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27 Before 27: Go to a Hockey Game

2 Apr

2013-04-01 19.09.58 In my 27th year of life, I’m attempting to do 27 new things. Full list here.

Going to a hockey game was a high priority for me on this year’s list. I like sports, and nothing beats going to a sporting event live. I didn’t (still don’t) know a ton about hockey, but it seemed fast paced and exciting. I panicked there for a while during the lockout, then I panicked because all of a sudden it was April. But, alas, I found my way to a New Jersey Devils game.

I’m an underdog kind of lady. I like the idea of a team that is somewhat hapless, somewhat less funded, more like me. I must admit, though, that I know next to nothing about hockey, but the New York Rangers come off like a Yankees sort of team, all Madison Square Garden and all. The Devils are endearing to me, because they’re in Newark and that seems like an underdog kind of town. Plus the Prudential Center (more affectionately known as the Rock) is a beautiful arena.

The first thing I noticed as the game began was how difficult and athletic hockey looks. I’ve played my fair share of sports and defending, passing, goal attempts, keeping track of who on your team is open are all difficult tasks enough. These guys are doing it on ice! Hockey is an aggressive sport with a lot of fights and slamming into one another, but it is also graceful and impressive. The way they maneuver around one another, pass, shoot the puck. Hypnotizing. I don’t think I ever felt that awe-struck watching hockey on television.

The New Jersey Devils are also a lot of fun. The reason to follow a team is the camaraderie of the fan base. In any sport, players, coaches, championships, controversies will all come and go. The reason anyone stays faithful to a specific team is because of the community that you become a part of. I liked the raucous nature of the Devils fans. They had a chant that went simply, “Ranger suck, Flyers swallow.” They weren’t playing either team that night. Just chanting it to remind themselves.

But, hands down, the best part of the night was during one of the intermissions after period one where they let little league hockey players play. Their jerseys were down to their ankles! Unreasonably adorable. I’m ovulating just thinking about it.

2013-04-01 19.44.28

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