It’s game day and it’s all you can think about. You may be at school, work, or even home, but one thought dominates your mind– the game. Girls get ready for the game early to try and pass the time, while guys may watch TV to pass the time. Having a good day? A bad one? It doesn’t matter because the minute you arrive at your team’s arena everything seems so much better.
It’s the arena where you live, cheering your team on regardless of their record or place in the standings. Whenever you pass the building you want to be there supporting your team. As a Florida Panther fan upon entering you’re struck by the strong cool breeze from the ice that contrasts the thick heat outside the arena. You go to the glass down by the ice surface where the cold is even more intense, and wait for your team to hit the ice for warm-ups. The lights turn on and everyone suddenly pays attention wide-eyed waiting for the team to hit the ice. For a few moments you feel like you’re part of the team. Being so close to the action, hearing the skates scrap on the fresh ice, players talking, a shot ring off the post. A great feeling when you get a puck tossed to you over the glass by a player while others rush to get it like it is a piece of gold. The buzzer sounds and everyone makes it to their seats knowing it’ll be a fun night no matter the outcome.
Then comes the moment you’ve been waiting for all day. The lights dim and the scoreboard lights up. A pre-game video bursts upon the screen with a collection of highlights from the season: goals, saves, hits, fights. The starting lineup is announced and rock music amps up as your team is introduced and skates out onto the ice. The crowd cheers and for a moment you may get chills from the excitement of the moment. It quickly becomes quiet as the ref comes to center ice to drop the puck for the start of a wild ride. Once the puck drops, all you hear are the skates and puck hit stick to stick unless some brave, awesome individual has a powerful voice to start a chant.
There are ups and downs throughout the night. There are different sounds constantly. The simultaneous cheers when your team scores as everyone stands to their feet proudly supporting the team. Or the silence that comes over the building when the opposing team scores. Or even the gasps when a big hit is made or a huge scoring chance occurs. If it’s an enthusiastic crowd the chant catches and grows louder until at least for a few seconds the arena roars as one. It could be the noise of the organ, the stereo system playing music, the puck hitting the backboards, or even just the people around you talking.
However, the best moment is when the buzzer sounds andyour team has won. Players clamber over the boards and flood out to the ice to congratulate each other while the crowd stands to their feet and cheers. The teamwork and hard work has paid off and players hug and high five each other. For the Panther fans throwing rats on the ice signal a win and appreciation to the players for a game well played. Players go to center ice for a fan salute and for a moment you feel as though you really helped the team to victory. For some players, a round of rock paper scissor is the deciding factor for who leaves the ice last.
There is nothing like going to a game whatever sport it may be. There is a massive difference between watching a game on TV and watching it live. There is an indescribable adrenaline that runs through your body when you watch your favorite team play live. You escape life for a few hours and get to experience the excitement that is “the game.”
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