Bring the best sport to campus
Hunter O. Lyle—Sports Editor
Southern is home to a vast variety of sports, from the seemingly underrepresented, such as cross country and gymnastics, to the staples of collegiate sports like basketball and football, there seems to be a sport for everyone. However, there is one sport that is missing from the docket: hockey.
While we do have a club version of the sport, Southern needs to endorse hockey as an official, sanctioned sport. While not being my favorite sport – that spot has already been taken by a love for basketball – it is undeniably the best sport. Here’s why:
For one, unlike any other sport besides cross country and downhill skiing, before they can even compete, the athletes need to master an entire new form of transportation. You need to be able to skate, and skate well, not just leisurely like you would on a frozen pond or at a free-skate event. Hockey players need to be able to move in all directions, and to be able to stop on a dime, all while balancing on a one-inch blade.
Secondly, the frozen sport is fast paced. Like athletes in the world of soccer, most hockey players, except for the goalies, keep moving for the entirety of the game. Through three periods, for a full 60 minutes, players must skate and battle for each possession, chasing the puck while also watching out for any opposing player looking to lay them out – but that brings me to my next point.
Besides what I have already mentioned, hockey is also a perfect blend between athletic ability and brutal aggression. Hockey allows for a physical release, such as when a player sends some poor sap who kept their head down into the boards. Sports and aggression go hand in hand, and hockey portrays it all. Not to mention the increased aggression on the professional level, where literal fist fights are permitted – I also advocate for that on the collegiate level, but one step at a time.
From sitting on the bench when my father coached throughout my childhood to witnessing playoff runs from my local sport academies, to even watching the professionals, I have seen the full spectrum of hockey. Southern needs to bring hockey to campus as a fully recognized athletic program.