Apr 252012
 
Penguins, 2008-2009 Stanley Cup

Despite the pain and humiliation of watching my Pittsburgh Penguins lose their third consecutive post-season series, this time to the despicable Philadelphia Flyers, I am as convinced as ever that Ice Hockey is the best team sport out there.

I don’t necessarily mean most enjoyable, surely a subjective measure. Nor is the NHL the best sports league across all sports. I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that Ice Hockey calls for the greatest total abundance of every sports characteristic and skill. List out all the skills you want and Ice Hockey will score higher in aggregate.

Ahhh, happier times.

Speed, physical toughness, endurance, coordination/reflexes, mental toughness, etc. etc. etc. The game even calls for moving backwards in a fundamental way that no other sport duplicates.

Here’s a rough chart ranking the major team sports:


Baseball Basketball Am. FB Rugby Futbol Cricket Ice Hky
Speed 3 7 4 1 6 2 5
Physical Toughness 1 4 6 7 3 2 5
Mental Toughness 4 2 7 5 1 3 6
Endurance 1 3 4 6 5 2 7
Reflexes/Coordination 3 6 1 2 5 4 7
Intelligence/Creativity 1 5 4 3 7 2 6
Versatility (!=specialization) 1 6 2 5 4 3 7
Total Score 14 33 28 29 31 18 43

Before you get in a huff about these rankings, it should be noted that I have no animus against any particular sport. If I were to rate my enjoyment of each of these sports, it would be different from the rankings above. Just some food for thought.

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