January 29, 2011

you’ve got a fan in me...

 My decision to purchase NHL Center Ice a couple months ago was one of the best monthly purchases I've made. It has proven to be better than any jam or beer of the month club, and slighty more attractive than an online porn membership, although Corwin refers to it as my porn addiction.

Justification for the purchase aside, I’ve found some advantages and disadvantages of cheering abroad. (I will also try not make this a blog-ritorial for NHL Center Ice). 

(+) The colossal time zone difference between Korea and N/A moves primetime on the Eastern United States to the start of regular business hours in Seoul. It’s very convenient; I eat breakfast as the puck drops for a handful of games. (-) This handful of games is usually limited to Eastern Conference teams. (+) although, since HBO’s 24/7 (Road to the Winter Classic) I’ve enjoyed following the Penguins and Capitals. (-) Daylight Savings Time pushed the start times back an hour (10am-11am or later for Flames games), as Korea does not partake in the saving of sunlight.

(+) Breakfast and Hockey is perfect on Sunday morning, especially because it is Hockey Night in Canada, my favourite Hockey Broadcast. (-) The Leafs are always the first game on HNIC (is there ever a Saturday night they don't play?). (+) The Leafs usually lose.

(+) NHL Center Ice basically works as a PVR, you can pause and replay live games. You also have access to all games played during the current regular season. (+) Thisarchive allows me to watch Flames games at night, like a normal hockey fan. (-) The NHL website forces me to shield my eyes as I log into it, the scores are all visible across the top of the screen. The process is tricky, as the whole site is filled with spoilers before I’m able to click full screen on a game. I’ve ruined several games through failed log in attempts.

(+) I found that I’ve become a well rounded hockey fan. I watch a couple of periods
of hockey every day. I skip between games I think will be good, and games I’m curious about. I’ve been exposed to some great rivalries and players because I can easily jump between games. (-) Again, most of my exposure has been with Eastern Conference teams, my tirivial knowledge of Western teams is becoming quickly outdated because their games don't get interesting until after I'm at work. (+) I've watched more Tampa Bay Lightning games than most people in Florida.

(-) Non NHL games aren't included, so cheering for Canada at the World Juniors was a tricky task. TSN owned the feeds and I could only watch the games live/streaming. (+) I was able to watch Canada beat the Americans in the semi-final. (-) However,The morning of the Gold Medal game I had a doctor’s appointment. I decided to wait until the game was loaded on Torrents to watch it. 48 hours after the game (and not visiting any hockey, or sport website) I found a torrent with the following tagline "worst collapse ever, Russia wins in third". (+) at least my heart wasn't ripped out, as I'm sure it would have been.

Even though I am thousands of kms away, my love for hockey still has an outlet. Instead of relaxing with my father in his basement watching HD hockey on a 92" screen. I'm watching HD games on my 19" laptop screen. What I give up in screen size I gain in the ability and flexability to follow my passion, I've watched games in coffee shops. Besides I don't need the giant screen, I usually watch the games alone. I have yet to meet another hockey enthousiast with whom to chit chat and share my $22/month passion with.

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