When I called my dad in North Carolina (where I spent the first 23 years of my life) on Sunday for Fathers Day and he mentioned NHL hockey, it just didn’t seem right. When I was growing up there, I’m pretty sure the World Cup garnered more excitement than hockey. Hockey and the South just don’t mix well.
One of the more difficult management problems I’ve ever faced was hockey-related. When I managed a team of developers at CNN / Sports Illustrated (now just SI.com) in Atlanta and hockey season rolled around, we had to crunch all the stats into our various databases and generate useful web pages for hockey fans. I remember how difficult it was to get anyone on my team of Southerners to do the work. We had meetings where we hashed over NHL rules that seemed like they had been created on another planet. I still don’t know what “icing” is. The work got done (the team was great), but I always dreaded hockey season.
Fast forward to now, and the Stanley Cup is sitting with the Carolina Hurricanes somewhere in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m stunned. The world has clearly gone mad.