Five for Fighting

Posted by on April 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm :: 5 Comments

Jason and I attended a Utah Grizzlies hockey game on Saturday. Although I have been to an Olympic hockey match, this was my first time at a professional hockey game and honestly, it was a bit of a shock to me.

Everyone knows that hockey is a pretty violent sport. Players get slammed into the plexiglass, high-sticked occasionally, and shoved on the ground; that I expected to see. However, I wasn’t counting on all the team brawling and fist fights. Yeah, really, fist fights.

So yes, the game was much more viscous than I anticipated. I was amazed at just how many times play was stopped abruptly due to players randomly deciding to pound each other. These sudden violent exchanges seemed to quickly escalate into team affairs. If two guys started quarreling the other players usually swarmed around them ready to jump in, and often did. On several occasions the ice was littered with dozens of gloves and various forms of padding, which players had removed in order to better get in on the action. I frequently had to remind myself that I was actually at a hockey game and not the WWE on ice.

But the players weren’t the only ones ready to battle; anytime there was even an incline of a confrontation the crowd was immediately on its feet chanting “Fight, fight, fight!” It felt like junior high all over again.

I completely forgot to take my camera to the game so this is the only visual for this post.

I completely forgot to take my camera to the game so this will have to be the only visual for this post. One of the Grizzlies threw this puck to me. He looked directly at me and tossed it lightly over the divider right into my hands. I was too excited to notice which player he was and I can't decipher his initials. So, if any of you have a clue who I should thank for my awesome puck, I would be thrilled to know.

Jason and I were seated on the second row directly adjacent to the penalty box, so we were in a prime location to catch all the cross-team banter. (The comments we heard will not be repeated here because they were deemed inappropriate for small children, left-handed monkeys, and your mom.) We were also in a perfect spot to hear all the crowd heckling directed at the opposing teammates unfortunate enough to end up in the penalty box (also not repeatable). All this rampaging seemed a bit over the top to me and I contemplated the possibility that I had somehow entered a parallel hick universe. What was with all these people? I seemed to be the only one in the arena that felt anything akin to sympathy for the players that got thrashed. (If you find my sensitivity laughable, you are not alone. Jason got a kick out of it too.) But while the fighting was a bit too brutal and testosterone fueled for my taste, I did enjoy the actual playing. The Grizzlies played a great fast-paced game and pulled off a landslide victory, with a final score of 5 to 2. This was the last game of their regular season but they clinched a spot in the playoffs, which will begin on the 10th. Jason and I plan on catching one of their playoff games. If you enjoy bloodthirsty crowds, mean slap-shots, padded men hitting each other at unpredictable intervals, or perhaps just padded men in general, then you might want to check out one of their playoff games as well.

5 Comments

  • Sue Sabin says:

    Holy cow. It sounds like you guys had fun and I love the fact that you caught a Utah Grizzlies puck without padded gloves.

  • Rachel says:

    It was surprisingly easy to catch. Probably because the guy that tossed it to me threw it very lightly. He must have known that I was a wimp. 🙂

  • Der says:

    clenched the playoff spot… so they gripped the playoff spot tightly. Are you sure they didn’t clinch the playoff spot.

    Come on now Rachel, I expected better from you of all people.

  • Rachel says:

    You are absolutely right. I expect nothing less than perfection from myself. Oh how the mighty have fallen!!! I have already remedied the situation though. The “e’ has been changed to an “i”. Now everyone knows that they secured a playoff spot and did not compress one.

  • Der says:

    ya come on it isn’t like how greg clenches… er something, but of course greg also secures the same thing

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