Before Christmas, our younger daughter and I enjoyed her tasty gift of afternoon tea at Russian Tea Time. Sunday night, my husband and I enjoyed watching the Chicago Blackhawks live at the United Center, courtesy of our older daughter and one of my s-i-l’s, a gift that comes at literal high cost. Tickets are available only on the secondary market, often at twice the face value. How people can afford to take a family is beyond me.
What would you’d most like to see in person? A rock concert, NASCAR, the Kentucky Derby, a Formula One race, a professional football/basketball/baseball game? For me, it’s an NHL hockey game. I’ve been a hockey fan my entire life. I grew up watching the Omaha Knights, a farm team of the perennial powerhouse Montreal Canadians when there were only six NHL teams, NHL quality in a 5,000 seat arena. Can’t beat that! How blessed I was that my parents managed to have season tickets, even though we didn’t have a lot of money!!
Over 22,000 people pay for parking, buy jerseys, food, and drinks and the pre-game show is just that–a show. I’m not a fan of the noise level, not of the people yelling, but of the sound system. It’s a bit like being at a rock concert, although thankfully no music, etc. is allowed once the puck is dropped.
The Stanley Cup is the ultimate prize in the NHL and the Blackhawks have won it three times in the last six years. The team they played Sunday, the Minnesota Wild, is vying with the Hawks for first place in their division. I love living in a place where not only is team is good, but all their games are on television!! However, there’s nothing like being at an actual game. You can appreciate the speed and the stick-handling abilities of the players so much more in person. Fortunately, the game has gone past the time when fights were the draw. Anyone big enough can fight, but puck handling is a thing of beauty.
Between the periods (three total), the ice is cleaned by two Zamboni machines, which basically scrape off the top layer of ice scarred by the skates, cleans it, and spreads a thin layer of water behind the machine, creating the pristine, beautiful ice beloved by my husband. These fun facts about Zambonis are worth taking time to read. One was driven completely across Canada, taking approximately four months at 9 mph!
I wish I could show you some photos of the game, but once it started, I forgot all about taking pictures, being completely absorbed in the game. 🙂 Despite wearing my Blackhawks earrings and a Christmas-present Blackhawks shirt, the Hawks lost by one goal. No matter. I was in hockey heaven the entire time, even though we were only a bit over halfway to the top of the arena. How lucky I am to have been given two such perfect gifts in one Christmas!