This gift’s a goal!

Posted: January 17, 2017 in Personal
Tags: , , ,

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.

© janet m. webb 2017

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!!

© janet m. webb 2017

Pre-game warm-up

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.

© janet m. webb 2017

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.

© janet m. webb 2017

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!

© janet m. webb 2017

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!

© janet m. webb 2017



  1. Glad you had a dream come true. 🙂 These days large crowds paying thousands of dollars for a seat doesn’t exactly cause my pulse to quicken, but, hey, my age is showing just saying that in print. 🙂

    • For me, it’s the hockey, not the crowd and everything else, or in spite of the crowd and everything else. But I know what you mean. We’ve been to two other Blackhawks games since we’ve been here, but the tickets were given to my husband through business.


  2. You do sound passionate about the game and your team! I’ve only been passionate about the sports my children played/play. Outside of hiking and walking I’m not and never have been too sports minded.

    I’ve been to hockey games. We live in the home of the Sharks, and my daughter’s X plays hockey. I tried to photograph him playing once. They’re really quick on the ice!
    You did have a wonderful Christmas.

    I’ve also been to rock concerts, baseball, and football games, car racing though not NASCAR, the rodeo, bull-fighting, and have seen two shows on Broadway, and several in San Francisco, but I’d love to see Chicago or Cats live on Broadway.

    • I enjoy rodeo and have been to many. The same place that had the hockey when I grew up had rodeo and horse racing as well. I loved to see the horses at the track (stable-side) but never understood why it took so long between races. I didn’t realize people were betting. 🙂 I’ve done the rock concert thing (the Who in this same venue last year as a Christmas gift from the same daughter) and some shows as well. The Broadway show was way, way back, but we’ve been to several in Cleveland and Chicago.

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Glad y’all got to attend 🙂

  4. Laura says:

    Wow, what an amazing gift. I love your photos!

  5. joey says:

    When I was a kid, we frequently went to Indianapolis Checkers games, and then later, although not as often, Indianapolis Ice games. I always enjoyed them 🙂

  6. Dan Antion says:

    I don’t follow hockey very closely, but I grew up going to a couple of Penguins game each year, courtesy of a cousin who worked in the front office. The past past two tiems we;ve gone to Pittsburgh to see a football game, we’ve picked a weekend that the Pens are also playing. I know what you say about the noise, the cost and the lack of photos during the game. I think hockey is the loudest of all professional sports, and it’s so fast, you can’t think about photos, I do enjoy watching the Zambonis, I’ll have to check out those fun facts.

    • Nice way to combine two sports, Dan, and free tickets are the best! Hockey didn’t used to be so loud until everyone started doing the Chicago Bulls-style intros and rah-rah. As it’s indoors, the noise factor is higher, too. Still love the game, though.


  7. HonieBriggs says:

    What a lucky mom!

  8. doodletllc says:

    What a delightful post on such a fun evening. I was a big Islanders fan in college…not even sure they’re around now. Thanks for bringing us along. 🙂