Yesterday evening (Saturday 2nd February), I attended my second ever Belfast Giants match. I’ll admit, I was looking forward to it, but I figured that at around the half way mark, I would get terribly bored and start re-playing an episode of Black Books in my head.
I do that, sometimes.
Anyway. The Giants were playing the Hull Stingrays, and I can’t tell you anything much more technical than that. I am hopeless at sports, and I don’t understand the rules to a single one; ice hockey is no exception, but boy oh boy, is that shit entertaining. I have never wanted to see blood more in my life – I egged on fights, I screamed at Canadians and I booed the opposition. For one glorious moment, I was nearly normal. I was a sports fan.
There was no blood on the ice (pity), but these men are vicious. They even needed three referees! Heavens.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening (even the parts I didn’t really understand), I have a few small, teeny observations. Which are meant to be funny and cute -I mean no ill will to the Giants at all, they seem perfectly delightful. I feel I have to say that…the fans seem devoted and passionate, and I don’t want to be pucked to death in the street.
First of all – why is the announcer American/Canadian? We are in Belfast! I want to hear someone with the broadest possible accent attempting to keep people entertained between periods! This foreigner cannot possibly be qualified to promote Tayto crisps and Fona-Cab!?
Speaking of foreigners…are any of the Belfast Giants actually from Northern Ireland? They’re all Canadian or American! Oh…wait…dammit. I actually just checked, and there are a number of local boys on the team. That’s what I get for pretending to know about sports. On the plus side, this makes me even more impressed with the team as a whole. Big up to my homies; Andrew Dickson (Ballymoney), Graeme Walton (Belfast) and Gareth Roberts (Belfast).
Side-note: I promise never to use the phrase ‘big up my homies’ ever again. I tried something new. It failed.
My third well-meaning observation is the large signs everywhere that say:
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PUCK.
This is great advice, but with one fatal flaw. The Belfast Giants have cheerleaders.
How do they expect us to watch the puck when there are young women shaking their pompoms at the edge of our peripheral vision? I am a straight woman and I found it a challenge. They’re hypnotizing. Hypno-toad. With boobs.
All-in-all, a bloody great night out, and surprisingly inexpensive. The ice hockey season runs from September to May (one of the many new things I learnt last night), and if you’ve never been before, I highly recommend that you go, and fully embrace the atmosphere.
Oh, by the way. We won!