Blackhawks vs. Blues
Recently, I’ve discovered the magic of being away at college and being an avid fan of hockey. Although the lock-out delayed it a bit, it eventually came and I was excited. What I had not thought about was rooting for my home team in a place that was not my home. Being from St. Louis, I’m a fan of the St. Louis Blues and have been my entire life. I grew up watching the games with my dad, and he instilled a sense of appreciation of the sport. For the most part, my entire family has always rooted for the Blues.
Having only watched the games with my family, I have never known another person my age that was equally as passionate about the sport and available to watch games with me. Fast forward to college: my roommate hangs a Chicago Blackhawks poster on the wall. Instead of being eternally bitter that our teams are old school rivals, I was ecstatic. Finding another person that was both my age and a female that loved hockey was like finding gold. Who cares if our teams are rivals, at least she understands what I am talking about! Or at least that’s what I thought until....
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013: the Blackhawks vs. Blues first matchup of the season. Both teams were 2-0, so tension was high that one of our teams losing would result in a smudge on such a good start. Suddenly, the happiness of finding another hockey fan subsided, and a friendly awkwardness set in. Even so, we headed down to our floor’s lounge with chips and salsa in hand and watched the game on the TV there. It made for a fun time, people walked by asking about the score or laughing at our face paint and rivaled color shirts. Soon, people joined, and I even found another St. Louis Blues fan to join in when the Blues scored. Even though the Blues lost that game (barely, mind you), I still think that I learned an important part of the college experience: building a sense of community with people that you otherwise wouldn’t interact with over something so simple as hockey reminded me that college is about keeping an open mind and allowing other people (yes, even Blackhawks fans) into your life for some healthy competition. And if you’re lucky, some long-lasting friendship, too.