Sunday afternoon, my wife -- who likes sports in general but is not a die-hard hockey fan -- texted me out of the blue:
we should watch some hockey tonight
There were two Game Sevens on last night. The Toronto Maple Leafs were playing the Boston Bruins, and the Washington Capitals were playing the New York Rangers. At the end of the night we would know who was moving on to the east semifinals.
Early on in the evening we were skeptical and considered netflixing* the sixth season of Supernatural (because someone in my house can't get enough of Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and the horsemen of the apocalypse).
We kept putting it off, though... I'd say "so, should we..." and she'd say "five more minutes."
And then, well, the Leafs-Bruins game got good.
Then last night, at my son's 6th grade band concert, right after Toccata and Spongebob in D minor I got an alert on my phone that the Penguins had gone up 1-0 over the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of their series.
I lean back to tell my friend Jeff, whose son plays the baritone (poor kid**), and say "Pens goal," and the words are barely out of my mouth before the three moms sitting nearest to me whisper "Pens goal? Yesssss."
Don't tell me women don't want to watch hockey, man. The NHL has a really exciting product. If they can figure out how to market the speed and excitement of the game (big hits! high speed! incredible drama!) they could make a ton of money.
Or they could keep dragging the game into disputes between ownership and players, and fritter away what goodwill they earn on the ice.
* Mr. Kiley is lowercasing and verbing "Netflix" because he is a professional writer. Don't try this at home.
** yr obdt corresp played baritone for six weeks in sixth grade, until he got tired of the sad / terrified look he got from his mother every time he uttered the words "I have to go practice"