Friday night found us at a Griffins Hockey game at the Van Andel Arena, the first hockey game for me since I watched my son play pee wee hockey 25 years ago. Being in the D Zone, we had food and drinks brought to us - score! We've been in the Van Andel for concerts and it was difficult to recognize the place tonight.
Kathy and I crashed this men's outing, mainly to protest the last women's "adventure," which was an overnight shopping trip :-(
We didn't know much about the game but learned from our friends sitting behind us and mostly from our new friend sitting next to us, Mason. Here he is with his beer tower :-)
After getting a bit of flack from our friends in the back about asking how many periods there are in a game, Kathy complained to the recently-returned Mason about our treatment and asked if any game questions would bother him. And on cue he says "only if you ask me how many periods there are in a game" - ha! He also taught us his favorite catcalls: "Break his face!" and "Put him on the board!" Good stuff.
We discovered that there are two breaks (don't call it half-time or intermission) that last 20 minutes. During the first we were entertained by the Grand Rapids Drum Line (in 80s dressup) and a t-shirt shooting Griffins Mascot. During the second break, the mascot was shooting t-shirts out of his hotdog, and the crowd participated in a puck throwing contest.
The game started out promising but the Griffins lost, 2-1. It's a good thing the score was hanging above us because we didn't notice that Charlotte had scored until we looked up. Our excuse? It's hard to see way down to the other end :-)
From 6-8, beer and hotdogs are $2.00 each ~ unfortunately it was Bud Light beer but hey, it's better than Bud. And the people were a blast. It was a big, friendly party. Phones were everywhere, of course, for taking pictures or reading emails or facebook posts :-)
Here was an almost-fight, stopped too soon according to Mason. "That's the problem with the refs. They break it up too soon. Fights are the meat and potatoes of hockey. You can't have just veggies." Alrighty.
Here is a one minute video of the evening, in which you can hear Mason chanting "Let's Go Griffins!" It was a fun night and we'll be happy to attend a game again, this time knowing how many periods there are. And just so you know ~ the mythological griffin has the body, legs, and tail of a lion, and the head, wings and front talons of an eagle.The griffin was considered the king of all creatures and was known for guarding treasure. May the griffin's spirit imbue this hockey team to better guard its goal, which at one point came completely loose from its moorings. "Let's Go Griffins!"