Goose bumps are defined as the involuntary response of the skin to fear or awe. I would like to add another possible factor in the development of goose bumps – the NHL Playoffs.
Have you ever been to an NHL Playoff game? If you haven’t it is simply something you need to do in your life, even if you aren’t a fan of the game of ice hockey. I wouldn’t put it up there with traveling to Italy to see the Vatican or going to Egypt to see the Pyramids at Giza, but it is pretty close. I’m not using hyperbole here, it really is one of those events you simply have to be a part of to understand the palpable feel of anticipation and excitement that is in the air. If Nikolai Tesla had been able to attend one of these games he could have set up one of those famous “Tesla machines” to try and draw some free energy in because if the idea of energy being all around us is true, it would certainly be recordable at a playoff game.
Here are some tips to remember if/when you attend a game this spring.
(1) Make sure you get there early as you don’t want to miss a single minute of game action. Moreover, get there even earlier than you normally would to soak up the atmosphere. In many instances there will be extra activities taking place before games, things like street parties and live bands aren’t unheard of. Plus, you don’t want to miss out on whatever the home club gives away for their fans to waive around to make a good scene on television.
(2) If you don’t know the sport, go with someone who does. However, given the importance of the playoffs, try not to ask too many question except at breaks in play because you don’t want to distract your friend.
(3) Never, and I mean never, wear the jersey of the road team. If you do, prepare to be heckled and potentially throttled if things go your team’s way and not in favor of the home club. You had better be ready to defend yourself. I’m really kidding about being in physical danger (this isn’t an Oakland Raiders game), but come with a quick tongue because you will likely be the subject of scorn.
(4) Make sure to set your TiVo or VCR on slow play. You don’t want to miss a single minute of action while you are at the game as there is nothing like reliving memorable moments from the game when you get home (plus you want to set it on extended play to make sure you don’t miss a minute of overtime – see below).
(5) Respect the traditions of the game. Back when the Islanders were running through the NHL on their way to 4-straight Cups (1980-83), they started a tradition of not shaving until they were eliminated from the playoffs. If you are old enough to grow a beard here are the general rules. First, shave on the morning of the day your first team plays. Second, don’t ever shave again. OK, that is a bit of a stretch, you can certainly trim around your neck or checks to make the beard look “cleaner” to help keep the lady in your life in your life, but you cannot under any circumstances shave the length of your beard down. It’s a hockey tradition that must be accepted and embraced, even if you live in an area where it currently isn’t very cold (i.e. California where I live).
(6) And finally, get ready for overtime. Each year there are a plethora of games that go to sudden death overtime, but unlike the regular season where the extra frame is only five minutes before going to the shootout, the playoffs are sudden death until someone scores. That means games can go an extra period, two or even three meaning that teams can play two games worth of minutes in one game. Last season the Sharks even went to four overtimes before losing to the Stars, and when that game ended I almost threw up in disgust. There is nothing like knowing every shot can win the game as the release of the built up tension when your team scores the winning goal is akin to the first time you kissed your wife.
So there it is. If you can’t get to a game get your local television listings and make sure you catch every game you can on the tube.
It’s playoff time baby!
Tags: San Jose Sharks