Next on the agenda was a hockey game followed by dinner and drinking. Prior to last weekend I'd never been to a hockey game and I found this one very informative. By contrast, I've been out drinking before so there weren't any surprises there - surprising no one.
|Columbus Blue Jacket Memorabilia|
Big Mike has tickets for the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Last Saturday was hat night, so we both got a Blue Jacket gimme cap. Not bad, as I had neglected to bring any kind of head gear and the place is as cold as the inside of a Frigidaire.
For those who have not been to Nationwide Area, the place is gigantic. We wound our way through Nationwide's labyrinth and after an interminable ride up the elevator we arrived at the entrance to our seats. Here's the view from the mouth of the access tunnel.
Okay, I'm just kidding. The seats are packed together tighter than steerage on an American Airlines puddle jumper. One way or another, everyone has to figure out where their legs and shoulders are going to go, and then we can all watch the game. But first, our national anthem. Which means we all stand up again, and although I stood up I failed to sing along with O Canada and The Star Spangled Banner. The man next to me managed it, and didn't do badly with The Star Spangled Banner, which is rare.
Finally it was time for hockey. Giving credit where it's due, the Blue Jackets have been getting the snot pounded out of them lately, but tonight looked like it might be a little different. For one thing, the Blue Jackets scored a goal right away. Lights flashed, music played, the scoreboard went nuts and some enterprising individual torched off an imitation cannon. Hot puppies! We're going to win one. Maybe.
Then along about the second period two players agreed to disagree and the game was put on hold for a few minutes.
|Game not in Progress|
|Agree to Disagree|
|Order Will Be Restored|
Big Mike used to play on a softball team (division F as I remember it, but maybe it was G), and on that team was a retired Canadian hockey player. The man used to play for a major Canadian team and had the sports injuries and associated surgery scars to prove it. He was a goalie, and his knees were shot. He wanted to play softball though, and so would take a pain pill or two before the game, said pills augmented by a six pack of beer. Then he'd play softball, but in spite of the pills he still couldn't run, so there was only one choice for him: he hit home runs each time he was at bat. There wasn't any question about what he'd do when he came up to bat. He'd looked at the game and knew that he'd just hit it out of the park, and that would be that. That way he wouldn't have to walk the bases if he didn't want to, and he sure wouldn't have to run them. He just put the ball over the fence. That's how it is with a professional athlete. Mix a pro up in an amateur game and the difference will be apparent to anyone who watches for two minutes. There just isn't any competition.
So in a hockey game, a fight breaks out between two players who drop their sticks, shuck their gloves and have at it. Eventually they quit and are given a time out. The thing I noticed is that no real damage occurred, and although I saw plenty of punches and wrestling around, there wasn't any blood and the match didn't go to ground. So are the fights real? Yes, there are heated tempers, but the fight is a lot more controlled than a casual fan might believe.
So, back to the game.
|Not a Hockey Player|
|Cleanup Crew At Work|
The other part of the show is the pee-wee game, where two groups of kids take to the ice and play a ten minute game. One young man managed to overcome his stage fright and score several goals, which put him in the spotlight later on. I enjoyed watching the kids play and I think it's a good thing for the kids as well, as they get to mix with the pro players in the locker room and meet them.
|Broken Window - Look where the spectator is pointing|
I enjoyed the hockey game a great deal. We sat next to a Canadian group who were mercifully well-behaved. The game had a lot of activity in it and featured some of the worst refereeing you can imagine. The referees refused to call obvious fouls committed directly in front of them, and the bias against the Blue Jackets was as blatant and obvious as a Moonbat politician accused of moral turpitude.
We departed for Barley's in downtown Columbus, where we had an excellent dinner and which I'll review in another post.