When I was a kid, my family used to watch hockey and cheer on our team. This is more amazing than it seems and perhaps shows just how Canadian we really were. There were not as many teams as now and my family was definitely not a sporting family. My younger brother went into martial arts but other than that, we did no more than was required of us in school.
So, that we watched hockey, when I think back, was just odd. Unless you’re Canadian and it’s a Canadian thing to do. But as I hit my teens I didn’t watch it anymore and really grew tired of the fights. I’ve seen maybe a few games over the years on TV when I’ve been at a friend’s, but have paid extremely little attention.
But last night I actually went to my first live hockey game: the Canucks against the Anaheim Ducks. We got to watch from a private box so the seats were good and the view was on the side near one end–not a bad angle. I’ve never been in GM place before. It’s very spiff and full of the usual tacky hockey merchandise. I saw a guy wearing a big foam puck on his head.
The first thing I noticed about the game was that it was so quiet. I’m used to the run-on commentary of TV and all the replays. Here they just skated and shot. Some replays were shown on the big center screen that also displayed the game. People of course cheered, or booed when there was a penalty. But another thing I’ve never noticed on TV was that people clap during good plays. Is this a Canadian thing or do they do this in the US too? It was very polite and inspiring.
Something else you don’t see is that they shovel the ice every ten minutes; mostly women with long hair and one guy. And oddly enough almost every time before the shoveling, a fight breaks out. This was not inspiring. Wouldn’t all that ice help cool tempers? Is this some well-timed maneuver to keep the fan’s adrenalin up through the ice break? I’m not sure I get why people would clap and cheer for the fights. Most of the tussles were small and broken up quickly. But there had to be one dogpile. I just called it hockey group sex.
I guess I saw about half the game because you tend to socialize in the boxes and go for a drink or food. Besides the dumb fights, I actually enjoyed watching the game and at one point chose to watch as opposed to socializing. Somehow I missed a couple of the goals against the Canucks and hadn’t realized those 20-minute periods had extended into overtime. When Anaheim scored (final goal 4-3), everyone just got up and left and I was going, uh what happened?
Maybe it’s that Canadian thing again but I think I’d actually go to a game again. Go Canucks!