Confessions of a Hockey Hater

I don’t know how you can be Edmontonian and like hockey. I really don’t.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be a hateful person. And hockey, for some reason, seems to really get my blood boiling. I mean, I personally don’t care about it. Okay, I take that back. I’m writing a blog post about hockey, so obviously I care a little. What I mean is, I don’t care for it. If hockey ceased to exist tomorrow, I would be unchanged. I have this secret theory that nobody actually cares about organized sports (who does not stand to fiscally gain from it, anyhow), but are all just pretending they do so they have something to talk to each other about.

It’s not fair for me to be so dismissive of sports, hockey or otherwise. People enjoy it. Live and let live, I always say. I don’t know why I have to be so annoyed by it, nor why I get so exasperated by diehard fans. Listen: the Oilers are awful. That’s a statistical fact. I have no loyalty or pride in a team just because my home city’s name is on their shirts. Why go to games or pay for sports channels just to watch a bunch of losers lose? And then there’s this McDavid/McJesus kid who everyone is fawning over like he’s going to cure cancer. The hateful person in me thinks: he’s good at a thing that doesn’t matter at all. It means nothing. Other than maybe some kind of economic boost to Edmonton when folks funnel into the brand new stadium to try to touch the hem of his jersey.

I almost want the Oilers to stay awful. I don’t know why. Some gleeful, grinchy part of me likes the superiority of understanding how bad our team is, as though everyone else doesn’t know like I do. It’s despicable. This isn’t the kind of person I want to be.

I’m perpetually trying to be a better person. And that means acknowledging the shitty aspects of myself and trying to stamp them out. No, I don’t need to be an Oilers fan. But I don’t need to use every opportunity to mock them, or their fans, either.

I need to swallow the bitterness and try to be happy for people who have something they love.

– H.

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