Football is the country's national sport. The highest level of football in this country is played in the Premier League. Ice hockey is very much a minority sport. The highest level of ice hockey is played in the Superleague. Here's a little contrast between the lives of Premier league footballers and Superleague ice hockey players.
Footballers are household names - even in Hong Kong
Superleague Hockey Players haven't been heard of by people who live ¼ of a mile from their home arena
Footballers drive Ferraris, Mercedes and Porsches
Superleague Hockey Players get a Ford Fiesta if they're lucky (and get it repossessed if they play for a certain North East team).
Footballers have "celebrity" marriages to supermodels, pop stars
and TV presenters
Superleague Hockey Players' wives get seasonal jobs in department stores (but they don't have "celebrity" divorces either, so that's a good thing).
Footballers have their houses featured in "Hello" magazine
Superleague Hockey Players sometimes read "Hello" magazine (if there's nothing else in the physio's waiting room).
Footballers retire to become actors, TV presenters or open a successful nightclub
Superleague Hockey Players retire to become state troopers, teachers or open a dry-cleaning business (we still love you, Ruby!)
Footballers are hounded by crowds of gorgeous young women in Stringfellows
Superleague Hockey Players regularly get their faces slapped in Yates' Wine Lodge
Footballers get a new haircut and half the country follows suit
Superleague Hockey Players follow suit when a certain Premier League Footballer gets a new haircut (but to be honest Trummers Beckham looked better !)
On the other hand -
Footballers mince around the pitch kicking the ball to one another. Some will
spend the whole match lurking in front of the opposition's net
Superleague Hockey Players skate at 25 miles an hour, get bounced off the boards and have to cover the whole arena as fast as the puck does (Corey Spring excepted).
Footballers get substituted if they're looking tired
Superleague Hockey Players get substituted if they're looking tired, but get put back on the ice when they recover.
Footballers fall over clutching themselves in agony if an opponent's boot
comes within half an inch of their shins (actual contact means they are stretchered
off the pitch)
Superleague Hockey Players get up and carry on playing after being boarded at 25 mph by some 18-stone goon
Footballers clutch their groins when standing in the wall for a free-kick,
just in case someone kicks the ball at them
Superleague Hockey Players lie down in front of the net in the hope that they'll get in the way when someone hits the puck at them (and it's a lot harder and faster than a football)
Footballers are taught how to fall over safely
Superleague Hockey Players are taught how to box
Footballers do a lap of honour when they win the FA Cup
Superleague Hockey Players do a lap of honour after every match
Makes you wonder who's being paid right, doesn't it?
for Thunderflash by the witty pen of "Big Al" .. and no, we dont
know who he is either!