Ice Hockey in Movies, Television, and Music
Hockey has really made a stand in movies and like all of the major sports; hockey plays a huge role in American pop culture. Though it is the least most popular sport, a few Hollywood films have been made about hockey. Like the 1984 film Youngblood when the sport of hockey was at its peak during the late 70s and through the 80s and then when 1992 was when the Mighty Ducks was released to introduce hockey to a new generation of sports enthusiasts. Either way the sport has made itself profitable in film to keep people interested especially the hockey fans that didn’t get the recognition before the films were made about this sport. Hockey also crossed over into American television from shows like Cheers to Home Improvement and even NYPD Blue with characters either making references to being fans of hockey or having something in their environment to tell the audience that they like the sport. Recent shows like Rescue Me featured some scenes of people playing hockey as a part of a charity event.
Hockey is so popular in Canada that it’s a very important part of Canadian culture. It always features Canadian-produced shows and furthermore it’s launched a new genre of reality and scripted shows since the United States hasn’t really attempted to create a reality show about the sport of Hockey since they’ve covered everything from law enforcement to talent shows, but not the sport of hockey. Film director Kevin Smith who’s a big hockey fan always manages to add in some reference to the sport in his films Mallrats, Jersey Girl, and a couple others it’s kind of like Spike Lee using the technique of the background moving to make it look like the people are walking and in conversation or thought it’s kind of like Smith’s trademark film making technique. Yet hockey is still not nearly as popular as basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, and golf, but it’s slowly coming into its own.
Cartoons have come into making hockey a part of it’s story lines like Peanuts where Snoopy who’s well known by any one who’s a fan of the Peanuts cartoon that he loves ice hockey and many comic strip frames feature him playing the sport with his constant companion Woodstock. The only other cartoon that had a reference to hockey was in the show The Simpsons where Lisa was playing in a hockey match. Hockey has also stepped into the world of music as well with known singers like Warren Zevon and Stompin’ Tom Connors. Hockey has been an integral part of American and Canadian culture in some way shape and form, but it has boosted the popularity of the sport among the people who are fans of it greatly and it will continue to rise in years to come. It’s usually those who live in cold climates that will appreciate such a sport as hockey. Hockey’s history spans many years, but in Canada it’s a way of life just as football and basketball are a way of life in America, Canadians appreciate the action and how it brings people out to have a good time and enjoy a sporting event that’s a national pastime like baseball.
For most Canadians its hockey and beer exactly how Americans like their professional sports games and the majority of the hockey movies made was around the time Hollywood was going through that phase where films were being made about sports, books, video games, songs, and historical time periods. The Mighty Ducks was the most recent in the last 15 years of a rehashing of hockey themed movies.