Friday, February 22, 2008
Despite me giving Mrs. W every opportunity to tell me not to go to the hockey game tonight, she never took the bait and I ended up attending. It was my first ever Gopher hockey game, and I have to say I enjoyed myself quite a bit. Thoughts:
1. We ended up getting there about 3/4 through the first period, because Dawger for some stupid reason couldn't show up at Sally's until 6:45. I will say the whole crowd at Sally's was extremely irritating, and it was almost enough to make me root for the Badgers. That whole table in the corner, with your "Let's Go Gophers" and "Jesus hates the Badgers" chants - really not funny. You're kind of a bunch of idiots.
2. Whilst waiting for Dawger to show, me, $nake, and The Guy who once punched Goldy had a few drinks and spent the time talking about their kids and my kid on the way. Apparently we're forty years old now (although Snake actually might be, not sure).
3. Mariucci Arena is really not all that impressive. It reminds me of several smaller basketball arenas (Utah State, Illinois-Chicago, North Texas) and that's not saying much. Maybe that's how hockey arenas are, I really don't know, because I pretty much hate hockey. Dawger told me that the UND arena is really awesome, and they serve beer there, so that's a definite plus. The atmosphere however was pretty outstanding. A lot of spirit, and not the kind that is annoying and gay, the good kind. Good fans, and when the Gophers scored a goal it got very loud, Williams Arena levels. High marks for the fans there.
4. I'm on record as saying that hockey fights are really, really, really stupid, and I stand by that. However it turns out that the chippy little shoves, pushes, and checks and what not after the whistle I am a big fan of. Maybe it's the primal man instincts or something, but that was really fun to watch. Hockey is a physical game, and I see where that is important and part of the sport. Not fights though. I will still never, ever get a boner from a hockey fight, unlike the average Minnesota bar patron watching a Wild game.
5. Although I missed the first goal because Dawger was late for some stupid reason, I still got to see three Gopher scores and two from the faggy Badgers. Since Snake said there'd probably be only four goals scored all weekend, I figure I'm pretty lucky to see some action. The 8 minutes I watched on TV that one time was like watching soccer, so I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe I'm some sort of catalyst for excitement. Wouldn't be the first time.
6. I know I don't understand hockey, other than from NHL 93-99 for Genesis and Playstation, but there was a penalty tonight that I totally don't get. Some homo from the Badgers passed it around the blue line, and the Gopher guy got his stick on it and knocked it towards the Badgers end. He started skating after it, and the Badger guy leveled him and that is apparently some kind of penalty. I thought you could just skate around and knock people on their asses indiscriminately as long as you don't "cross check" or "slash." Not so. Hockey is kind of a girly sport I guess, where you can't check or it's "interference." Incidentally, video games led me to believe interference is when you run into the goalie when he has the puck. Not so.
7. We were unfortunate to have a group of Badger fans sitting directly behind us. I have to say, they whine more than Gopher basketball fans. Every single thing and every play they were yelling for things to be called, most of which I've never heard of, but I assume it was how Gopher hoop fans generally want all contact to be a foul on the other team, and are pretty sure no Gopher in the history of the world has ever traveled. I also heard one of them ask another how to spell "valentine", but I'm pretty sure that's par for the course for Wisconsonians.
8. I asked Dawger who the best players on the Gophers were, and he told me Wheeler and Barriball. The fourth Gopher goal of the night was a very pretty pass and shoot between those two, so that was cool. Also it sucked that Wisconsin didn't pull their goalie so I could see more scoring.
9. My first favorite Gopher hockey player is, without question, Mike Carman. He not only scored a goal, but after a play was whistled dead and some Badger dude was getting chippy, he actually leaped at him, leaving his feet and taking him down with a nice flying tackle reminiscent of Tito Santana. Let's just say, it moved. Then, with about 9 seconds left in the game or less, he knocked some doof Badger guy into the boards just to rub it in. I didn't expect to like a guy who was chippy and fighty like that, but he also proved he can score. Mike Carman is clearly the man.
10. Lastly, a big thank you to $nake for taking me to the game, in exchange for a Miller Lite. I had a really excellent time. I can see myself attending as many as one hockey game each year going forward. Plus, anytime I can watch the Gophers kick the piss out of Bucky in anything is a good time. And I can say that hockey is less gay than I thought. It's now less gay than fanny packs.
P.S. Guys. When you go to the bar, take your tie off. Seriously. There's no reason to keep a tie on at the bar. The only reason you're still wearing it is to try to impress people, but everybody knows you're only wearing it to impress people so you look like a douche. Nobody wears a tie when they don't have to, and we all know it. Just trying to help.
P.P.S. When I was typing Mike Carman as a label, it showed up as having been used already. Apparently, $nake is a big Carman fan as well. All I can say is back off man, he's mine.