Sunday, April 16, 2006
So, last night was a very exciting night for me. I went to my very first professional hockey game. Hockey is still very much a sport for white guys, but I have to tell you, black people are only 10 years from taking over. And so we should. Now that us North American blacks are comfortable in cold weather sports, soon black hockey players will dominate and diversify with their own clothing lines, fragrances and of course, rap music contracts. There are now WAY more black men playing hokey in the NHL than there was when I was in high school. One of them, a player from Buffalo, was on the ice last night. Mike Grier, number 25, is from Detroit and plays RW – which I think means Right Wing. He is 6’1” and 220 pounds of hockey. I think Mike and I were the only two black people in the arena. I tried to do a google search for other black hockey players, but I don’t care that much.
My boss gave me the tickets as he couldn’t use them. I was going to take my Japanese intern so that she could experience something very Canadian. But, since it was my first game my co-workers insisted that I go with a guy who LOVES hockey. So, my friend Degan came with me. As well as an avid sports fan, Degan is a well-know chef here in Montreal. He promises to pay me back in spades – you see where I am going with this.
Anyway, as I know almost nothing about hockey I know even less about arenas and ticket prices. But I learned my lesson last night. Now I know that for $110.00 you can get close enough to the ice to see the bruises on the faces of these professional athletes. You can see how easily they manouver on the ice. You can actually hear the sound of the puck making contact with the hockey stick’s blade. No one can sit that close for the three hours of a game and not be a fan. You actually don’t want an intermission. All you want is action on the ice.
Now, I have to say that I wouldn’t call myself a hockey fan. That is, until you get me into an electric area full on screaming fans, and hand me a cup of poor quality beer at more than premium prices. Then, I am a super fan with emotions that swing wildly from elated excitement to pitiful depression. And, oh my god, was last night a testament to that.
The Habs were down against Buffalo 10 minutes into the first period. Then in the second period they tied. Two minutes later they scored again and after both goals the crowd rose to their feet in unison screaming and dispensing high 5’s. The man in front of me grabbed his wife and kissed her.
The lead was short lived and watching Buffalo dominate on a Habs power play frustrated me to no end. The man beside me was similarly irritated, and we both shook our fists yelling “Tabernac!” Buffalo scored short-handed. The injury of it!
But, with a minute and a half to go, the Habs pulled their goalie – down one point, they had nothing left to loose. Buffalo’s net was a wash in the red and blue. I sat on the armrest between our seats, it looked like the Habs were gonna tie it up!
Then, the insult. Buffalo not only managed to clear the puck out of the net, but they shot it down the ice and it sailed, uncontested into the Habs goal. Ouch, that hurt. Most people couldn’t even watch, they had already turned their backs and in true Canadian style, were making their way to the exit.
What a game!