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Sunday, September 19, 2010


I know that most of you don't follow me for hockey stuff, and I get that. But this weekend was the beginning of camp for the Phoenix Coyotes (season starts in about 3 weeks) and I was beyond thrilled just knowing that they were back in town and lacing up their skates here. And then I heard that all their practices are open to the public. I figured the kids might really get a kick out of going to see hockey for the first time, and the event is free so even better, right?

I knew I wanted the twins to be at the arena in their wheelchairs--and I'm sorry, I know this probably gets old to you guys, but we're still getting used to them being self-mobile in their chairs all the time. What's funny is when I take them somewhere in the old fashioned baby stroller, they HATE it. They're stuck going where I push them and they can't go here and there and to and fro and they miss their independence. And I love that they miss that. It took me 13 months and seven insurance denials to get them to this point, so they damned well better prefer their own wheels to my stroller.

Anyway, since I've not been to Arena for a long time and didn't know how wheelchair friendly it was, I decided to give them a call to get a feel for what we were in store for. I contacted Director Paul Serbic at Jobing and he promised me he'd hook us up. He gave me his personal cell phone number, met us at the gate, took us down an elevator to the glass and let us stay there for hours while we watched the Coyotes skate. It was so awesome. The crowds were light, but all the big name players were present: Doan, Hanzal, Morris, Prucha, Pyatt, Jovanovski, Bissonnette, etc. I can't guarantee that my babies will ever see a real live NHL game in person, but good golly I let them touch the cold glass, admire the ice, and watch the boys skate.

Lauren was quite concerned that "the boys are playing too rough", and then someone got checked right into the glass in front of her and she about lost it. Kyle only cared about the pucks, which worked in his favor because between the refs and the coaches he got three pucks (with ice still on them as souvenirs). Jenna only cared about howling (it's a thing at Jobing) and hot dogs (that's a thing with six year olds).

We met Jim Brewer, VP of Coyotes Marketing and Communications, and he gave the kids a tour of the down-beneath so that they could see the Zambonis. We met the head of security, who is a fine, patient, capable gentleman. We met Howler, the Coyotes mascot. And Paul gave each of the kids a Coyotes teddy bear.

I walked on air all day. A sport I love, a team I adore, staff who bent over backwards to show my kids a good time--this is why I love my city. If I'd had a second to breathe and reflect that day then I would have gotten all teary-eyed then like I am now. It's just that we can't bring the kids in their wheelchairs everywhere--but this is the place where we can. In the U.S., almost every place by law has to be wheelchair accessible, but there are degrees of wheelchair friendliness. I just am so happy that the Phoenix Coyotes can accommodate my family and I can. not. wait. for the season to start.

Except for the whole "I'm afraid of heights and sitting in the upper bowl completely freaks me out but I can't afford five tickets in the lower bowl so I guess upper bowl it is but I'm going to need a drink" part.

Without further ado:

Also: I am new to hockey. I have never EVER hidden this fact. I don't know icing from a regular pass. I enlist Twitter friends to whisper things to me so that I understand the ABC's and 123's of hockey--Seriously. But if anyone needs a new fan, it's the Phoenix Coyotes, and if the world won't suck it up and accept me as a new fan then I don't know what else to do. I don't know the sport and I've never played it--I'm a Suzuki trained violinist for crying out loud. I bring nothing but enthusiasm for the sport and money for my game tickets. If you don't like me or don't care for my stupid rookie questions then f-u-c-k y-o-u. I'll be in section 118 and you can buy me an $8 beer when you get over yourself.

1 comment:

  1. The Coyotes do rule. Once my sis got free tickets when they were still at AMA. We were way up and had to switch to the screens to see the goal below. A nice looking fellow in a suit appeared and we (single girls at the time) smiled big. He approached us and said "your tickets stink. Hope about row 8 tickets?" Schess-yeah. We watched from row 8 for the next two periods. They got a nice letter from us.
    and yes we made fun of the fans who didn't understand why everyone threw a hat out after a 3rd straight goal. Icing: puck crosses 2 blue lines untouched.