Thursday 22 November 2012

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Hockey - It's Not For Preschool Teachers

A few days ago I was complaining about needing a date with my wife. This weekend we got that chance, and after a quick dinner it was decided that our evening out was going to be spent at a Westside Warriors game. The Warriors are our local Junior A hockey team, one tier level (but two price levels) below the Kelowna Rockets, and with the NHL still in lockout, I saw it as an easy way to get in a little live sporting action without spending a whole lot of money.

Westside Warriors fans

Lori sees live sports a little differently though. If you don't know, Lori is a preschool teacher, and thus from 9 to 3 each day she lives in a slightly different world than the rest of us. I know she can't help it, but whenever we go to hockey games, Lori doesn't see hockey players on the ice. She sees (really big) preschoolers, and once her teaching instincts kick in, it can make the game a little uncomfortable for those sitting around her...and of course by "those sitting around her", I mean me. Here's the biggest problems with taking a preschool teacher to a hockey game:

#1 - They're overly concerned about the kids in the crowd
Most kids are happy to let their parents buy the tickets to get them into the hockey games - they just don't want to sit with their parents once they're in. At the Warriors game, the balcony behind the net is a congregating point for the younger kids, and thus a magnet for Lori's attention. No matter what is happening on the ice, my game is interrupted by a steady stream of "Why aren't they sitting in their seats? Aren't they here with their parents? Why is he throwing popcorn at that girl? They shouldn't be playing with their food. It's not snack time!"

Warriors Spruce Kings hockey

#2 - They don't use sports terminology
I've been a sports fan as long as I can remember, so I don't necessarily expect Lori to be on the same level as me when it comes to talking about the game. I would, however, like to get a couple of the basics down. They're passing the puck - not sharing it, and the player got a penalty for tripping - not a time-out to think about how he could be a better friend.

hockey players west kelowna warriors

#3 - They notice the strangest things
When I watch a hockey game, I focus on things like offensive formations or a neutral zone trap defence. Lori notices different things. At the beginning of the second period she leaned over to me and said "Have you noticed that the #83 referee always skates to the music?" I missed almost the entire period while I was watching the linesman skate around after that, and yes, he does in fact keep the beat while doing his job.

BCJHL referee hockey

#4 - They don't like fights
They may be trying to limit the fighting in hockey, but it's still one of the most popular parts of the game. Whenever the gloves are dropped, the entire crowd leaps to it's feet and starts to roar it's approval. This is not the moment that you want to be sitting beside the woman screaming "Use your words!"

Royal LePage place hockey arena

#5 - They're not really concerned with winning and losing
So your team lost, and not just by a little. They got completely blown out and all you want to do is vent about what a bum that goalie was, or how the coach should be run out of town after preparing his team like that. You won't get any sympathy from your preschool teacher date though. Instead, you'll hear a barrage of things like "I'm sure they all did their best" or "It looked like everybody had fun". Good luck arguing with that kind of logic.

 Written by Steve Pratt