I grew up as a major hockey fan, following the Vancouver Canucks. I played ice hockey in the winter and roller hockey in the summer until I turned 18. In high school, I started to lose interest in hockey in favour of other hobbies. Nowadays, I usually watch 10-15 games per year during the playoffs. I agree with some of you guys about the chaos, although I am starting to turn around and see that as part of the charm. The game is a lot more organized than it seems, at least in terms of the player’s positioning and the set passing plays, which are well-oiled and practiced, but the fact that they are playing on ice really puts a hard limit on just how much you can meaningfully control as a coach or a player.
The main thing that turns me off of hockey is that I find the over-aggression stupid. Especially in playoff hockey, with people getting in little tuffs after the whistle every dang play. It just feels completely unnecessary and drags the game down for me. What’s worse is that, having played, I imagine their “smack talk” conversations as being equivalent to the ones I heard while playing in high school, and I don’t think I’m too far off.
Having said all that, I love rugby! Rugby probably appears even more chaotic and crazy than hockey - and to a large extent, it is - although I will say again that it’s more organized than it might look. It is less reliant on strange bounces than hockey, and I think the more aggressive aspects are channeled more effectively into the playing of the sport itself, instead of feeling like a side-show. It’s a great mixture of physicality, finesse, and teamwork, which is really what sports are all about. Maybe I’ll come back to this thread and talk about rugby more at some point, because I feel like I have a million more things to say about it.
Anyway! Nowadays I love tennis. I only really watch the Grand Slams, but when they’re on, I follow the men’s and women’s side religiously. I think individual sports appeal to me most because there’s less randomness. I always feel the best player won the match, barring injuries or other outside influences. And this is borne out by the fact that, at least on the men’s side, the same three people have won almost every tournament for like 15 years. That sounds boring, but honestly, watching an incredible tennis player kinda beat up on a really good tennis player is prime entertainment for me. And when two of the Big Three meet up, boy howdy! Now that’s a good time!