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Respecting Opponents: The Traditional NHL Post-Game Handshake

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A PCA-Phoenix Board Member, Mike Nealy (@mjnealy) is the Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl, serving Phoenix and its surrounding communities with college football bowl games since 1971. The Fiesta Bowl was part of the Bowl Championship Series for years and is now a part of the College Football Playoff. Before guiding the Fiesta Bowl efforts, Nealy spent 8 years with the Phoenix Coyotes, leading the organization to record breaking sales and operating successes as President and COO of the team.

During his time with the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, Nealy witnessed what he describes as the fiercest, toughest, grittiest, and most heated competition in all of sports. Despite that, teams always engaged in a traditional post-game handshake, which Nealy believes honors the game and respects opponents like no other moment in pro sports. When hockey teams partake in this tradition, it reinforces the difficulty and toughness required to win and the respect teams have for their opponents who gave it all and went down swinging.