Posted: Monday November 21, 2005 12:30PM; Updated: Monday November 21, 2005 12:30PM
I didn't need a rulebook or much hockey knowledge to appreciate the Rangers' final goal. Jaromir Jagr, one of the few guys I knew of, came down the left side of the ice and settled along the baseline (I guess that's not the right terminology either, but bear with me). With the ice in front of the net blocked by a variety of sticks and players, Jagr lofted the puck into the air. It sailed over the dumbfounded defenders and found the stick of some guy named Rozsival, who easily tapped it home. It was a beautiful play, full of moxie and skill, and the rabid Rangers fans stood and cheered. As did I. The Rangers went on to win 4-3.
What I enjoyed the most about the experience of going to a hockey game was the relative peace and quiet of the game. Go to an NBA or NFL game, and you're assaulted by loud music, flying t-shirts, hopped-up dance teams. There was music at The Garden, but unless you count Sweet Caroline as a club banger, it was like spending an afternoon at a pizza joint with an outdated jukebox. During timeouts (are they called timeouts?) an organ would play, and people would be able to talk to their neighbors. It was as if hockey was saying, Here we are -- love us or leave us. And despite the extended lockout, the fans seem to have come back in full force. They love it.
Saturday night, after the game, I was thinking maybe I should pick a team to support. I could go with my hometown Thrashers, but having been in New York almost six years now, I'd like to have at least one team up here to root for. I haven't learned when to yell "Potvin Sucks!" or how to differentiate between the various penalties, and I can recognize about five hockey players, mostly by their hair. I still have a lot to learn, I suppose. But then, we all have to start somewhere.
Something I Learned This Week In An NBA Locker Room
Sunday in the Knicks locker room, center Eddy Curry accused vertically-challenged point guard Nate Robinson of hiding Curry's shoes atop Stephon Marbury's locker. Robinson successfully mounted the old "I'm too short to reach that high" defense.
Game Of The Week
Texas Hold 'Em against Wanda Sykes, Larry David, Ray Romano and Jack Black. Only without them actually playing. Fun time-killer, though.
Goooallll Of The Week
Pretty remarkable stuff here from my former teammate, Ronaldinho. Is it fake? Is it real? Well that's the fun, isn't it?