So. Tonight is the Blackhawks third home game in a row in this, the super-exciting second year since former owner Bill Wirtz died. People actually care about the team again. My friends and I are attending 10 games, which we purchased as part of a revolutionary new concept called "season tickets." I am excited.
That said, I've only been to a few Blackhawks games before, and I'm not really sure what to expect. But I have a few requirements:
1. I expect that everyone cheer during the National Anthem, just like the old days. This is one of the coolest traditions in sports, and what's more, not that many people seem to know or care about it. It's like a really good band (let's see: Fleet Foxes?) that most of your more mainstream-minded friends wouldn't even show a glimmer of recognition for. It's something all our own. I want to be screaming my face off during that thing. I want others to join me.
2. Beer. Mmm. Beeeeeer.
3. I want to see a good old-fashioned fight. I know hockey fans sometimes rebel against the stereotype that their sport is the mere means to a gruesome, bloody, sticks-gloves-shirt end. To those fans I say: Why ruin it for the rest of us? I am a rehabilitated hockey fan. I barely know anything about the sport that I didn't know 10 years ago. (Jeremy Roenick's playing tonight, right?) Let the kids duke it out, and let me enjoy some violence vicariously. Would you rather I start my own fight club?
4. I want Connie's Pizza. To be clear, I can't stand Connie's Pizza. It's a weak approximation of real deep dish pizza. But sitting here, getting ready for the game, I can't think of anything I would rather cram down my throat than a huge slice of Connie's. I don't know what it is about the United Center, but I really, really want a slice of that mediocre pizza.
5. I want to buy a really cool item of clothing. See here.
6. I want the Blackhawks to win. This is perhaps most important. The season has started in rocky fashion, and for a team trying to actually maintain, and build on, its small semblance of a fan base, come on, fellas: get it together.
Win a game. Get me drunk. And send me home happy.