One thing that I have noticed about any sport, and hockey in particular, is that the fans are divided, home team versus visiting team. It can be just as dangerous off ice as it is on ice. The stands, when the home team is nearing the goal, deafen the arena with a rush of screaming in all notes and pitches and can be remarkably silent when the opposition scores a sneaky yet legitimate goal past a wide-open net waiting gape, big enough to swallow a player or two. A few cheers from some unknown supporter quickly subside as heads turn in their general direction; that who could be so traitorous, you wonder?
The fans come in all ages and from everywhere in the province, it seemed at a recent multi-cultural event called the Whale Cup, a tourney where Inuit, Cree and non-Native collide together in the high-speed sport event. Come three o’clock in the morning, when dedicated fans just yawn instead of boo at the opposition and the score board indicates that both goalies have been sleeping for the last 20 goals scored against them garner yet more yawns, but hey, it’s a sport eh?
Speaking of dedicated fans, some strangers were in town to observe and cheer their home town team on for the five-day long event and wished to have their identities withheld for security and privacy reasons but only to known as the #1 Hockey Fan in Eeyou Istchee (you know who you are, you avid and rabid Reznotes reader you). As you know, fans come in all sizes, shapes, forms and ages and it seemed that the teams were made up in the same way, until I noticed that the varied categories included some ex-hockey players (doesn’t that mean you don’t play anymore, or are you separated from your team by age or are you really just another hockey nut?) for those who wish not to hang their skates up.
Broom ball, once the maven of women who wished hockey was a women’s sport and now it is, seems to be making a comeback with a show of force from the southern towns, forever reinforcing the fact that men and brooms just don’t seem to mix, on or off the ice. Perhaps the future broom will be replaced with a new fangled extension rod to prod in the ball from long distances and perhaps a little suction cup at the end to keep the ball close to the broom, but hey, it’s all for good fun isn’t it?
I don’t know, but the idea of someone batting around a ball with a broom just doesn’t sink in with your Mr. Machismo here. Perhaps broom ball should remain the domain of the better half, but, hey, it’s just my opinion.
All this excludes that old Scottish sport, where men wave brooms and knock rocks around, but hey, they invented whiskey and scotch, so they must know something or two about men’s sports besides kicking each other in the shins and running downhill full tilt (really, that’s the Scottish national sport).
But either way, hockey fans can borderline insanity, but hey, it’s just a sport, right?