Welcome to Impulsive Debate. It’s a chance for the NIS staff to debate on some of today’s pressing questions.

Today’s question is: Basketball or Hockey? It’s an issue that has caused many a email chains to get nasty. 

Brad EpsteinYou Just Don’t Know

Sports are the best. No other entertainment medium can provide the drama and emotion sports do. In a world of “anything can happen” – sports is the ultimate example.

Unless you are talking about the NBA.

Other than the final act, we pretty much know how the season is all going to shake out over the next several months. From day one of the season, barring injuries, about three to four teams are contenders with one or two puncher’s chances every year (If that.)  That leaves, at best, 24 teams who can sleepwalk through the season and then maybe provide a little playoff entertainment for being eliminated, as we all know they will be. This is due to the simple fact that basketball is a sport dominated by top talent, not depth. If you have the best player or players, you will either win it all or come really damn close. Both LeBron James and Dwight Howard were in the Finals with pretty much no help for crying out loud. BORING.

Now hockey, that’s where it is at. Since the year 2000, 11 teams have won Lord Stanley’s Cup. The NBA? Six champions and they had one more season in there thanks to the 2005 NHL lockout.

Competitive imbalance aside, hockey is just a more exciting, dramatic sport. The speed, the flow, the grace, the physical play, the skill – hockey dominates. And if that wasn’t enough, hockey has BY FAR the most dramatic single aspect in all of team sports – HOCKEY OVERTIME.

Hockey overtime is the ultimate edge of your seat entertainment. Every playoff year, non-hockey fans all over the media praise the playoffs as the best in sports. And let’s be honest, it isn’t even close.

I was lucky enough to be in the building when Uwe Krupp scored a triple-OT goal to win the Stanley Cup in 1996 for the Colorado Avalanche. In a 0-0 game, I can’t begin to tell you of all of the doorstep changes that were denied that night by goalies John Vanbiesbrouck and Patrick Roy through five full periods of action. But then seemingly out of nowhere, a simple shot from the point struck – and just like that, the marathon was over.
My team lost, but it was still one of the most exhilarating sports moments of my life.

So enjoy your 104-97 basketball games between Orlando and Charlotte that mean nothing for several months. I will stick to hockey where teams like the LA Kings win the Stanley Cup as a #8 seed – so the regular season is actually worth watching from top to bottom.

And just to not leave anyone out, here are all of the Stanley Cup winning goals from 1990-2012. Enjoy.

Hockey…Because anything can happen….at any moment.—–