I was hooked from the moment the puck hit the ice.
I still view each game with that same wide-eyed wonder from my first game. These games are exciting for me and my excitement only grows with each game. Each new discovery, such as being able to recognize more of the referee calls, only fuels my desire to see more, to learn more.
I love hockey.
Recently, we brought another newcomer to the game. Hiroshi was visiting from Japan and had never seen a hockey game. Though his grasp of the English language via written word is beyond compare, he has some trouble speaking and understanding it. I thought communication would be difficult. Apparently hockey is a language as universal as a smile.
Throughout the game, I would peek over at our Japanese friend to see how he was enjoying himself. In him, I recognized the same excitement I see in myself. By the third period he was standing and booing at the referees with the rest of us as they made a "bad call". This was Hiroshi's first hockey game. I have a feeling it will not be his last.
I never want to lose that "first time" excitement. Every game should be your first game. That is what being a fan is all about.