Have you ever thought about what the best time of year for sports is? I think we can all agree that summer is the worst. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love baseball and watch it every day (or at least every day the Red Sox play), but it’s the only sport going on at the time. October is pretty good- MLB playoffs, middle of the NFL season, and the start of NBA and NHL. But I think the best has to go down as the end of March and beginning of April. We get the beginning of MLB, the end of the regular season for NBA and NHL, and the championships for both college hockey and college basketball. Going to the Final Four has always been on my bucket list, so I started looking into how to get tickets when I found out it was in Houston in 2016- my uncle lives there, so it was the first time it seemed doable to me. I did the NCAA ticket raffle, but unfortunately, didn’t get them that year. I have an aunt who lives in Phoenix, though, and since the finals were there the next year, I gave it another shot the following spring and was chosen! We were so excited when we found out, and were even more so when we found out about all the other sporting events going on in the area. We were going to see 7 games in just 4 days- which is our current record for game to day ratio. We started with a first for Joel and I- our first spring training game!
Jerry World to me was this mythical place full of stars and oversized jumbotrons. Up until this point, the nicest and newest football stadium I’d been to was Mile High in Denver, so it didn’t have a ton to compete with, but it blew away even my wildest expectations. First off, the sheer size is astounding. But better is the beauty of it. The windows, video boards, structures around the stadium, and jumbotrons all contribute to an environment where it feels like wherever you look, there’s a cool new view you hadn’t noticed before. Jerry did it right for sure.
Game number 2 of our Saturday in Dallas was a Dallas Stars game. I learned a lot more about hockey when I was in college and would go to games, but I will still admit that it’s one of the few sports where I don’t totally understand all of the rules. I get offsides and some of the penalties, but icing is totally lost on me. The only sports that I understand less are probably field hockey and cricket, and weird things will have to happen before I see a game of cricket live.
With all that being said, hockey is one of the sports I most enjoy watching live. I never watch on tv with the exception of the NHL playoffs and the Olympics, so that may contribute to why I like it so much in person. But I also think that it’s a great environment- hockey fans are as faithful as they come, and I am continually amazed watching hockey players do as much (if not more) on ice as I can do on land. Plus, there’s something almost comforting about the coolness of the rink while watching a game (especially when you get sunburned at a college football game the morning before).
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.