Hockey, known as the fastest sport in the world, has been a beloved pastime for many individuals for over a century. Originating in Canada, the sport has since spread around the world, captivating audiences with its action and physicality. While the sport itself is enough to keep fans entertained, it has also made its mark in popular culture, with its presence seen in movies, music, and television. We will dive deep into the hockey’s connection to pop culture, exploring the various ways in which it has influenced and been influenced by the world of entertainment.
Movies: Bringing the Excitement to the Big Screen
Hockey has always been a popular sport in Canada and the United States, with die-hard fans passionately supporting their local teams. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the sport has been featured in numerous movies, ranging from dramas to comedies and even animated films.
One of the most iconic and beloved hockey movies of all time is The Mighty Ducks. Released in 1992, the film follows a ragtag youth hockey team and their unorthodox coach, Gordon Bombay, as they try to make it to the championships. The movie not only showcased the sport to a wider audience but also inspired a generation of young hockey players to hit the ice and dream big. It also spawned two sequels and a television series.
Another notable hockey movie is Slap Shot released in 1977. The film follows a minor-league hockey team in financial trouble, who resort to playing rough and aggressive to boost ticket sales. Though initially a box office flop, it has since gained a cult following among hockey fans for its comedic take on the sport and its depiction of the old school style of hockey.
Other notable movies featuring hockey include Miracle, Mystery, Alaska, Goon, and The Rocket. These movies not only showcase the sport, but also the dedication and passion of hockey players and fans, making them relatable and inspiring for all viewers, whether hockey enthusiasts or not.
Music: Amplifying the Excitement on the Ice
Aside from movies, the sport of hockey has also been featured heavily in music, often found in pump-up songs and anthems. The most iconic example is The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom Connors, considered by many as the unofficial anthem of hockey. The upbeat tune and catchy chorus has become a staple at hockey games, played during intermissions and after goals are scored.
The genre of rock music has also been heavily associated with hockey, with countless bands and artists incorporating the sport into their music. In the 1990s, the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip released their song Fifty Mission Cap, which references the disappearance of Toronto Maple Leafs player Bill Barilko. The song became a fan favorite and immortalized the hockey legend in a different form of media.
More recently, American rapper Sheck Wes released the song Mo Bamba, which references the iconic Let’s go chant often heard at hockey games. The song has become a popular pump-up anthem for professional hockey teams, further blurring the lines between the sport and music.
Television: Bringing the Action to the Small Screen
Television has also played a major role in showcasing the sport of hockey to a wider audience. Shows like Hockey Night in Canada and Saturday Night Hockey have become a weekly tradition for many households, bringing live games and expert analysis straight to viewers’ screens. These shows have also played a significant role in elevating players to celebrity status and connecting fans with their favorite teams and players.
Aside from live games, hockey has also been featured in numerous television shows. One notable example is the sitcom The Hockey Moms, which follows a group of mothers who become obsessed with the sport after their sons join the local team. The show, though fictional, accurately portrays the passion and dedication of hockey parents and has resonated with many who have experienced the same.
Another popular show is Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, based on the beloved movie franchise. The show follows a new generation of misfit hockey players and their journey to form a new team and defy the odds. With its mix of comedy, drama, and heart, the show has continued to spread the love for hockey among younger audiences.
Connecting Fans and Growing the Sport
Hockey’s presence in pop culture has not only introduced the sport to a wider audience but has also played a significant role in building and connecting the hockey community. Whether it’s through movies, music, or television, fans are brought together to celebrate their shared love for the sport and create memories that will last a lifetime.
In today’s world, where entertainment is easily accessible, the connection between hockey and pop culture continues to grow stronger. As new movies, songs, and shows featuring the sport are released, fans are reminded of the thrill and excitement that hockey brings, and are encouraged to join the conversation and support the sport in their own communities.