One of the best parts of parenting is being able to show your kids new things, and do things with them that they never thought would be possible. I have an 8 year old son who loves hockey, he isn't the best hockey player but it is his passion. I can rarely have a conversation with him where something about hockey doesn't come up. My choice of teams are "unique" to say the least. I grew up a North Stars fan myself and when they left Minnesota I gave up on hockey I wrote it off completely and followed other sports instead. About 12 years ago I was living in Columbus, Ohio working at a high school I had a good friend there that had season tickets to the Blue Jackets. The first time he asked me if I wanted to go along I didn't know what to think about it, even though I followed the North Stars I never got to see them in person, I had never been to an NHL game and since they left I wasn't very interested in hockey. I decided to go anyway, going to a Blue Jackets game was the first NHL game I had ever been too, it was far from the last and I was hooked.
I don't exactly know how it ends up happening but I am sure it has something to do with the first 8 years of his life I would have a Blue Jackets game on whenever they are on TV here (which is about 2 or 3 times a season) but my son is a die hard Blue Jackets fan too. With the only stadium reasonably close to here being in St. Paul there are not many chances you get to go and watch "your team". This year was different on Tuesday night the Blue Jackets were playing the Wild for the only time this season, when my co-worker had a couple of tickets available I knew I had to jump at the chance to go. There was a lot of excitement in the planning of going to this game. When I went and got my son he was all ready to go wearing his Rick Nash jersey, and I was wearing mine. The trip to the game had many conversations mostly about his upcoming game this weekend and him asking me questions about some of the hockey greats before his time.
When we got to the stadium and walked through the hall to get inside his face was bright red, I can't imagine the thoughts that he had to be thinking. When we finally got inside the gates and started walking around the first thing he wanted to do was check out our seats. We were sitting right in the lower level in row 4, we were able to walk right up the the glass. The seats were perfect. Once the players came out on the ice it was very beneficial that we seemed to be the only 2 Blue Jackets fans in the stadium because we walked right up and watched our team go through the warm ups. Once the game started the Blue Jackets got down early 2-0 and at the first intermission all that I was hoping for was at least 1 goal that we would be able to cheer for. During the intermission we walked to the top of the stairs and standing in front of me was a lady that was also wearing a Blue Jackets jersey, I am pretty sure we were the only 4 (including her daughter) Blue Jackets fans in the building. It turned out she was the sister of the head coach who is from Minnesota.
The Blue Jackets made a comeback, it was at one point tied 2-2 before the Wild scored the game winning goal in the 3rd period. The people sitting around us treated us very well, I felt as though the respected the fact that there were loyal enough fans to support a team that has had so little success. Once we finally made the drive home the conversation again was about nothing but hockey, he was telling me about the kind of sticks the players were using and the pads the goalies were wearing, hoping 1 day that can be him out there on the ice. Going to a first game is a moment a kid never forgets............turns out neither does a parent.