Some of the greatest hockey players in the world have come out of North America, playing for the top professional teams as well as junior leagues and colleges. Although similar games, played with ball and stick, have historical origins from other old world countries, modern hockey is said to have had its birth in North American in the 1800’s, specifically in Montreal. With the onset of championship hockey at their winter carnival in 1883, the sport began to draw the attention of other nations and expand as a competitive game. The oldest hockey arena in the world is still being used in Boston, established in the early 1900’s.
Since it early history, hockey has grown to be the primary winter sport, particularly on a localized basis. So many young boys and girls now develop dreams of playing competitively at a young age and start early to advance their skills to achieve fame. The most coveted spots for ambitious players are on the National Hockey League which attracts players from all over the globe. Lucrative contracts and international fame drive hopefuls to strive for positions on teams that will lead them into professional NHL careers.
Not every kid with hockey dreams goes on to reach such notoriety as those who are inducted into the hall of fame. Some don’t even get drafted into the big leagues but the sport imposes a team dynamic and discipline that serves players in every area of their life. It takes skill, strategy and strength to pursue a career beyond a natural talent. Those who grow up playing the sport develop amazing bonds with teammates that extend for life – there’s something about this game that establishes a certain kind of interdependency that solidifies both friendships and rivalries alike. While the rivalries may appear to have a bitter nature on the surface, they are generally borne of a mutual respect for the spirit of competition and the essence of skill.
Fans of the game are also characterized by a unique and enduring nature. From hockey moms and dads to hometown teams to the following of a team over years of games based on your favourite childhood stars, hockey fans will stick to a team with a loyalty that is second to none. Even faced with season after season of low ranked standings, devotees will fiercely support their squad with a durability that supersedes wins and losses. They will continuously show up at games, radiating team adulation through elaborate face painting, jersey wearing, hoarse-making cheers and an almost blind optimism for glory. Nothing can pull a group of people together like the shared love of their team as they unite in either the “thrill of victory or the agony of defeat”. They will endure trades, even strikes and lockouts, swearing they’ll never be back but all acrimony is quickly put aside once they get the chance to watch their teams in action once again.
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