Reluctantly, I went to my very first Mighty Ducks hockey game a couple of weeks ago. More specifically, it was my first hockey game ever. Our friends, Tim and Cathy, are season ticket holders and kindly invited Larry, my husband, and me.
Oh my! The pushing and shoving, the unsportsmanlike behavior, the spite exhibited to one Paul Kariya, the loud music, the teetering, future lawsuit-producing blimp from “Togo's”...all of it has bewitched me, body and soul. (Surely the first ever reference in a hockey story. Click here to fully appreciate irony.
My penchant for man-food, tolerance for stadium rock and love of organized chaos came together at The Honda Center that Friday night when the Might Ducks played the Saint Louis Whoevers.
I was instantly smitten with the game and equally enamored with the fans.
Poor, patient Tim had the misfortune of sitting next to me as I badgered him with question after question: "Where is the goalie?"
"Can they touch the ball with their hands?"
"What color are our guy's outfit?"
"Are they allowed to be so mean?"
"Is there really a Ruby's here?"
"Don't they shake hands with the losers at the end of the game?" To which the answer was, "only in the playoffs." Awesome!
In a world where political correctness has a free pass into our daily lives, it was refreshing to be where the woman sitting behind me with her kids could scream "rip his face off!" throughout the entire game, without the looming threat of someone calling CPS on her. I also loved that every time the Ducks scored, they would shine a spotlight on the disgraced goalie, deepening his shame. And score they did, five times. Which Tim told me on the way to the car was a lot for hockey--we were lucky. He then apologized there wasn't more fighting--you can't have everything, I suppose. Better luck next time.
Sometimes, living here, things seem so polished, perfect and pristine--like Trumanville. Hockey feels like the antithesis of refined--it felt primal. The Mighty Ducks: keepin' it real in Orange County. That should be their slogan.
I've also hounded Larry nonstop to get us season tickets. I am pretty sure that's why he didn't take any of my calls today.
My change of heart toward hockey reminds me of when in a movie a character says something like, "There is absolutely no way I am going to France," and then they cut to him sitting in a cafe, wearing a beret, drinking a cappuccino, violin playing in the background, talking to Gérard Depardieu (link name to http://ensnaring.com/gerarddepardieu/. )That's me, first it was "Hockey? Really?" then cut to me at my next hockey game, waving a big foam finger, eating a piece of First Class Pizza and screaming, "Rip his face off!"