One fun fact to know about me: I’m not a guy that goes on many dates. Or at least what I consider dates, anyway. I don’t like to go get dinner or something with a person I don’t know, because that tends to feel like an interview and I am terrified of things going horribly wrong. Also, because there’s about a 200 percent chance it would end up looking something like this:
When I’ve had a girlfriend and gone out to do something with her, it’s not something I consider a date because I’m already comfortable with the person and it doesn’t feel stressful. So, when I went on a date to the game against Tampa last Thursday, it was relatively out of character. But I had a few observations about being on a date at a game that I thought I’d share.
1. Focusing on Your Date, Not the Game: I get deeply focused when I watch Ranger games. I don’t like watching them at bars because I just ignore people that want to talk to me and stare with uncomfortable intensity. Which, I suppose, is better than normal when I just get hammered and make people uncomfortable with off-color jokes, but not by much. Anyway, when you bring a date to a Ranger game, you’re forced to make the game your secondary focus by a pretty large margin. It’s a weird sensation to be at a game and miss important things (I didn’t see Artie’s rifle celebration) because you’re spending energy focusing on a story you care about far less then what’s happening on the ice, but it’s what you have to do for things not to go down the shitter. Ladies, I’m still single.
2. Paying For 2 People to Drink Booze: Beer at MSG really isn’t that bad. If you break down the numbers, a 24 oz. Bud Light is $9. Essentially you’re paying $4.50 for a beer, which is pretty good by NYC standards. HOWEVAH, when your date orders a double vodka and soda before and after the first period, then gets a regular one, you are in the hole an extra $45-$50. Being a nearly broke dude in my young 20’s, this blows quite a bit.
3. Trying to Not Look Like a Maniac: When I go to a game I stand up for breakaways and big saves, I yell “Potvin Sucks” every time, I sing the goal song, etc. On a date, any of these things will make you look like a total weirdo and thus you must not do any of them. Since I’m used to acting this way at games, it takes a decent amount of conscious effort to not do a single one of those things. It was weird.
1. Easy Indicator of the Girl’s Interest: Pretty quickly, you’ll figure out where you stand. For the most part, girls do not give a shit about hockey. If she’s asking you to explain the game and genuinely trying to show interest, she’s basically showing interest in you via something you are passionate about. That or you are having a horrible conversation but frankly you should know if that’s happening anyway and if you don’t you’re probably screwed. In the bad way.
2. Seems Like You Really Put in Thought: As someone who’s wildly socially unaware at almost all times, trying to figure out a thoughtful thing to do on a date is something that I blow balls at. Bringing a date to a Ranger game is a good idea because there’s great crowd energy, something is always going on, and you and your date are pretty much only going to be talking with each other the whole time. This is all perfect for a date setting, and your date will in all likelihood appreciate it and think it’s something you planned out elaborately when you most certainly did not.
3. If Everything Goes Horribly Awry, At Least There’s a Game to Watch: Worst case scenario, you and your date don’t get along, it becomes clear nothing’s going to happen, she’s a terrible racist, whatever. That may be going poorly, and things may be a little awkward, but hey. At least there’s a hockey game to watch. Could be worse.
In conclusion, I recommend it. It was fun and went well, and I got to get moderately drunk without being stared at with shame by my family members. My date went well even if the game itself didn’t. Give it a shot fellas.