That’s just one of the phrases we heard a lot last Thursday night at the Canucks vs Flames game. Another was, “Get off the ice Wellwood!” I don’t know who Bertuzzi or Wellwood are, but they don’t seem to be well liked by the guys sitting behind us, even though they’re on different teams.
Going to a hockey game was a fantastic cultural experience. All the small differences are barely noticeable to us now, but that night I really felt like I was in a different country! Everything was so foreign and wondrous; we sat wide-eyed with big stupid grins on our faces.
As we sat down in our (Row 9!) seats I decided since I knew nothing about this game*, I should wipe my mind clean and not assume anything. I did this so well that I forgot basic rules of spelling: when a player was sent off for 2 mins for hooking, I turned to Burfit and asked innocently, “What’s hoo-king?” He laughed at me. But I got my own back when, after a fight broke out, Burfit looked up at the screen and said, “Oh, he got a ‘C’ for that performance”. The ‘C’ was the big Calgary logo, so I laughed at him.
Since we’re not sporting types, it was odd trying to figure out how to behave as part of a big crowd of hockey fans. Almost everyone there bought beer, pizza or hot dogs before/during the game so we figured – since we got the tickets for free (thanks Faye!) – we’d spend a bit of pocket money on a drink, a chocolate bar, and a huge pretzel. Despite our food purchases making us feel more normal, I’m sure we really stuck out. But we tried our best by shouting “Go Canucks Go!” at the appropriate times in our best Canadian accents and standing up and hugging and cheering when our team scored.
Anyway, we ended up losing to Calgary 3:4, so 97% of the crowd left the stadium feeling deflated.
We left almost as excited as we’d arrived. It was a really fun night out!
*Not quite true. I know that puck in goal = 1 point. And play nicely or you’ll get sent off. But that’s about it.