"Has American commercialism, and the American sunbelt, corrupted hockey?" Economics blogger Tyler Cowen tosses the question out to readers, linking to a piece in the June issue of The Walrus. David MacFarlane, author of the original article, examines hockey and its fans in the U.S.
Musing over the peculiarities of American fans, as well as the "cheerleaders, and the in-the-stands personalities (people who appear to be airbrushed in real life), and the mascots, and the Kiss Cam, and the opportunities to win T-shirts and pizza coupons and a ride on a Zamboni, not to mention the 110 decibels of heavy metal music the NHL assumes its audience favours," he comes to a conclusion:
Hockey, by almost any measurement (other than the method by which one might calculate the commercial value of Canadian sentimentality), has been transformed during its forty years in the digestive tract of American consumerism. It hasn't come out as an American sport--not yet. But it is a sport that has become an American entertainment.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.