By John Buccigross
Special to Page 3
I love all kinds of sports and all kinds of music. I love golf, hockey, bowling and boxing. I love Nat King Cole, AC/DC, George Strait and Tupac Shakur. Life is a rich pageant and neglecting any of it is only cheating you out of life. Yes, I believe Marshall Holman and Jay-Z are one in spirit, both with balls of Brunswick.
But let's face it -- some music goes better with particular sports. When I hear a song, I think of a sport it would go best with in a SportsCenter "Plays of the Week" segment of that sport. If I see an athletic movement, a song comes to mind.
Here's what comes to mind when I think about hockey:
In so many ways for me, hockey's musical cousin has always been punk. Fast, furious, unscripted and unrelenting. You can't control either and when you try, you sap some of the life and soul out of the genre. Overcoaching and the trap have done that in the NHL, and Abercrombie and Fitch mallrats have for punk.
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there was a great quote from the late Joe Strummer of The Clash that I wished I had written down. It was basically about how life is fun, and that unbridled joy is what life is all about. I've hung around lots of hockey players and there is no athlete more fun and crazy than them.
The groups that show allegiance to punk and hockey are small but passionate. To them, having a large number of followers does not equate to relevance. You're either in or out. I think when people attempt to defend or promote their passion they aren't being true to the soul of the thing. Who cares if others bash or don't subscribe to your passion? It's yours. And, anyway, the fewer posers the better. Just love it for what it does to you and how it makes you feel.
I have a special relationship with NHL hockey because it is the underdog of big-time sports. And whenever I write or talk about it, the same mantra comes to mind and it can be applied to the music of your choice: Don't be ashamed of what moves you. Don't limit yourself and don't be ashamed. And don't care what anyone else thinks or what the music and sports snobs say.
John Buccigross is a SportsCenter anchor and the host of NHL 2Night.