Happy Birthday, Dan!
Dan was getting older – I thought that we ought to go out and have some fun before his health declined and we’d need to get him a walker and a hearing aid. So I made arrangements with Carolyn and Peter to go to the Sharks vs. Flames game in San Jose on his birthday. Since many of my family and friends have never been to a “real” hockey game, I thought I’d try to catch the excitement and entertainment that one provides.
November 13, 2008
The night started out with us missing (once again) the first face off of the game. Someday I’ll find out what the beginning of a hockey game is like, but the upside to not knowing is that we get in after the mad rush of fans have crammed themselves through the aisles. We hadn’t missed too much, apparently, as the game was still 0-0 and no one was in the penalty box. The Calgary Flames fans were frighteningly outnumbered, with approximately 14 red Flames jerseys visible among the 17,450 teal-clad Sharks fans. It was a sea of teal!
It should be noted that the San Jose Sharks have a shark (“Sharkie”) as their mascot. Yes, I realize that the name is the epitome of cleverness, but at least Sharkie is cute. Sharkie is also a bit “loose”, as his affections can be bought for a small fee. If a certain girlfriend hadn’t procrastinated, she could have arranged to have Sharkie visit the Birthday Boy in his seat, ply him with gifts, and pose for photos as Sharkie put his massive tooth-filled mouth over the Birthday Boy’s head. But she had waited too long and Sharkie’s dance card was full. Eh, Dan is shy and probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway.
As fortune would have it, one of Sharkie’s floozies for the night was located just a couple of rows above us. After we watched him perform his Birthday antics, my good friend Carolyn snagged him as he walked by. She whispered (or rather, yelled; we were at a hockey game after all) into his mouth and pointed at the Birthday Boy. But wait! What was that? The Sharks scored!!! The crowd went wild, Sharkie did his Sharkie dance and then, surprisingly, came back and bit Dan’s head. Ha! Dan loved it, too!
Dan and I
Sharkie and the “other” birthday person
Oh my! It’s Sharkie!
Biting the Birthday Boy
Ok, so the personal excitement was over. Now it was time to really watch the game. I was disappointed in the skating of the Flames. I guess I stereotyped the Canadian team as being “natural hockey players”, being from Canada and all. But instead, they got trounced. San Jose had control of the rink for just about the entire game, letting the Flames sneak in only one goal to the Sharks’ six. Ouch!
Action down on the ice
During the periods and before the Zambonis come out there were silly little games played with audience members. One of tonight’s games was lawn tractor racing around the rink. Amusing, to say the least. There are also helium-filled sharks remotely guided around the stadium and of course, the Zambonis themselves.
Celebrating another goal
Sharks patrolling the air during resurfacing
This is Sharks Territory!
Zambonis resurfacing the ice for the next period
Over 17,496 people in attendance!
The final score on the jumbo-tron
So all in all it was a great night. And just to make sure that the night ended in classic hockey style, a fight broke out with exactly 1.9 SECONDS left in the game!