Tonight, the IPPL is showing the latest in its Art & Democracy Film Series: the hockey movie Slap Shot. (The discussion will be broadcast live, on the web, starting between 9 p.m. and 9:15 central if you are interested.) Looking for an eye-catching tag line, I included the phrase "Can a hockey town have a hockey philosophy?" on the poster. (I have no idea what that question means, by the way.) Well, the response has been amazing. Of course, I don't know how many people will actually show up to the event, but there was a big article in The GF Herald about it (that link may require that you register, and here is the comment page in response to the article), and I had spontaneous interviews in KNOX radio and WDAZ television. In fact, the TV cameraman just left my house!
Needless to say, as a non-sports fan, I'm baffled (but not amazed -- I chose the movie precisely because it would gain attention). And forgetting all the subordinate issues we'll discuss tonight, I want to ask you: what is it about sports that gets people so involved? Why, given everything else that is going on in world, is it sports that attracts such interest and energy? And, more so, why hockey? What is it that makes that sport special and why (other than the cold and ice) is the upper mid-west so obsessed with it?
My favorite comment so far on the comment board is this:
"March 31, 2010 8:41 AM
C G. Grand Forks, ND
Wow, talk about sucking all of the fun out of a movie.
I'm sure Weinstein will tell us all what we should think, the way he always does."
I'm wondering who C.G. is. I assume it's not Charles Griswold, my old dissertation advisor. Should I feel better or worse if C.G. is an actual student of mine?