Sweet, Sweet Naivety.

My son LOVES hockey. He is 7. He plays twice a week, been in weekend tournaments, and when he gets off the bus after school stays outside and shoots pucks at the net until we drag him in. It’s nice seeing him enjoy something so much at his age. It’s something that is easy to support. We’ve gone to several local Junior A games and he just went to his first NHL game this weekend. 20,000 cheering in a rink is awe-inspiring when you are young.

He is convinced he is going to make the NHL. Hockey has been something we have really enjoyed together.

At the last game, I realized something. When the jumbo-tron inevitably start running a ‘Make some noise’ segment (like the video above) and faux measures the crowd response until (usually) at some point the decibels increase to such a level that it explodes the screen – that is a common, 3-6x a night occurrence at these events.

I’ve never seen my son yell, scream, and cheer so loud – all the while staring at the jumbo-tron. And when they reached the peak, he was so proud that he was part of making that happen.

He thinks it is real.

It didn’t even cross my mind he would, but why shouldn’t he? I wish I would take more time to try and see the world through his eyes. Unfortunately, like Santa, the Easter Bunny (et al), just another thing on the list of ‘bound for disappointment someday’ that I am not looking forward to explaining.

This year the most powerful game I played, hands down, was TellTale Games the Walking Dead. I was emotionally invested. Sure, some of the quirky puzzles didn’t quite fit, but the game really fit the genre (I have read all the comics, and also watch the show for full disclaimer). About half way through the game, awe inspired, I ruined it for myself. I made a choice and afterwards I was so curious about what would have happened if I made a different choice.

I went to Google.

Regretted it since.

to be polite here. =)>

My first play through of TWD was me cheering at a zombi-fied jumbotron. It was exhilarating – I felt freedom and amazement! What characters! Great Plot! I am having impact on the game and world around me – and – what? Google says what? That my choices really have zero impact on the overall storyline? That no matter what I do, Pam leaves? and I get bit regardless of what choices I make? Santa ISNT REAL?!? Why are you telling me this!?

Yes, it was my own fault – I was already mapping what I was going to try and do on my second playthrough. I didn’t play again, and while there was a certain satisfaction in knowing I did my gut reaction and stuck with it for the entire game, I was sad that all I could really effect was how people thought of and perceived me in game (theirs and my word choices) and that the plot was out of my hands. I could only impact  my personality while getting there – I was getting there regardless.

One of those rare times where I would have rather not known.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. When I was a young teenager, my favourite cousin and I would ride the train two hours from my little country into the heart of Melbourne where we’d buy takeout lunch from one of the many, usually Greek-immigrant owned, Mama & Papa hole-in-the-wall places that could be found in Melbourne by just walking a few blocks. Then we’d walk to the MCG and buy tickets to watch our beloved Richmond Tigers get the crap kicked out of them by whatever Aussie Rules team they were playing that week. And it was great fun, even though every, single game we went to the Tigers would lose. Year after year my cousin would ride into the city to watch them lose, until, finally, they won. In the entire time I went to see them play live, my beloved Tigers only won one, single game. When they finally won that game and turned, elated, to my cousin to share the victory with him, he told me it was a boring game because it was so lopsided (we didn’t just win, we thrashed the pants off the Sydney Swans) and besides which, he’d seen them win before…when he went to other games…without me. Thus proving to him that the reason our team had lost all of those past games we’d gone to watch…was because I was there. Yep, I had somehow jinxed my team such that they could never win a game if I was present in the crowd.

    Shortly after arriving in the States I had a mate with two season tickets to the LA Kings. Sometimes he’d take his daughter, sometimes his girlfriend who is now his wife, and sometimes, when neither of them could go, he’d ask me if I wanted to come.

    At first I was like “Too right! WWF on Ice! Bring it on!” but he told me, no, it’s not a constant slugfest, as the ignorant always presume. Sure, there are fights, but Ice Hockey is so, so, sooooooo much more. Watching one game, live, being there, was all it took for me to be hooked.

    I’m not really a baseball fan; I’ll take my son to the occasional game and I will enjoy it while I’m there, but baseball? Meh. I’m also your stereotypical LA Lakers hater. It doesn’t matter who they’re playing, I’m rooting for their opponents. Otherwise, basketball? Meh. Football? NFL? Didn’t L.A. used to have TWO teams? And now we have none? So yeah. NFL. Meh.

    But ice hockey? The NHL? As Randy “Macho Man” Savage used to say, “Oooooooh yeah!” That’s my game. Go, Kings! Go!

    In the end it doesn’t matter what sport you follow, what (legal) activity you do with your son, all that matters is you have this common ground to share and spend time together.

    My son loves the Kings, too, and was there beside me on the sofa during every Cup game we could watch (some of them were on Monday night, Boy Scout meeting night) but for the rest, I was willing to risk The Wrath of Mom to let him stay up late with me on a school night so he could the Kings play. We haven’t been to a game yet, not a Kings game at least. We did attend a few Long Beach Ice Dogs games when he was younger but he wasn’t really old enough to appreciate the sport, not then. He is now and unfortunately, with the Kings being the defending champions and all the bandwagoners jumping on the Kings train, tickets are so freaking expensive. But maybe I can scrape together my pennies (& dollars 😉 and we might just get to a game yet.

  2. Hey Cap’n! =)

    The in arena experience is incredibly amazing – miles above the Farm Leagues or AHL.

    But yeah, we had lower bowl tickets (given to me by a supplier) and they were probably $250 each. 18 rows up from the rink, behind the net, with a first place team, in a hockey crazy city…. I would be surprised if they were any cheaper. I wouldn’t have paid for them out of my own pocket, it would have been nose bleeds. *Grin*

    That being said – my dad always took me to nosebleed section games and I still fell in love with the game and the atmosphere. =)

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