The Stanley Cup Playoffs Syndrome

As I write this entry, I am watching the final minutes of game three tick away. During the game , I have been in conversation with people in the newsroom and friends of mine watching the game at home.

I’m not sure what’s with my female friends, but for some reason they are big-time Penguin fans who are using words I don’t associated with hockey. They describe themselves as “scared”, “nervous” and “tense”. Some cannot even watch the game. That’s right, there are Pens fans I know who watched all during the regular season who refuse to watch during the playoffs. “It’s just too tense,” they say.

Maybe its because I spent all those years watching playoff hockey as a reporter who wasn’t allowed to show any emotion in the press box. For whatever reason, I just can’t imagine getting to the final series of the season and not watching every minute.

stanley-cup-finals-2009Hockey is the one sport where the regular season and post-season are two entirely different animals. The post-season is so much better and perhaps the best post-season in all of sports. Yet, for a number of my friends – especially female – they cannot watch it without having a visceral feeling.

I think that is why hockey clicks with so many women. Unlike football, the roller coaster lasts all game long. There are no long time outs and no chances to breathe. It’s fasten your seat belts and let it ride. No sport takes its viewers on such a ride. Yet, I can see how that ride can be a little too intense for some. To those folks, I say get over it and enjoy it. Win, lose or draw, there’s nothing wrong with the kind of entertainment that is almost like a horror film when it comes to its affect on the viewer.

Just ended. Pens win 4-2.  It’s a series again.

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