April 19, 2011

I interrupt the story of my life to talk a little hockey. My love of hockey started when the Phoenix Coyotes moved to Arizona in 1996. My husband wanted to get season tickets so we split them three ways that first year. He grew up watching hockey back east and liked the game. He was even at the 1980 Olympic pre-game against the Soviets. (The one USA lost like 8-1) Anyway, I remember going to our 1st pre-season game and thinking “Cool-its a lot like soccer but faster.” The following year we split the season tickets with one other person and in year 3, they were all ours! I was hooked. The Phoenix Coyotes are my team. Right now we are battling the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs and are down 3-0. I guess that’s why hockey is on my mind.

I never really ice skated growing up. I remember going a couple of times but could never stay on my feet and it was way too cold. I don’t remember following hockey at all. The Washington Capitals were the closest NHL team to Baltimore. We did have the Skipjacks, a minor league team. I had heard of Wayne Gretzky. But that was the extent of my knowledge. My family were basketball fans

D and I at a hockey game this season

and I used to watch basketball every night of the week. I loved the Maryland Terps. I loved Michael Jordan. I loved the Phoenix Suns. Over time, I grew tired of basketball and I haven’t watched a full game all year. My passion was now hockey.

Why hockey? Its fast, its tough. Guys stick up for one another. There is nothing like the elation when a goal is scored and deflation when the opponent scores. There is no I in team in hockey. Guys deflect credit EVERY time they are interviewed. There is a captain and it means something. There is a guy standing in the net willing to stop a puck traveling 100mph. There is another guy willing to block that same puck by laying out on the ice. There is beer and soft pretzel rods and macho nachos. There is high fiving with strangers and getting to know the season ticket holders who sit next to you 41 nights a year.

So who knows what might happen tomorrow night at the game? We may get beat again, we may win and send it to game 5 in Detroit. We may come back and win 4 straight for the biggest comeback in sports. What I do know, is that the ride I have enjoyed for 15 years might be over tomorrow night and that makes me really sad. There is talk of moving the team back to Winnipeg. Hockey in the desert is a tough sell. We have been through a few different owners that have lost a lot of money. We thought it was all resolved but it’s dragged on and now they are a lot of rumors. But for those of us who love the Coyotes, it has been an awesome ride. Please stay, work this deal out. Hockey can work in the desert and this team and its fans deserve a good owner who is willing to try to win a Stanley Cup!


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