My first hockey game in 9 years

Jeb’s friend gave us tickets to go see the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game last week and it was a surprisingly good time. Not surprising because I expected it to be awful, but because I don’t really follow sports—other than Callie’s soccer games and I barely know what’s going on there—so I thought I might be a little lost (bored) during the game.

But I figured at the very least I could get some popcorn and enjoy people-watching. Which I did.

And sitting there with Callie in my lap—which she’s quickly getting too big for because I can’t see over her head anymore—the game actually brought back nice memories of when I was pregnant with her nine years ago, when she was still inside my lap, so to speak. That was the last time I watched a hockey game.

My lap sitter is almost as big as me.

My lap sitter is almost as big as me.

2004 was the year that the Tampa Bay Lightning  won the Stanley Cup, so obviously there were a lot of exciting games leading up to that big one and we watched them.

My brother happened to be a hockey fan (as were most normally apathetic Tampanians that year, by the way). He and his wife lived just a few blocks away from me and I fondly remember several nights of walking over and plopping down on their big green couch to watch the Lightning play.

Actually, what I mostly remember is sciatic pain and barely being able to keep my eyes open due to some of the wonderful side effects of pregnancy. But still, I have warm memories of hanging out with them and of the excitement in Tampa of having a winning hockey team so close on the heels of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl win in 2002.

Tampa actually had winning sports teams! After so many years of our football team being the laughingstock of the NFL (The Tampa Bay Suckaneers, anyone?) Tampa had some sports pride and it was fun.

Tampa Bay Lightning

I took a few photos at the hockey game. They actually create real lightning in the arena that shoots out of the ceiling. It’s pretty impressive to see in person.

Lightning at the Lightning game

Here’s a random fact-ish. Tampa is the Calusa tribe’s Native American word for “sticks of fire“, which is a pretty good description for lightning. (Apparently there is some debate about if that is truly what it means, but it sounds right to me so I’m going with it. Apparently also debatable is Tampa’s long-held claim of being the lightning capital of North America. But we’re going to stick with that too because, honestly, it’s too boring to argue about.)

The actual game itself was exciting, too. The play is so fast and it’s just crazy how they smash each other up against the walls like that. My hockey career would be over after just one of those body slams. Also, it would be over because I can’t ice skate backwards. But that’s neither here nor there.

It was a fun and unexpectedly heartwarming (because I am a sentimental fool) experience to have with Jeb and Callie and I would definitely go again. Yay hockey!, I guess.

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