I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out

“I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.”
-Rodney Dangerfield

So, I went to the Vancouver Giants game last night. First off, early on in the game Garet Hunt of the Giants skated directly into the boards at full speed. It seemed like he was trying to hit a guy on the other team, but he fully missed him by at least a foot. We were all like “wtf was he trying to do?” How embarassing! Even more embarassing, he actually broke a leg and will be out for the foreseeable future. And one thing I really don’t understand is why, when a player gets hurt on the ice, the crowd starts cheering when they get the player onto the stretcher. I mean, yes, we are glad that he is getting medical attention. But are we applauding this guy for missing the hit? For breaking his own leg? Or perhaps we are applauding the work of paramedics. I really don’t know.

Also strange at Vancouver Giants games are the prizes they give out to fans. When they start to give out the prizes, you really know you aren’t attending a game at the highest level of professional sports. For example, one time at a Toronto Blue Jays game, Sarah won a fax machine. That’s what you win in the big leagues. At the Giants game, you can win a box filled with bags of potato chips. Or a bag of peanuts, which go to the best dancer in the “lucky section” of the game. Dance for your peanuts, monkey, dance!! Or, at the end of the game, they give out the leftover White Spot* burgers from the concession stands. Free meat!!

The strangest giveaway I have yet seen though (and I’ve been to a few Giants games this season) was a special event – the Dash for Cash. They dumped 15,000 loonies on the ice and 30 “lucky fans” got some certain amount of time (like 30 seconds, or 60 seconds… I can’t remember) to grab as many loonies as they could carry. And as I stared down at these 30 people, down on their hands and knees, scrammbling to fit as many ice cold loonies into their shoes, their hats and, in one case, down their shirt, all I could think was “how degrading.” I mean, these people probably got $50, or maybe $100 at the most. But they just looked so pathetic! And the real kicker came at the end of the event, while the crowd was cheering for these 30 people, when the announcer said, “And now, all the remaining loonies will be swept up and donated to a charity for the homeless. So, not only did these people degrade themselves for $100, but they also took that $100 from people who could really have used that money. I mean, if you could afford to pay $20 to watch a hockey game, I’m sure you didn’t really need those loonies.

But back to the game – it was a very exciting one! The Giants and their opponents, the Kamloops Blazers, were tied for 1st in the BC Division going into the game, meaning that the winner would take over top spot. Which meant that the game was going to be intense. Which probably explains why, when the Giants were winning 5-1 in the third period, multiple simultaneous fights broke out. We are talking each of the 5 skaters on the Giants was in a fist fight with one of the 5 skaters on the Blazers. And you know the goalies were contemplating jumping into the action too. There weren’t enough refs/linesmen to monitor all the fights!

And amdist all this madness, all I could think was – why the hell did I, the person who brings her camera just about everywhere she goes, not bring my camera tonight?? It’s not often you get to see 5 simultaneous fights on the ice — it would have made a spectacular photo! And I had actually made a conscious decision not bring my camera. “I have pictures from other Giants games I’ve been to this year, ” I mused, “What could I possibly need more for? I don’t want to have to carry my camera around all night and my pockets are already full of gloves and hats and suchlike.” What also would have made a nice picture was the Giants bench at the end of the game – there were only 5 players left there (all the others having been kicked out of the game), and that included the back up goalie! Man, I’m never going to listen to my own reasoned arguments of why not to bring my camera with me ever again.

*Despite what the name sounds like, White Spot is not a segregationist club. It’s a restaurant chain in Western Canada. No one has yet been able to explain to me why the hell it is called White Spot. Also, despite the fact that Rob Feenie appears in their ads, White Spot is not the fancy dining establishment they claim to be… it really is glorified fast food.

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