The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday June 15th

Whatever Trevor: One less hockey fight

October brings us all an assortment of things.

Beautiful leaves falling from their trees, covering the ground with shades of yellow, orange and red. Cool, crisp autumnal winds that remind us that it’s about to get really damn cold soon. Late Night with Roy and the impending basketball season, where UNC is destined for greatness (because we always are). Flannels, pumpkin-spiced-everything, terribly-carved pumpkins, spooky costumes and endless buckets of candy. And, let’s not forget, everyone’s least favorite sport: hockey.

Hockey, of course, is one of the only sports outside of boxing and MMA where beating the hell out of your opponent is traditionally expected, encouraged and accepted (probably because watching 10 men slide around ice for 60 minutes can get tiring pretty quickly).

Which, honestly, is pretty dope. Strange, in a way, but dope nonetheless.

Last year, according to hockeyfights.com, there were 306 NHL games that had fights, accounting for 24.88 percent of the full season’s games. At first glance, that seems pretty low. At second glance, it hits me that someone actually gets paid to track when and where fights took place during an NHL season, which probably involves watching a ton of fight highlights over and over (#AmericanDream). 

At third glance, this actually is quite low. A few years ago during the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season, there were 264 games with fights over the course of just 720 games — this accounts for 36.67 percent of the season’s games. Now, that is a lot.

Yet, there could have been more. One more fight could have been added to this tally, if I’m being completely honest.

Early in the season, my aunt — a first-time season ticket holder for the Carolina Hurricanes — and I attended what seemed to be a normal game. We got there early, parked, went through security, got some concessions and found our seats.

Except they weren’t our seats.

We were in one of the suites. We did not buy tickets to sit in one of the suites.

In our ignorant confusion, we mistook the suite number for the number on our tickets — they matched, after all. Plus, the suite was unlocked, so we figured we were in the right spot.

So we sat there and enjoyed the game.

I cannot say with confidence, however, that our suitemates enjoyed the game with our company.

I’d like to imagine that the suite was made up of dapper businessmen and Raleigh elites, basking in the fancy and esteemed aura that their luxurious suite emitted. They probably sipped on the finest of brews, likely discussing the relevant politics of the evening, taking a casual hiatus or two to indulge in the deliciously exorbitant meals provided by arena staff. In other words, they were doing rich people shit.

Then there’s my fat ass, bougie as can be, scarfing down chili cheese fries and chicken tenders.

I clearly didn’t belong. That was evident. But here’s the thing: No one said anything to either of us.

They must have been talking among themselves, in a high-class dialect which my simple middle-class ears aren’t accustomed to, about our presence. “Who the hell invited these uncivilized swine?” one of them probably asked. A fair question indeed, but it clearly wasn’t one they felt like answering.

We sat there for the entirety of the game, taking breaks to get food when needed. And every time we left, we’d casually walk right back in, without a word from anyone. Maybe they were too scared to communicate with such a lowly simpleton as I. Maybe they thought talking outside of one’s social class was wrong. Maybe they thought they were on some game show, like Undercover Boss, and they had to respectfully allow the boss and her teenaged family member enjoy the confines of their suite.

Or, maybe, they all had no f---ing clue who we were, and they just figured that someone there must have invited us.

But if they were unkind souls who were actually enraged at our unwelcome presence in their suite, then it’s safe to say that there was one less fight that happened that season.

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