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Friday night ranting, raving, and questioning the "price" of hockey.

Friday, October 13, 2006
Hey, hey, hey! I'm still alive. I decided that since the Blue Jackets are on a bit of a break this week, that I also should take a day or two off to just kick back and relax.

Not that I was kicking back and relaxing, anyway. Even without this blog to write for, I practically live neck-deep in either class assignments, religiously active exercising, or just plain running around Columbus trying to keep busy with errands.

But you're not here to learn about me. You're here to read some random fan's writing and blogging on a National Hockey League team with a lovable bee mascot, aren't you? So let's get right to that.

... after I take a moment to go off on a little gripe of mine, of course. The gripe? The differential between the price of playing ice hockey, and the other major sports in the United States.

Now, listen. Obviously I'm not going to try and sell you some sort of hooey story where I say the price of equipment for hockey is cheap. Frankly, it's not. You got the pads, the skates, the helmet, the sticks ... it's all a pretty big shock to the wallet when you start off, either as a kid, a teenager, or even as an adult playing in the beer leagues.

But maybe we're looking at this the wrong way. Maybe we shouldn't be trying to compare the price of playing the real game with the other sports and playing those on the field. Instead, perhaps a better comparison of sports price can be used by taking the most basic, simplistic inventory from each sport.

What does a kid need to so much as start learning the most important aspects of hockey? ... no, not ice skates. While skating is certainly one of the key aspects of hockey, it can come later on. No, to me, what you need to get your kid is a street hockey stick and a street hockey ball. So I took a stroll over to, and this is what I saw for the prices on those sorts of things:

Shield® Hockey Stick - 53" (EA): $12.99

Amazing! For just a Thomas Jeffson, an Alexander Hamilton, and change from under my couch cushions (that's $15 and change for the folks up North), I can have a stick and the ball that is needed to start learning the basics of stickhandling!? I don't believe it!

Dripping sarcasm aside, let's compare this to some of the pre-requisite items needed to so much as start playing the other sports in the U.S. when you're just a kid:

Spalding 63-249 Spalding NBA Street Basketball: $12.98
Keep in mind that not everyone has a basketball hoop on their garage, either ... let alone a garage in this day and age.

Wilson TDS Composite High School Game Ball Football: $24.44
You know, I never realized that standard issue footballs good for play use were that expensive. Seems a bit excessive.

Wilson A360 Series 14 in Baseball Glove: $29.95
Worth R9S RIF Baseball: $7.14
Ouch, man. I know, the glove is a little on the pricy side, but remember that it has to last. As for the ball, anything below that was tee-ball grade, or of softball quality.

Now, I'm sure there are people rolling their eyes out there, saying this is about as skewed and as biased a comparison as all get out. I won't deny it, either. Like I said previously, if we were to compare full blown equipment for playing in actual games of each sports, hockey is doomed from the start.

But that is why it's worth looking at the bare essentials. Furthermore, you always hear people talk about how "All you need is a ball and a friend for basketball/football/baseball", so why can't we compare just a stick and a ball/puck to that?

Besides, if you're strapped for cash and don't think you can afford a net to practice shooting into, I hear trash cans will make due.
  • At 7:46 AM, Blogger Kat said…

    You need a metal one to get the correct ping effect when you miss.

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About Me

Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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