Lessons Learned from a Hockey Puck

Carl took me out on a date tonight, the first date we’ve had in ages. And we decided to go to a hockey game, something we’ve never done before. Our local team is the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders, and they were playing their rival from nearby Waterloo, the Black Hawks. They play in the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, which is next to Veterans Memorial Park (for baseball) and Kingston Stadium (for high school football and track). Lesson number one learned tonight: park as far away from the main crowd as possible so that you can get out easier. It’s worth the walk.

The inside of the Arena is pretty nice. They have two rinks: one for public use, and one for USHL hockey games. However, the seats were not made for tall people. Fortunately, the seats in front of us were vacant, so we were able to put our feet over the backs of those seats and stretch out a little. Lesson number two learned tonight: next time, get tickets for the center section, and higher up. It was a little hard to see the action sometimes. Not that there was much. The only goal scored came within 14 seconds of the start of the game, and Cedar Rapids didn’t get it. And there was only one fight. Oh, well.

I’m not sure about the NHL, but in this league, they play three 20 minute periods with 15 minute breaks in between. (As a woman, I dislike the use of the word “period” except when referring to punctuation.) They play six team members on the ice at a time, unless one of the players is sent to the penalty box. Then you’re down one. Lesson number three learned tonight: if one team has 5 members on the ice, and the other team has 6, the team with six is in what’s called a “power play”. There were several instances of Cedar Rapids being in the power play situation, but they could never take advantage of it. Again, oh well.

As is true of most sports teams, the Rough Riders have a mascot, a horse named Ricochet. I feel sorry for the poor soul who has to wear that costume. It is, without a doubt, the ugliest mascot costume I’ve ever seen. It’s supposed to be a grey horse, but it looks more like a jackass. I tried to ask him if I’d seen him on TV at the Democrat National Convention, but he couldn’t hear me. But the audience around me got a good laugh out of it.

But all in all, we really had a nice time. I found myself being drawn more and more into the game, and came away with a desire to go back and watch another game sometime. Carl, soft hearted daddy that he is, bought game souvenirs for the girls since they were at a sitter’s. He got them an “official” game puck and a cowbell. Half the crowd had cowbells (in their hands, not around their necks) so I guess this is a big deal for hockey fans. Whatever. My souvenir was a night out with my hubby: just him, me, and 3000 raving hockey fans. I loved it!

Thanks, honey.

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