms. Baseball is the exact opposite of hockey…maybe that’s how I should explain it…
On Friday the guys on NHL Home Ice talked about what they felt is the NHL’s new marketing message, that being a hockey fan makes you an insider into a very small but special club. Talk about turning a weakness into a strength. It’s kind of twisted though, makes me feel like the fewer people that like hockey the more special I become!
And then there’s the ultimate argument - that in the world of professional sports The Stanley Cup hardest trophy to win. You can’t even go there with some people, might as well be arguing politics.
Tell us how you argue that one, we’re curious what works for you.