New Years eve Marilyn and I joined 5,316 other excited fans for a hockey match-up between St Catharines’ own Niagara Ice Dogs and their rivals, the Hamilton Bull Dogs. The evening was a real “ARF”.
While we were watching the big event I got to reminiscing: Sixty some-odd years ago I used to beg my dad for a ride in to town so I could watch our local hockey team (I think they were the Kamloops Elks or maybe the Braves ((google can’t seem to help on this one)) play teams like the Penticton V’s or teams from other Okanogan towns.
I think they threw the hockey game in for free.
The game has changed a bit, actually a lot: Starting with the huge center ice video screen and the constant advertising. Every time our Dogs scored a goal the event was brought to us by a local business. Same story, every time the puck got slapped out of the ice area, a local business got mentioned. And who would not want to sponsor a penalty kill.
They even take a break in the middle of each period so young ladies in their “Merry Maids” aprons could come out and tidy up around the net. Mean while the local radio station was able to sell more commercials.
But I thought the best one of all was that “IF” the Ice Dogs scored in the last-minute of the game, everybody at the game would get a free Wendy’s cheeseburger the next day. They didn’t score, but we all stayed until the final buzzer so not one of us missed an important message from their local sponsors.
I’m not saying we didn’t enjoy the game because we did. And we will go again, so that we can yell and clap and cheer and do the wave with all the other friendly folks who paid big money to watch and hear a lot of advertising.
Hands up if you remember Canada’s own Stompin’ Tom and the “Hockey Song”
I thank you from my very bottom for the read.