A while back, I made the decision to go back to my Northern/Canadian roots and attend a hockey game. I chose the Knoxville Ice Bears (for a lack of cash and a lack of choices), and set off for my Friday night journey.
I can honestly say I've never had a more entertaining and exciting three hours in my entire life. This includes prom, my 21st birthday and freshman year parties. However, the reason for this excitement may surprise you.
Sure, the game was fun and we played hard despite a loss. I walked away from the game with a free ice cream, jacket pockets full of candy, and a free T-shirt. Did I get free stuff at my prom? No, unless you are counting some crappy "personalized" napkins and a Hershey bar. So the game wins.
But in all honesty, the Knoxville Ice Bears, and those associated with it, really go out of their way to impress and entertain the crowd.
It can get a little desperate sometimes with the light shows, theme songs and motorcycle tricks on the ice, but it's all in the name of fun. I felt like a kid again and I honestly had to talk myself out of spending $260 for season tickets.
The main thing that shocked me about the game was how different Southern hockey and Northern hockey really are. I'm from Buffalo, N.Y. Go Sabres! Buffalo is a huge hockey-loving, fan-crazy town.
At a Buffalo game, I guess I got the impression that when people went to the game it was to...watch the game. But in Knoxville, the entertainment and advertisements steal the show. I would have been perfectly satisfied sitting in the auditorium, participating in the other events, not even watching the game.
It was a bit distracting at times, but I enjoyed myself. The teeth-grinding, painful-to-admit note: The Ice Bears blew me away. They were amazingly fast, talented and I was incredibly impressed.
All in all my experience at the Knoxville Ice Bears hockey game was awesome. It was different and new. If I ever had to recommend it, I would completely give it an A+, a little gold star and two thumbs up.