Ok, first things first (has to be doesn’t it? too soon for philosophy?) I have to admit I had a motive for being in the Sheffield Arena during the steelers game against the Stingrays. I was actually there to help the sound guy and so didn’t see the entire nitty gritty of the game. What I can tell you though is that Ice Hockey kicks ass!!! Consider this more of an atmosphere review than a blow by blow account of the game. As an Ice Hockey virgin I didn’t really know what to expect, maybe a fight, maybe someone throwing beer, maybe an atomically charged puck driving someone’s teeth across the Arena floor!
During the set up, I encountered the Team G.B Women’s ice hockey team and I can tell you, they are fierce! It was their last training session before a tournament in Italy, and from what I saw, Rome will crumble!
As I took my seat and watched the crowd filter in, the party atmosphere began to build. What surprised me was the amount of family’s, all in full on party mood and when the Royal Marines abseiled down from the roof the place erupted. Cue the National Anthem accompanied by a pair of young local lasses skating about the place, one with a Steelers flag, the other bearing the Union Jack (take notice Scotland).
Lights. Smoke. Music. On came the teams. I learned along the way that Ice Hockey is played in three 20 minute…erm…thirds and as the first began it was heard not to start shouting, however being in the sound booth with the commentator it wouldn’t be a good idea for the whole place to pick up on my broad use of the English language! Twelve minutes gone…FIGHT!!! first of the night and everybody enjoyed it. If you intend to expose your kids to organised aggression, and why wouldn’t you, this is the place to go.
Getting the crowd involved is a non stop occupation at the Steelers, from Marines coming onto the ice between periods to fire T – shirts into the crowd, to having the team mascot Steeler Dan skanking in the aisles the crowd is the driving force behind the team and, unlike some sports I could mention, the Steelers seem to know and more importantly appreciate it. So, if you are an Ice Hockey virgin like I was, get yourself in there and prepare to enjoy yourself, you wont regret it. By the way, Steelers won 3 – 2. Get in!!!
Si thi in a bit.