Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Florida Wrap Up: Ice Hockey

As some or all of you may know, I am now in Costa Rica! I'll be blogging about this shortly but thought I'd better get the last of the Florida posts out of the way... which I have let build up a bit.

A few weeks ago I went to an ice hockey game with some American friends. I was stoked to go because sports are so big in America as is team pride. Basically, as long as I was wearing the right colour T shirt I could scream and be obnoxious and everyone would be happy with me - I don't often get this opportunity.

So we drove up to Tampa in the morning and spent the first half of the day at the beach getting into the spirit of things by tossing around an American football and playing shuffle board. The latter is a game I'd never heard of which is kind of like people-sized air hockey.

After attaining a sufficient level of competitiveness we headed back into Tampa for the actual game.
Lightning in the courtyard for the Tampa Lightning

Some of the fans clothing, blue = Lightning fans
 We got into the spirit of things with some shirts provided by Sean (far right) who is a Philadelphia Flyers fan. We were outnumbered however as it was a game against the Tampa Lightning.
Team Spirit!
 I got a tad confused about which team I was supporting and got a photo with the Lightning cheerleaders.
Wrong Team Spirit!
 We took our seats as the teams were finishing their warm ups.
 There was a freaking organ which was used to announce exciting things like the Lightning scoring and the players coming on. As the away team we weren't treated to as much organ music.
 During half time I also managed to meet the organist whilst trying to get a photo of the opposing teams' shirts:
He was a cool guy, German if I remember correctly, and one hell of an organist!

Once the teams were done with their warm ups some crazy patriotic lights began to show on the ice
And everyone stood for the national anthem.
Of course, this is the American national anthem. You know, the one I don't know the words to and had no idea I would be expected to sing. Luckily they displayed the words on the jumbotron in the centre and I bumbled my way through it.

After that it was time for the teams to take to the ice for the game. The Lightning, being the home team, got more cool lights, while the Flyers took the ice with much less fanfare.
 Then it was on. I was surprised by how into it I was given my usual apathy in relation to competitive sports. Even if I did clap in the wrong place a couple of times... I harassed Aaron and then Sean for details on what was happening until I graduated to watching on my own.

Hockey is played in three 20 minute periods and during one of the half times we indulged in that truly American tradition of food stalls at sports games. It wasn't quit the same as baseball or basketball which I imagine have more hot dogs (corn dogs for all you Americans) and chips. Here there was a lot more seafood. I was happy enough with that though and grabbed some buffalo shrimp, only just making up my mind in time to return for the second period.
Even with our rousing support the Flyers didn't quite manage to destroy the Lightning and we walked back to the car amidst some light hearted catcalls from blue-clad fans.

As my first American sporting experience I'd say it went pretty well!


  1. A corn dog is a hot dog!!?? I always wondered :) Now I feel so enlightened.

    1. Silly Eleanor! Yes, and an American hotdog is a hotdog. And then you get the distinctions between jello, jelly and jam!