The reason why some refer to the NHL's game as ice hockey, the sport of field hockey can be found in the Summer Olympics. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
I drifted off in front of the television while watching the Beijing Olympics the other night and I was awakened every few minutes when the commentators made reference to hockey.
Was I dreaming? I could’ve sworn CBC’s Ron MacLean was going on about some player diving. I woke up and saw the ice had melted into a large pool and some Spaniard was standing there in a Speedo. Then, Elliotte Friedman went off on some team cycling and shooting. I opened my eyes and saw some gal falling off her bike and another lady with an air rifle.
With that in mind, here are 10 Summer Olympic sports I hear about that sometimes get me thinking about hockey:
10. Boxing. We call it fighting. Same thing. A closed fist directly at the cranium of your opponent.
9. Wrestling. Takes place on faceoffs, in corners and in front of the net. Not so much anymore since the crackdown on obstruction.
8. Diving. Not as common since Bill Barber and Glenn Anderson retired, and since NHL vice-president Colin Campbell threatened to embarrass divers by posting their names.
7. Water polo. Have you seen how soft the ice gets in some southern U.S. markets? Players almost need hip waders.
6. Judo. Watch for it at the end of a fight. The goons fall to the ice and attempt a pin.
5. Cycling. Every team cycles the puck down low. The Ottawa Senators cycle like demons after every game.
4. Weightlifting. Usually done in the off-season, mostly by the grinders and defensemen.
3. Fencing. We call it spearing or butt-ending and it always results in a penalty, suspension and increased airtime on TV highlight clips.
2. Shooting. If only the Blue Jackets had the shooting percentage of some of these rifle-toting Olympians, they’d make the playoffs.
1. Field hockey. This sport is the reason some people refer to our favorite sport as ice hockey.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on thehockeyenews.com.
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