garrulous [gar–uh-luhs, gar-yuh-] adj. 1. excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, esp. about trivial matters 2. wordy or diffuse: a garrulous and boring speech
John Dickinson (1732), Robert Louis Stevenson (1850), Richard Mulligan (1932), Garry Marshall (1934), John Hammond (1942), Joe Mantegna (1947), Chris Noth (1954), Whoopi Goldberg (1955), Jimmy Kimmel (1967), Steve Zahn (1967), Gerard Butler (1969)
If you put a gun to my head (and I’m by no means suggesting you do that), and asked me, given a choice, what’s my favorite leisure time activity, I’m relatively sure the answer would be watching a Philadelphia Flyers game with either my brother Jer or my best friend Harv, and preferrably both because we are all of the same mind when it comes to the game of hockey. (If I could pick a third person to be there, it’d be my good friend Joe, but he resides in Connecticut and it’s not really practical for him to drive down for games. I’m sure you realize this without me explaining it.)
I am completely certain 99% of you, in a similar circumstance, would offer a different response. (Although, that’s your loss because, even if you don’t like hockey, Jer and Harv and Joe are three solid dudes to hang with.)
Knowing what an excellent judge of character I am, I’m positive it wouldn’t be my choice of company you’d find fault with – it’d be my choice of actually watching hockey. Which no one seems to do these days.
When it comes to watching professional sporting contests, the game of hockey is fighting an uphill battle. And here’s why.
This country loves two sports the most – football and baseball. Again, you may disagree, and that’s totally fine. But for the purposes here, I’m going to adhere to the idea football and baseball are the two sports most everyone couldn’t live without as if it’s a legitimate fact. Which, despite your opinion, is completely true.
Why are football and baseball so popular? Well, lots and lots of reasons. Most everyone of you grew up playing one or both of these sports, or wishing you could. Also, you know all the rules due to the fact the commentators endlessly disect each and every at-bat/play. In addition, of all the televised sports, football and baseball simply offer the opportunity for more bathroom breaks and the chance to talk to your buddies about the game without actually talking during it. There are more, but, in the interests of space and keeping your attention, I’ll stop at those three.
With hockey, hardly any of us have ever played it. (No, NHL ’94 for the Sega Genesis doesn’t count. Although, I’d listen to any argument to the contrary.) Unless you make a deliberate effort to do so, some of the less-obvious rules are hard to figure out. Lastly, it’s a game you need to pay attention to – talking about the game is reserved for the few commercial breaks and the two 15-minute intermissions.
For those reasons, and probably 200 more, the game of hockey just doesn’t jive with most everyone out there. And, while I’d love to, I can’t say as I blame you. It’s easy to watch a baseball game with friends, even when not everyone in the room particularly cares about the outcome because everyone pretty much knows what’s going on. Same with football games but they have the added bonus of having become excuses to eat a lot of food and drink a bunch of beers which I’m a huge fan of. They’re major social experiences in a culture becoming more and more devoid of them. I can’t find fault with wanting to spend your time away from work, time away from your kids, time away from whatever, in a relaxing atmosphere where you can yell at the television and rarely use your brain. (That last statement was sincere, not sarcastic.)
Me? I enjoy watching a sport that encourages me to think, requires my attention and leaves me, win or lose, with a weird sense of fulfillment. I love baseball and I kinda like football. But neither give me the same thrill.
And so, I’m a hockey fan.
You can’t navigate me. I may do mean things, and I may hurt you, and I may run away without your permission, and you may hate me forever, and I know that scares the living shit outta you ’cause you know I’m the only real thing you got. → Ethan Hawke (as Troy Dyer in Reality Bites)
Admittedly, this is bad timing after my whole music snobbery rant, but I drove around all over the place yesterday, and I’m trying to become less dependent on my iPod, and attempting to revisit my vaunted CD collection. In any case, I listened to Fountains of Wayne the whole time. Not widely considered an important cog in the machinery of essential music. But, fuck it. I like the band just the same. Especially “No Better Place.”
→ Joselio Hanson, a backup CB for the Phiadelphia Eagles, has received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Dude. Come on. You’re a backup CB. Really necessary?
→ I tweeted this last night, but for those of you not hip to the Twitter thing yet, I’m encouraging everyone I know to listen to the music of my buddy Emerson B. Go hear his tunes on MySpace. Follow him on Twitter. And get out to one of his shows. If, for no other reason, than you might be able to hang with me.