Hi, it's me again........the relatively new hockey fan.
I want to talk about something I've been remiss in not mentioning before: The great fans of the great sport of hockey.
I've been to football games where fans cursed each other and got in fights. I've been to baseball games where the same has happened. I have yet to see such behavior in the fans I'm come in contact with at hockey games.
Now of course I've only been to games in Anaheim at Honda Center (Arrowhead Pond), so perhaps I have a skewed view. But I truly believe that hockey fans are the best!
When I get tickets for the 2005-2006 playoffs, I sat next to some very nice folks named Dot, Susan and Chris. They were quite patient with me and my questions, as I'm still learning all the ins & outs of the game. I had such a wonderful time with them that when I got my 1st ever season tickets, I got my seat near them. I must not have bothered them with all my questions, because they were glad I stayed near them!
My new seat was 1 row down from my last one (Section 201, Row G, Seat 12!!), so I had new seatmates in front of me.
Since it's easier to lean forward to talk than backward, I was soon asking the young man in front of me a lot of questions. He seemed very, very knowledgable, and was more than happy to answer whatever I asked if he knew the answer.
I learned that my new hockey friend's name was Trevor, and that his mom and dad alternated who used their 2nd ticket. All 3 were so very nice to talk to, and were the kindest folks I've ever met. How many relative strangers would loan someone $20 so they wouldn't have to pay an ATM fee, solely on the strength of being a seatmate at a sporting event?
I learned that they were from Saskatoon, and I found that the same plain-speaking, friendly attitude that is so much a part of my native area of Illinois is prevalent in much of Canada.
It's because of Trevor that I now proudly own an XM radio. He told me about all the hockey shows on XM, and I just had to get one. For the first time that I can remember I spent all my time listening and learning about hockey, and watched no football!!! Now for Dish Network, for Hockey Night in Canada................
One evening after a game I asked if they ever went anywhere after a game, and they invited me to join them at J.T's across from Honda Center. I've been going after every game since!! The fans I've met after the games there, no matter from what team, have been great people to talk to!
During an intermission one night, I got into a discussion with a young man and his dad, and again, began asking a great number of questions. The two not only answered my questions (again!!), but have now become friends as well.
Just in the short time I've been going to games, I have become friends with so many wonderful people. It's been amazing to learn so much from people so willing to tell you anything to want to know. It seems that hockey fans are always willing to discuss their favorite sport, and to teach anyone who wants to learn.
How many times to we go to events on a regular basis, and never meet the people sitting near us? Hockey fans don't seem to have that problem.
There are now about 16 members of what we jokingly call the "201 Mafia". Nikki, Chris, Trevor, Ed, Iris, Chris, Dot, Susan, Nate, Phil, Barbie (and her friend; forgive me for forgetting a name right now), John, Diane and the rotating couples that sit to my left (too many to remember) have all become very important members of my journey through this life, and have helped me enjoy the greatest game in the world even more.
After Game 5 we all hugged, and promised to meet again when the next pre-season starts. Some of us have each others email addresses, and will be corresponding over the off -season.
I truly look forward to seeing these wonderful hockey fans/friends just as much as I do my dear Anaheim Ducks!!!
Until next time.........................