When I was a kid and fall had begun I could hardly wait for Saturdays, specifically 5pm. As the weekend grew closer I would start calculating the number of hours until that 5pm time. Having determined that number, I would use it to calculate backwards in time to consider how long ago that number of hours felt. For instance, if it was 2pm on Thursday (which meant I was likely bored out of my mind in school), there were 51 hours until 5pm on Saturday. And 51 hours prior to that would be 11am on Tuesday (and I was probably bored out of my mind in school). How long did it feel, from 11am Tuesday until this moment, 2pm Thursday? That’s how much time I needed to endure until 5pm Saturday. Get it?
You see, 5pm on Saturday was the highlight of my week. It’s when Hockey Night in Canada aired in the Seattle market. It was my one opportunity each week to see a live NHL game. My world stopped for that 3 hour broadcast, whereupon at 8pm on Saturday the calculations in my head would start warming up again.
Imagine not just my surprise but the incredulity I experienced when I learned that Nantes has a professional ice hockey team. And today, Saturday, at 5:30pm (I can forgive the 30 minute delay) was the first game. On top of that, the arena is along Line 2 of the tram; in fact, just 4 stops from our house. Tickets are only 5€.
Nantes played Orléans. It was an absolute blast to attend the game. Chloe went with me and I think she was a bit embarrassed by how excited I was. The game was completely entertaining, despite Nantes losing to an undermanned Orléans team 4-2. The officiating was, in a word, unique. Only two on-ice officials, neither with a referee’s armband but both calling penalties. And call penalties they did. And after the Zamboni cleared the ice during both intermissions, this absolutely cute little kid couple came out and figure skated.
I know my mother, father and brothers will appreciate this link (well, my family along with every single Canadian) but I encourage anyone who wants to know a little part of my story to visit it. Perhaps it will make no sense. If so, don’t try to make any out of it. I mean, how much do you want to understand somebody who does crazy hour computations in his head and is giddy over ice hockey? To which I say, “da da da-da da, Da Da Da-Da Da, DA DA DA-DA DA Daaaa… Live on CBC, Hockey Night in Canada! Brought to you by…”