Yesterday, my husband and I took a big risk and accompanied Jax to his first professional hockey game: the Flyers vs. the Bruins. We had amazing seats 3 rows from the ice, just off the blueline near the Bruins’ goalie. The tickets were given to me by a season ticket holder with fantastic seats, due to either has awesome connections, great luck, or a lifetime of being a Flyers fan. In my youth (long, long ago), I was also a Flyers fan, so I was kind of excited to use the tickets. (Read: to check out whether there are any hot players on the current Flyers team like there was back in the 80s when I was a fan.)
From the moment I brought the tickets home and my husband said, “We should take Jax,” I was uncertain whether taking a 2-year-old to a professional hockey game would be wise. Ok, that’s sugarcoating it—I was downright scared that Jax would hate it, and we’d have to leave before the end of the first period, wasting our amazing seats. For weeks I considered getting a sitter and making the game a date night event for just the 2 of us. I thought about all the things that could go wrong—diaper blowouts in a public place, a kid terrified of all the loud noises, and so on.
And then I decided to throw caution to the wind & live a little. “Screw it, let’s take him,” I said to my husband in a hasty, decisive moment I was certain I’d later regret.
Now, the day after, I’m glad we took him. He was the hit of our section—Flyers fans to our left and right commented on how cute it was when Jax sang “Let’s go, Flyers!” completely unprovoked and spontaneously—at appropriate moments, too!
Jax was interested in the action for nearly the entire game. I watched as his eyes followed the puck up and down the ice. I thank Dinosaur Train for this—he’s been repeatedly watching the episode where dinosaurs at the North Pole play ice hockey.
We stayed all 3 periods, and even into overtime and the shoot-out that ended the game with a Flyers loss, sadly.
There were a few moments that made me nervous,though—the constant fighting that broke out (which prompted Jax to give the players a “time out”), the chants of “Ref, you suck!” and “Asshole,” the fried food being offered every few feet (so we couldn’t help but indulge in some fried dinner), the loud-o-meter that suddenly and repeatedly prompted the crowd to scream as loud as possible, and again, the fighting. Oh, the fighting. I can’t resist the urge to tell that tired old joke again:
I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.
We have tickets for another Flyers game in March, this time with my entire family, courtesy of my brother Danny, who is the biggest Flyers fan I know. Now that I know Jax can hang—and even enjoy the game—I’m very excited! We even bought him some Flyers gear, in our excitement.
Some photos & a video of our big day (in the video, can you see how tired we are after the game?):
Have you taken your kid(s) to a professional sporting event? How did it turn out? Any regrets?