Recently, I’ve had a lot of conversations with friends about sports, debating our favorite teams, athletes, and games. And as the end of another great NHL season approaches, I figured what better time to comment on my favorite sport, and also the toughest sport out there: hockey.
Just imagine, for a second, football being played like hockey.
Put boards around the field, so instead of being tackled out of bounds safely on the soft ground, players would be falling into an unmovable reinforced wall. Instead of skidding off the field in a controlled manner, they’d be hitting solid boards.
Next, add in the speed. On skates, hockey players are moving three times faster than your average football player.
Instead of playing with an air-filled ball, a hard rubber puck—that has a maximum velocity of 170 km/h—will be used instead.
Lastly, give everyone a weapon. A hockey stick.
Football players wouldn’t seem so tough then, would they?
Now, let’s factor in playing time:
There are only 16 games in the NFL’s season, which is a stark comparison to the 82 games played in the NHL’s regular season.
Football games may be longer than hockey, but the playing time for an individual is lessened due to the alternating of offense and defense lines. In hockey, a starting forward typically plays one third of the fast-paced sixty-minute game. And in just one shift, a hockey player could endure two to three checks.
Though football games are filled with tackles and high-speed collisions and NFL football is my close second favorite sport, there’s no question that hockey players are still the toughest athletes out there, playing the toughest—and greatest—game out there.
As for baseball and soccer—well, these videos can speak for themselves:
Now, let the discussion begin! :)