I’m actually not all that new to the hockey universe. Not only can I boast an impressive Chuck E Cheese’s air hockey repertoire, but I can also say that I have seen the Los Angeles Kings play at the Staples Center. Sadly, my memory of that day has since faded, especially considering that I was nine years old and much more interested in Bratz than in sports at the time. In all honesty, I was unamused, and it was baffling for me to think that any California native would willingly choose to immerse him/herself in such a cold environment (…) Last Friday, however, I attended my first college hockey game: Brown vs. Yale. It was vicious and exhilarating, and I’m pretty sure my voice is now one octave lower and the only food I should be eating is Powerful Yogurt. It was pretty spectacular, but here are a few things you should be aware of before attending your first hockey game:
You’ll want to eat all the food.
The smell of stadium food really hits the spot. From butter-soaked popcorn to hot dogs of questionable-sausage-authenticity, you’ll be able to get your game day fix for a reasonable price! Just kidding, the prices suck. Granted, as a college student I believe that anything requiring money sucks, so I may be biased. It won’t matter if you just ate your weight’s worth in Ratty vegan rice, you’ll want to stuff your face with food á la medieval times.
Stay warm, but fresh to death.
Considering how it sometimes gets down into the negatives with the wind chill this time of year, it won’t be as cold inside as it is outside. Still, you’ll want to stay warm, but don’t plan on wearing your hefty winter coat all the time. It will make it too hard for you to jump up and down and wave your arms around like a maniac when your team scores. So go with a thick-but-comfy sweater underneath, a hat, and a scarf. Bonus points for repping your Brown gear! Remember that a full-fledged bear costume is always acceptable.
Hearty man sandwiches.
I’m not even sure I know what this title means, but it’s provocative. All I can say is that if you like seeing big, robust men violently collide with one another, this is the sport for you!
Little kids are (temporarily) adorable.
At a hockey game you can expect to see many younglings on either side, wearing the most adorable oversized college attire and being their usual boisterous selves. It’ll warm your heart and make you all ooey-gooey inside, but be warned, for this feeling is short-lived. After a while, their incoherent chanting and spastic movements will drive you nuts. Sure, you’ll smile and giggle because public baby-shaming is generally frowned upon, but just trust me when I say that not all small children are bundles of joy.
Beware of enemy territory.
Whether you go alone or with friends, make sure to find seats that are situated amongst your kin. You will feel terribly awkward if you find yourself surrounded by the opposing team’s peeps (especially if they’re family members or vociferous middle-aged fans). If you do find yourself in this awkward position, you can either: a) quietly relocate whilst trying to stumble on as little people as possible, b) brave the storm and try not to make eye contact, or c) not give a shit and compose elaborate chants in your head for when the opposing team fails miserably.
Hockey players are gladiators slash ice princesses.
The hockey rink is a testosterone-ridden place, and a hockey game is first and foremost a display of might and agility. Of course, sometimes it can get silly when the players begin to look like they’re literally squatting like it’s CrossFit. It’s undeniable, however, that these players carry the grace of a ballerina. Seriously, it’s mesmerizing to watch how swiftly they move across the ice. Overheard behind me: “HE’S SO NIMBLE I CAN’T TAKE IT!”
It’s ok to check out the opposing team’s players.
We all do it. It’s perfectly normal. You’ll feel dirty and ashamed, but hey, we can’t help it if they have phenomenal butts. Also, was that Yalie in the audience wearing an Armani suit? Most likely.