I’ve had a good time working my way through all of these challenges. Obviously, some are more fun than others. If you’ve ever sewn on a button you know that it’s not for entertainment. But, I have to say this challenge was the best. I’m not exaggerating when I say we have been a Marine Corps family for a long time. Other than the occasional reduced hotel rate, we don’t really take advantage of a lot of the available military discounts. Then we discovered, after attending a Military Appreciation Day hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes, that they are not exaggerating about their military discount. This time last year I sat in the best seats I’ve ever had at a professional sporting event. I spent more the year before for seats that were so high up we had to wear an extra layer of clothing. As I called my hockey-loving brother, Daryle, from PNC Arena to wish him a happy birthday I just knew that he had to come with me the next year for his birthday. Fast forward 365-ish days and here we are.
As an adult, I’ve never lived close enough to a professional sports team to be able to attend regularly and become one of the local fans. I’m hoping that if someday I do have a local home team that it still generates the same feeling. There’s nothing like entering a stadium or arena for a sporting event. The excitement feels electric. I particularly love it when the players enter. The music, the introductions, the spectacle. It’s awesome. This particular game was especially exciting because not only did I get to share it with my brother and my kids but we had really great seats!
You know you are in for something special when the guy who looks at your tickets to tell you where your seats are located says, “You’ve got great seats.” When I bought our tickets I wanted to get something up close, center ice. Well, I succeeded. We were on the second row behind the opposing team’s bench. If I had it to do again I’d buy seats a few more rows back. The seats I purchased were row D which to me equated to the fourth row, not the second. But, no one was complaining. It was pretty awe-inspiring to be so close.
So, there you have it. The best challenge yet. Impressive athletic feats, rockin’ songs to get you pumped up, t-shirts floated down in parachutes from the rafters and a brother who traveled half-way across the country to share it with me. I realized that, all of the excitement aside, what makes these events even more memorable is that I always get to enjoy them with the people who I love most in the world. Building relationships and making memories. I think that’s what this life is really all about.
Before you go…even though we had a great time we did not get to celebrate a Hurricanes victory. The defeat did not discourage the usual heckling idiot fans. And, don’t think just because we had great seats that we weren’t going to have to listen to it. I’m never a fan of the loud-mouth who yells during the game but occasionally you’ll find one that, while annoying, is at least begrudgingly funny. Our trio of fools couldn’t even come up with a good taunt. On the upside, they did not curse. But, on the downside, repeatedly yelling, “You’re the worst!”, with an intermittent “You’re literally the worst!” thrown in for emphasis is just embarrassing. I’m not trying to encourage more negativity in the world but study up on your insults if you are going to try to insert yourself into the game.