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Hockey: A Common Obsession

To those who know me, it is absolutely no secret that I love hockey. The Washington Capitals are my favorite team but if there is a hockey game on, I’ll watch it, regardless of the team.

I think it is by far the most exciting sport and I can’t get enough. It has almost gotten to the point of obsession. I love following the standings, which teams are in the playoff race and which aren’t, which players are placed on Injured Reserves and which players are coming back, which players are ‘Shanabanned’* and which players have their contracts renewed.  And…I guess it also doesn’t hurt that quite a few players are attractive 😉

Brendan Shanahan during a Shanaban

That brings me to the first blog I enjoy reading which is called What’s Up, Ya Sieve?. It’s a blog written by women, for women. It is a very informative blog that still has a fun side so I would say that it is a combination of both a news blog and a personal diary. There are two main writers who go by the names of Pants and Chuck and they are very knowledgeable of hockey, having been fans for some time. For the women who like hockey, for the sport, but don’t understand what happened in a certain game or why a player was Shanabanned, they are able to explain it. For the women who are dragged to games by their significant others, they have the playful features like ‘Foxy Fridays’ and ‘Mikey Mondays.’

Henrik Lundqvist is one foxy goalie

Foxy Friday is a weekly feature where the authors choose one of the “foxy” hockey players from around the league and post a write up of their achievements and fun facts, while also including some gratuitous pictures.

Mikey Monday is their other weekly feature which focuses solely on Mike Green from the Washington Capitals. Pants and Chuck both admire Mike Green’s hockey abilities and facial features so he gets his own day of the week. Plus, the Washington Capitals are one of their favorite teams so every Monday, this is a blog post dedicated to the progress of the Washington Capitals in the season or just a picture that they liked of Mike Green.

Mike Green

To me, this is mostly just a fun blog to read but it is also a credible source of information. Whenever the girls make the informative posts, they take (and cite) their information from credible sources – such as NHL.com. The target audience for this blog is clearly female, which is probably one of the reasons I like it so much. You would be hard-pressed to find a blog that is dedicated to female hockey fans because it is generally such a male dominated crowd.

The next blog that I’m fond of reading isn’t one that is directly devoted to hockey, but it is on a topic that is very prevalent in hockey. The blog is called “The Concussion Blog” and it is (mainly) written by an athletic trainer with quite a few years worth of experience dealing with concussions of his own and those of his athletes. (There are a few guest writers as well). This is more of a news blog that covers all there is to know about concussions in every sport; including how to prevent them and how to treat them.

The Concussion Blog reports on all of the concussions that occur in both professional and college sports and it acts as an interpreter to explain, in layman’s terms, what is being said. The blog also includes various articles written by different medical professionals. The main purpose of this blog is to educate the masses on the severity of concussions. It is to explain what can truly happen with second impact syndrome and explain that all of this concussion talk is not leading to “the wussification of sports”.

Concussions have, especially in the past few years, become significant problems in the NHL. In fact, it was the rise in concussions that led to Brendan Shanahan’s position being created. The NHL needed to find a way to prevent players from taking illegal hits and they are hoping that suspended players will help that.

Crosby discussing his concussion during a press conference.

The most well known concussion throughout the NHL was the one that Sidney Crosby was diagnosed with. Sidney Crosby was dubbed “the next Wayne Gretsky.” He has a multitude of accomplishments including being the youngest Captain to win the Stanley Cup and he scored the gold medal winning goal for Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Last January, he took an elbow to the head and was improperly diagnosed.

Crosby developed a concussion from that hit but was allowed to keep playing. A couple of games later, he took a standard hockey hit and the concussion was made worse. After that routine hit, Crosby was out of play for approximately 10 months dealing with concussion symptoms. It is thought that because Crosby is “the face of the NHL”, his concussion is what led to the supplementary discipline to illegal hits and the emphasis on educating people on how to properly handle a concussion. The NHL does not want something like this to happen again.

The third blog I’ll be writing about is called Puck Daddy which is a hockey addition to Yahoo Sports. Puck Daddy has several regular contributors but the main contributor and editor is Greg Wyshynski. Wyshynski uses humor to give readers a unique insight to the going’s on in the National Hockey League. Puck Daddy is the considered the number one hockey blog on the internet based on number of readers.

This is another news blog, but its use of humor gives it a more personal feel. Where What’s Up, Ya Sieve? is a mostly humorous blog, and The Concussion Blog is a mostly teaching blog, Puck Daddy is a perfect blend of both. Wyshynski and his writers are able to teach you about hockey without making it seem like teaching. Admittedly, some of The Concussion Blog, while very informative, can be a little boring to read. Puck Daddy on the other hand effectively uses humor and video examples to explain things. They walk you through the explanation so ‘regular folk’ can understand the sports mumbo jumbo.

While comparing the three blogs – I would say that, in terms of interactivity, What’s Up, Ya Sieve? is the best. All three blogs have the ability to let users leave comments, but What’s Up, Ya Sieve? is the only one where the writers regularly respond to readers’ comments. The Concussion Blog occasionally does but more often than not – it is just the readers talking with each other. I was hard pressed to find a Puck Daddy article where the writer responded to readers’ comments. That, though, could be attributed to the volume of readers and comments on Puck Daddy.

Puck Daddy logo

Of the three, my favorite blog is Puck Daddy, but What’s Up, Ya Sieve? is a close second. I like Puck Daddy because it has the most information about everything around the league and it’s almost never a boring read. What’s Up, Ya Sieve? gains the runner up because I’m biased and I appreciate a good Foxy Friday, every now and then.  😉

Should I continue blogging after this class, I don’t think my blog will be very similar to any of these simply based on the fact that I will most likely not be writing about hockey very frequently. If I were to compare my blog based on their writing styles, I’d say that mine would be most like What’s Up, Ya Sieve?. That blog has the most relaxed writing style and I highly doubt that I would be teaching my readers things very often. Mine would most likely be like a personal diary.

*Shanabanning – when Brendan Shanahan, the Vice President of the Department of Player Safety and Head Disciplinarian, suspends a player for a length of time due to an illegal hit on the ice.

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