Friday, March 9

Extreme Societal Juxtaposition

I've never been to a hockey game before. Sad I know. If I had known it would have been such an education in cultural diversity I would have done it a long time ago.

The good, the bad, and strangely ugly.

As I understand the purpose of this gathering is to watch padded men slap a frozen piece of rubber around with sticks, while gracefully gliding across frozen water to smash their opponents into the plexiglass. Sounds like a simply enough principle. But somehow that simple idea merits a massive event complex that seemed to me to be quite full. Due to the violent nature of the game I sadly assumed that the contents of the seats would be slightly less educated country dwellers accompanied by women who where there against their will. That was a gross miscalculation.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the game, it was the 17min break between periods that really peaked my interest. Dave and I circled the GEC soaking in all the wonderful sights and smells. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t gotten out much lately but I was surprised that the cultural diversity of the ticket holders. Dave explained the class based society of the stadium. The further away from the rink the less expensive the tickets are. Reversely the energy level starts near the roof and bottoms out by the glass. Those who are truly committed tend not to have the money and those with money are “Too cool for school.” The only exception being the boxes in the middle. Those are the suited people who had there own “club level” around the outside that the steerage couldn’t get to. Sort of the Bourgeoisie plateaus looking down on the proletariat masses. Or at least that’s how it felt.

The juxtaposition of the people seemed to cover nearly every contingent.

  • Young | Old
  • Fat men in ugly jerseys | slim business men in suits
  • Women | men (strangely in almost equal numbers)
  • Those intensely passionate about “their” team | the casual onlooker.
  • The “too cool for school” crowd | that guy who ripped off his shirt because the camera was on him.
  • Half naked cheerleaders | little kids in head to toe winter gear.
  • Infants strapped onto dad | A very old man that looked like Willie Nelson with a young female on either arm.
  • Wood sticks slapping rubber | the latest HD cameras broadcasting that action all over the world.

Love and/or Money
Somehow the love of this sport drives people to spend way more money for simple services. I assume the bean counters behind this operation have to bury the massive overhead in the food prices. But $9 for nachos?! That’s worse than friggin Disney world. But for some reason after the second quarter I found my self getting a massive Mountain Dew and a bag of Twizzlers. I guess somehow the excitement in the air allowed my normally money conscious mind to justify buying the equivalent of three bags of groceries.

Over all I had a wonderful time. I’m not sure I would go back a repeated basis.

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