Apparently I’m Violent

I got to go to another hockey game on Monday. Sharks v. Kings. This time Ray couldn’t go, so I got to sit with Nicky, and Charlotte sat in her own seat. I’m starting to enjoy the game more now that I have a better understanding of what is going on on the ice. It was fun before because it is fun to watch, and easy to get caught up in the excitement of the crowd, but being able to follow what is going on makes it better. I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on the penalties now, and I can follow the action better. There is still plenty of “why is he doing that?” but I think it’s a little less basic now.
I saw another fight (cool!), saw a guy take a puck to the face (scary!), and experienced my first hat trick (“Nicky? Why are they throwing hats?”). We also had these really annoying guys sitting behind us that kept yelling at the Sharks to “Hit Somebody! Anybody! Just Hit ‘Em!!”. After the hat trick, there were a few guys who were still wearing their hats, and the guy behind me said to his friend, “Anyone in this arena still wearing their hat is a pussy.” They were a class act, those two. Also behind us was “the little Cheechoo girl”, who sounded about 14, and everytime somebody missed a shot she’d yell “Put Cheechoo in!” because apparently he isn’t allowed to rest and no one else is allowed to play.
Charlotte had warned Nicky that I think it’s funny when players “crash into the walls” which I have since learned is called “hitting the boards”. And I do so love it when they do that. It’s just funny. But Nicky was unprepared for just how funny I find it. During the 3rd period, they show a clip montage on the jumbotron of guys crashing into each other, during which I giggled nonstop. That, combined with how entertained I was by the earlier Scott Thrornton/Tim Gleason fight, made her turn to me and say, “You’re a violent little thing, aren’t you?” She’s not used to sitting next to someone who giggles like a maniac during that montage.
Thing is though, I don’t think I realized until later that night what is actually happening when they hit the boards. Because when you don’t know the game, but you have been ice skating, it looks like they just can’t stop or turn in time and so they run into the wall. And since far too many years of America’s Funniest Home Videos have taught us that when people fall down and/or crash into things it is funny, is there any reaction to that but to laugh? I didn’t think so. But then I figured out that it’s actually guys hitting each other on purpose, to keep them away from the game play and away from the puck. It’s still funny, but at least now I know it serves some purpose in the game.