I'm sitting in the stands, because who the hell stands if there are seats free right in front of them, thinking to myself: "a period is 20 minutes long? Wait, how many are there? Is hockey the one with three innings-sections-parts to it? Yeah, its gotta be.... Should I get a hot dog or an Italian beef?... Why do I know the name Tony Esposito?...Yeah I'll get the Italian beef."
It isn't that I hate hockey or don't like sports necessarily. I'm from Texas so hockey didn't come up as often in conversation as that golden calf we call "football." High school, college, professional, whatever level it was, if it was football, it was discussed. But not by me. I didn't play, didn't want to play, and didn't really care. I asked loudly "who's Tom Landry?" while in a grocery store, and I think about half the men there wanted to kick my ass on principle. I just went a different path in my interests is all. While my peers built up rosters and stats in their memories I pursued the subjects that interested me the most: academics, drawing, self love, reading and playing video games for example.
As I grew up I came to associate sports participants and fans with the moronic sacks of flesh that paraded around the halls of school to the confounding (to me anyways) adoration of the less imaginative. I just didn't get it. Until I moved to Chicago.
Something about this city is just infectious when it comes to sports. My first year here the Sox had their parade for winning the world series. I lived near Wrigley and witnessed the congestion caused by the mobs of blue clad fans. Memories of Michael Jordan commercials resurfaced to my mind. This is just a sports town. Despite my efforts to fight it, I was drawn in. I'll never remember the stats or the the full rosters but I recognize names. I actually knew most of the sports teams when the Hot Wheels (a die hard sports nut) quizzed me by city. I think I'm getting it. There is some kind of pride found in your team making it, some concerned support when they don't, and just the camaraderie of those who agree with you is surprisingly nice.
I've gone to baseball games, more every year. But I'd never, NEVER, been to a hockey game, and I took the chance to finally go to one. It was damn fun. I don't exactly understand why Tony Esposito was there since they retired his jersey in the early 80s, but I chanted with the rest. I may not have been as enthusiastic with the high fives and the ass patting going on around me (no means no Asshole), but any chance to make fun of funny sounding names and boo strangers from a safe distance (no throat slicing for me please) shouldn't be passed up.
CUBS!! Check. Sox. Check. Blackhawks. Check.
Next up: Bulls and Bears with maybe a smack of Fire added.