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For those who have not read my work or listened to my podcast, “The Real Deal with Damian Adams”, I am a huge sports fan who grew up in Marrero, Louisiana, a town right outside of New Orleans. I love basketball, football and boxing. I have been to several football and basketball games, plus a few baseball games and boxing events.
Growing up in Louisiana and not seeing many people who looked like me on the ice (I’m African-American), lead to me not having any interest in hockey. Louisiana does not have a professional hockey team, I vaguely remember a minor league team named the New Orleans Brass from when I was young.
So with no exposure to hockey when I was younger as I grew older, I would only watch bits and pieces of hockey games. My curiosity started to grow more and more when I was in the Navy and worked with a few passionate hockey fans.
The excitement they had for their Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings really peaked my interest but I never had anyone to teach me the game or really get me into it. Now that I live in the Phoenix area with a roommate who loves the Phoenix Coyotes, the time was perfect for me to learn about hockey and maybe even become a fan.
Since I never had a hockey team to root for I decided the Phoenix Coyotes are going to be my hockey team. I was able to get some tickets to see the Detroit Red Wings vs. Phoenix Coyotes. My roommate and I got to sit down in the lower level during warm-ups and to see the speed of the pucks flying and hear the pucks bang off the glass was incredible.
You can say that hockey had me at hello. I probably annoyed my roommate til no end with all my questions. What is icing? What is off-sides? Why do the teams sub the players out so much? I learned the answer to those questions and so much more.
- I learned that hip-hop rules the world, 80% of the music played during the game was hip-hop, which surprised me
- There are no bench warmers, the fast paced, non-stop action causes for constant substitutions
- Detroit Red Wing fans either travel really well or a lot of them live in Arizona, the arena had more Red Wing fans than Coyote fans
The first period was nerve wrecking as the Phoenix Coyotes controlled the puck for most of the time but could not capitalize as they missed shot after shot. Midway through the first period, I was deeply indulged gasping and yelling as the Coyotes missed opportunity after opportunity.
The second period started much like the first period with Phoenix controlling the puck and keeping the Red Wings on their heels. Then on a rebound, the Coyotes scored the first goal and the fans went crazy, including myself.
Seems like that goal woke Detroit up as they started to control the puck more and came back with a goal. You can feel the momentum shift in the arena as the Red Wing fans cheered.
The teams would alternate goals again during the period and then a fight broke out. I was already satisfied with this constant action and roller coaster of emotions then on top of all this, a fight broke out. My roommate excitedly showed me how the Coyote player was able to win the fight because of his jersey grabbing technique.
The third period seemed different as Detroit controlled the game more and scored a short-handed goal. You can hear the arena gasp as I learned allowing a short-handed goal is a big no-no in hockey.
Hockey fans are really in tune with the game, you can tell what’s going on by just watching the fans’ emotions. Detroit scored another goal as Phoenix removed their goalie in a last ditch effort to tie the game before regulation ended.
Even though my newly adopted Phoenix Coyotes lost 4-2, I had a blast learning the game and watching it with knowledgeable fans. Hockey got a new fan in me.
If you ever get a chance to go to a hockey game, go!! It doesn’t matter if your a white dude from Boston or a black dude from Louisiana, non-stop action is enjoyed throughout cultures and hockey provides that. It is definitely safe to say my first hockey game will not be my last.