Through an odd alliance at the office, I was given a ticket to tonight’s Rangers game against the Penguins at Madison Square Garden. (The last time I’d been in the Garden? The Millrose Games!)
I haven’t seen a live hockey game since I was in the single digits and the NY Islanders were winning Stanley Cup after Cup. Mom and Dad took me and Brother to a game at Nassau Colliseum, which was A Big Deal. I remember being riveted, cheering my lungs out (for the Islanders, natch). That memory induced me to accept the ticket–that, and the tantalizing possibility of blood on the ice. Yes, I just wanted to see the gloves come off. MMA chilled, if you will.
Whoa. Rangers fans are really dedicated! And they all dress alike–hockey jersey and jeans. No variation on the theme. White guy, white guy, white guy, white lady, white guy, white guy. A lot of ’em look like they’ve taken a frying pan to the face one too many times, too. I am not being judgemental–I’m just used to the suits who come to baseball games on summer nights.
Being a hockey novice, I had no idea of the rules and never understood why they were booing and shouting things like, “Fuck this!” I was determined to catch on, because I too wanted to contextually yell “Fuck this!” in public. Alas, it all moved entirely too quickly for me, so I mostly gave up trying to follow the game and instead paid attention only to see when and if a fight would break out. At one point in the third period it looked like there might be a skirmish, so I shouted “Smash him! Push him! Kick him!” but to no avail. The Pens won, and the Rangers fans drooped out of the arena. Me? I drooped out because I missed the Zamboni.