On Saturday night I attended my first ever Maple Leaf game. Husband was able to get tickets via work (yes, corporate seats) and while I don’t really care about any sport that doesn’t involve horses, I figured that I should see the Maple Leafs at least once in my life.
The Buds (that’s their nickname, isn’t it?) were playing the Montreal Canadians and people who know more about hockey than me told me that this was an important game for the Leafs to win if they wanted to make it into the playoffs. Sure.
While I’ve been to the ACC a ton for concerts, I’ve never been there for a sporting event. Our seats were in the 300s and I was bit worried that we’d be too far away to see things. I was wrong. While we were way up there, the sightlines were great and ever though we were further away, the players seemed bigger than the members of Arcade Fire who I saw from much closer seats just over a week ago.
The game itself was, well, you can read about it over here. Apparently, the Leafs didn’t play the greatest game and so despite an early lead, they lost, 4-3.
My father is a huge Leafs fans and NHL games were always part of the background of my childhood. Because of that, I thought I’d be able to easily follow the game. I was wrong. Unlike a televised game, there’s no guy telling you what’s going on. So that was a bit confusing. Thankfully the fundamentals of hockey are pretty simple so I was able to follow the basic storyline and at no point was I ever bored.
I was actually quite impressed by all the details that go into keeping the crowd pumped and into things. While I expected loud, aggro-y or dance-y music, I was surprised to see all of the silly games, contests and camera fun that filled up any non-play moment. While some of it was cheesy, it kept the energy levels up and kept me interested in what was going on.
Also entertaining was the crowd. There were a ton of Montreal fans in the house and they were loudly and proudly repping their team. But while the language did sometimes get a bit, salty, everyone was pretty well behaved. I was actually impressed with how good everyone was considering the things they were saying and how clearly into it some people were.
Something that did surprise me about the crowd were all the under 18-year-olds at the game who appeared to be there without parents. What’s the story on that? I thought seats were crazy expensive and hard to come by.
One of those teens was seated beside me (he was there with his younger brother). This kid was really, really into the game, saying things like “I fucking hate them” and “I just what to see them getting fucking creamed.” To be honest, it was a bit unsettling. Thankfully, he seemed to have taken some kind of medication between the first and the second period as he was mellower after the first break (maybe he’d resigned himself to the fact that the Leafs were going to lose).
While that kid was weird, there were other aspects of the night that were more annoying. One of those aspects was the crazy bathroom line. Of course I expected a long line but I didn’t expect one that snaked through the beer line and into where people were walking. That could have been much better managed.
Another annoying part was the horrible, almost nauseating smell of the hot dogs. How people eat those disgusting-smelling things amazes me, especially since there’s a wide variety of food available at the ACC, everything from turkey sandwiches to sushi.
Prior to the game we grabbed a bite to eat at the Casey’s on Front. It wasn’t our first choice but it did have an available table so we took it. We should have just eaten at the ACC. While my fruity, boozy lemonade was great, everything else was bland. Even my fried chicken tasted like wasted calories. I will not be going back to Casey’s anytime soon.
But I even though I didn’t get everything that was going on, I would still go to another Maple Leafs game. Assuming of course that the tickets were free again.