Hockey In Russia Isn’t Even Close

A friend of mine (actually my stepson but I consider him more as a friend) in Russia sent me this great soccer shirt from the St. Petersburg, Zenit team. The front reads “Gasprom” which is the sponsor and the largest gas company in Russia and probably the world.

It’s funny how the sponsor gets the big name on the front and the team gets the little crest. Imagine if the Habs had Molson plastered across the front and a little CH that you can hardly see up top?

Don’t ever think for a minute that hockey is the number one sport in Russia. Soccer/football has it beat by a country mile. When a hockey game is played in such a large city as St. Petersburg (pop. 7 million), there is activity here and there near the arena with fans milling about. But when Zenit plays, the streets go wild, thousands prance about shouting and singing and swearing like crazy, throwing beer bottles and puking and peeing in apartment building entrances. Cops are everywhere and locals close the windows and lock the doors and pretend to be interested in Putin’s latest speech on the telly.

Hockey in Russia is a distant number two to the sport where you kick the ball around.

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