Everybody remembers their first time… the buzz of excitement in the crowd as you line up to enter the arena… the tiny, insignificant piece of paper in your hand that has now become your best friend… the rush of cold air that embraces your face as you view the ice surface… the majestic sense of unison as 20,000 people stand to honour the national anthems… the incredible skill and speed of the players as they rush up and down the ice… You had seen it played on TV a thousand times, yet somehow, it still hadn’t prepared you for this amazingly new experience.
For 12-15 years, I loved the Leafs as much as any other kid growing up in southern Ontario. I’d wear those Maple Leaf t-shirts to school, have Maple Leaf curtains and sheets in my bedroom, and lived for Saturday Hockey Night in Canada. I was a terrible skater and never really got a chance to play ice hockey, but I loved nothing more than playing road hockey and pretending to be Curtis Joseph or Ed Belfour making slick glove saves out in the school yard during recess. However, growing up in a family with one working parent made it tough to scrape together enough cash to go to games, so while we could afford to get the sports experience of a baseball game every now and then… it just wasn’t the same.
Finally, three years ago, I saved up enough money to afford two Purples to a preseason game against the Blue Jackets, and it was everything I imagined it would be. It was a special experience and although the Leafs eventually lost in the shootout, it was a night I’d never forget. Now after that first taste of live hockey, I’m hooked. I try to save up enough money to hit a couple games a year, but as I know quite well from my childhood, that’s not always a possibility for everybody.
So let’s get to those tickets…
I bought a pair of Purples to the Rangers game this Saturday night, but will not be needing them. As such, I’d like to present everyone here with an opportunity to win them.
Here are the rules:
1 – Submit a concise, 150-250 word piece outlining why you’d like to attend the game. Post it in the comments AND submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, please outline your MLHS username.
2 – This must be the first time at a Maple Leaf game for either you or your guest (Honesty system!)
3 – You have until Friday, October 29th at 4 pm to submit your piece.
4 – I will read all the pieces and select a recipient by 7 pm on the same night.
5 – I will meet the winner in person at the game on Saturday night to hand them the tickets.
Good luck to everyone,