Sixth Man: Men’s Hockey

The second-best men's ice sport, after figure skating

This Brunonian is participating in one of the alleged “Big Four” sports

There are several people in this world, possibly even a few in this country, who care about hockey. I am not one of those people. My feeling is that it’s a little hypocritical for the general American attitude to be like “soccer sucks, no one ever scores and it’s too European,” and simultaneously be like “hockey rocks, no one ever scores and it’s adorably Canadian.” So last night’s Brown hockey game vs. #9 Yale was only my second-ever hockey experience.

I showed up with my friend (as you can see, I want you to know that I have friends–three at least, and that’s not even counting the guy I met last week in the Ratty!) at the beginning of the second period. The score was already 1-0 Brown when we walked in, but more importantly, there was a free raffle for an iPad Mini open only to freshmen, and only about ten people had entered it. One period later, the score was still 1-0, and some other asshole won the iPad Mini. After that, I was a little unsure why I was still at the game.

Nevertheless, I was able to collect some fairly amusing minutiae from the Meehan Auditorium experience:

1. The rink (stadium? arena? hockeydome?) is about ten times too big for the crowd it has to support. The size made a little more sense to me when I found out that we were hosting the NCAA tournament here, and then it un-made sense when I found out that event was happening at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (which I suspect will suffer from a similarly awkward inability to fill a decent fraction of the seats).

2. At the period break, they bring out the Zamboni guy, whose name is apparently Hermano, and I guess you are supposed to cheer since they announce his name like he’s Barack Obama and play a scoreboard graphic that says “Hermano!!!” with flames and shit around it, but no one does. (By the way, there are three periods, which basically means there are two halftimes, which in turn means that the entire game takes way longer than it should have to.)

3. When the players come back out after the period break, they play this classic sports game song to get you pumped up, while simultaneously displaying a scoreboard graphic that says “This is a smoke-free facility” along with a no-smoking sign, which I found to be an absolutely hilarious combination. I recommend listening to the song while you read the rest of this post to mask the fact that this is otherwise kind of boring to read obtain the full effect.

As for the actual hockey being played, I know almost nothing. In fact, here is a complete list of my hockey vocabulary: puck, stick, goal, face-off, power play, icing, large men ice skating, touchdown, home run, sports. Of that list, I don’t really know what icing is, and the last three or four are obviously not hockey terms. I found out something appalling from my more hockey-knowledgeable friend, though (for the record, what I’m about to complain about wasn’t technically at all relevant in this particular game)–apparently, if you get a penalty and go to the penalty box for x amount of time, and then the other team scores a goal, you’re off the hook and can go back in, no matter how much time is left in the power play.

BULLSHIT. If I try to kill someone but instead the guy falls into a coma and they send me to jail, and then the guy recovers, should they let me back out?! I could rewrite the rules to this sport and it would be way better, including that you have to stay in the penalty box for the length of your sentence. (Another complaint: why are the players allowed to catch the puck with their hands? This isn’t basketball, you cheaters.) In fact, I had a great idea for a sport I would like to watch: field hockey, but played on ice. I would pay to see us beat Yale at that.

Right, I should make that clear–we did beat Yale (1-0, which means I saw exactly zero goals be scored). I believe this is a pretty big victory, since Yale was #9 and we were #not-ranked. Also, another cool thing was that this was the only sport I’ve been to besides football where the university feels it’s important enough to pay to have names embroidered onto the back of the jerseys, and I was getting excited that Anne Hathaway might be on our team!

I'm a boss with Microsoft Paint.

She got buff.

I was later disappointed to find out that it wasn’t her, because especially with her new short haircut I was pretty sure I was looking right at America’s favorite non-deserving 2013 Oscar lock. Anyway, congrats to the Brown men, especially the kick-ass goalie Anthony Borelli ’13, on their awesome victory, and make sure to check out Senior Night on March 2nd against Colgate (these games are actually pretty fun, I swear).

P.S. Brown men’s basketball has its first homestand since Winter Break this weekend against Columbia (Friday 7 p.m.) and Cornell (Saturday 6 .p.m) if you’re interested, which you should be. Sports!

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