Last night Hubby Bumpkin and I had the rare opportunity to attend an NHL game! (I feel shame for translating this, but that’s the National Hockey League, for anyone who doesn’t follow the sport… or does and still calls it ‘Ice’ Hockey).
Since the reinstatement of the team closest to us, getting your hands on a set of tickets has been near impossible, unless you are made of money, or know someone who is! 13,000 season tickets, sold in blocks of 3 or 5 years depending how close to the ice surface you are, sold out in less than a few seconds, and after remaining seats are snatched up by sponsors, players etc there are roughly 400-600 seats available for public purchase to each game!
Through some pretty crazy circumstances we were given 2 tickets to a game vs. Toronto Maple Leafs. Growing up in a ‘Habs Home’, TML are and always have been the enemy. However as an Original 6 team (one of the first 6 teams ever in the NHL) I was beyond thrilled to witness a live game between ‘Real Teams’ as Hubby Bumpkin likes to say! Better yet, close friends of ours also managed to get tickets and sat just across the ice from us after our dinner out together! The evening was destined to be a good time!
Our seats were in the lower bowl with a great view of the whole ice surface! It was perfect! The game was pretty evenly matched and the excitement of the crowd combined with all that loud noise had Baby Bumpkin jumping around inside my belly! We opened the scoring in the 2nd period, and screaming, cheering and lots of high fiving amongst complete strangers ensued!
There was one exception. Sitting in the row behind us were 3 pretty hard core Leafs fans. As best as we can figure from their very loud and less-than-sober conversations, they were originally from the East Coast (Newfies!) and flew in for the game from out West where they worked on the oil rigs. These were some big boys in jerseys and adorable blue wigs, they were having a great time, and aside from getting a warning from an usher regarding their foul language, were pretty harmless cheering on their team in the opposition’s rink! A brave endeavor!
When the game ended in a loss for the home team, the little (meaning small in stature, everyone involved were adults) boys sitting next to Hubby Bumpkin got a little lippy with the big boys behind. Now I’m no expert. I’ve been in all of ZERO fist fights outside of some scraps with my brothers growing up… but normally I’d think it’s not very wise to pick a fight when you are A. Smaller B. Outnumbered and C. The other guys have ‘high ground’…. It was made very clear that my ‘expertise’ could have helped them out! After a few verbal exchanges fists started flying.
We were trapped in our row, literally inches away from the fight as the only exit was blocked by bodies and flying fists. With a guard rail behind me, Hubby Bumpkin stood protectively in front, blocking me from any possible harm. I didn’t notice it at the time, but with his back to me, his right foot was touching my boot, and I had my hands resting around his arms. I put them there gently just letting him know where I was physically without having to say anything, but also because should he have felt so inclined it was my best and quickest chance to hold him back from joining in. 🙂
To be completely honest Hubby Bumpkin is not a violent person, he would never search out opportunities to hurt another person, however we both know very well that, should opportunity present itself, he is the least likely to shy away from it! The brawl got pretty nasty, with about 10 people joining in. Most didn’t see or understand who or what started the fight, but fueled by passion (and lots of beer) got themselves tangled into the brawling ball of bodies! It escalated so quickly that people were getting kicked in the face (again with my ‘don’t start a fight with guys on higher ground’ theory) and many were lucky they didn’t suffer much more severe injuries after being tossed down multiple rows, over chairs and cement steps.
From my vantage point, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I looked around and noticed the crowd watching with intent looks on their faces, some with cell phones out recording from the section above us. (nothing’s been posted online from what I can find). Ushers and eventually the security guards that arrived (a couple of 5’2″ petite, middle aged ladies… I mean come on! Really!?) were helpless to do anything about it. Remembering that we had to meet our friends to carpool home, I glanced across the rink to see them still standing at their seats watching. One of them waving and pumping his fist in the air… did I mention he is a cop?
In the end there were a handful of guys that got bloodied up, a few were missing their shirts, I’m sure some had loose teeth, and at least one had a good sized gash on his head, along with a probable broken nose. Security reinforcements arrived and hauled off the instigators. We were free! Free!!!
There was so much adrenaline running through my body that I was actually shaken. My legs felt like jell-o and I was completely shocked at what just happened.
Thinking and talking about what happened after the fact, brought to light a few amazing facts. Hubby Bumpkin was close enough that he could have easily been sucker punched, mistaken for being on either ‘side’ of the fight. I’m so glad this didn’t happen, as that would have been his ‘in’. Secondly in my amazement that he didn’t get involved to begin with, he admitted that among other reasons, he felt that if he were to have somehow gotten involved he would be removing the last barrier between me and the fight. Especially now that I’m expecting he wasn’t willing to put me or Baby Bumpkin in danger. Come on! Did your heart just melt a little bit too? He did make a little quip about how he also was protecting the other men from my potential hormonal wrath should he have been scrapping with anyone. He was really just doing a public service!
It sure feels nice to know I can count on my man to use sound judgement and immense self control. The testosterone levels in our area were sky high, and I would have understood him jumping into the middle of the fight. Although I’d have been incredibly upset about it, I can understand. I also feel so lucky and loved that he put me and Baby Bumpkin’s safety first. To me that what makes him a real man!
All is well, we were both completely unharmed, our team did lose the game, but the off ice ‘entertainment’ was all the distraction needed to forget about losing to my least favorite team in the league!
What has your guy done recently that has you swooning?
*I do not in any way condone violence or fighting, especially in this situation, where it really wasn’t called for. However there was nothing that Hubby Bumpkin or I could have done to prevent or stop the fight once it started.