The 51st in our 118-part series.
Compared to hockey’s three-period, two-intermission structure, most other sports look kind of stupid. Football and basketball have that wacky quarter set-up where they basically have a seemingly pointless commercial break after the first and third quarters and then get right back at it, so there’s only one substantial break per game. Soccer has endless halves that don’t even have stoppages and just one, brief halftime to give its viewers some respite for refilling on snacks and hitting the loo. And baseball never even seems to get started, but once it does it stops after every other pitch for any variety of lengthy, commercial-filled reasons. But hockey? The two intermissions make sense. The periods are the perfect length — long enough to get flow and narrative going, but short enough that it never feels like the sporting equivalent of Moby Dick — and you get two breaks that offer just enough time to watch the little player interview, load up again on snacks, make a pit stop, do the dishes, fold the laundry, do your homework, whatever. It’s just another sign of hockey’s superiority as a sport that it has this all figured out, and it’s one more reason why we love it.