Monday, April 16, 2007

Suburban Hockey in Suburban Chicago

Over the past 15 years, something indisputably good has happened for Chicago-area sports fans.

After decades of languishing under the region’s pro clubs (Bulls, Bears, Cubs, Sox, Hawks), new minor-league franchises are now flourishing (Rush, Wolves, Cougars, Shamrox). The appeal of these teams is obvious: low ticket prices, no labor stoppages, and venues outside Chicago and all its trappings (e.g. traffic, expensive parking/concessions, etc).

This Sunday, my own latest turn in the minors was a UHL playoff hockey game between the Chicago Hounds and Fort Wayne Komets in a best-of-seven series.

This was my fourth hockey game in two weeks, which is odd considering I’ve never been a huge fan. But for teetotalers (meaning non-drinkers) like me, cheap sports—with or without fights--is a quality weekend distraction.

Anyhow, the fan turnout for the Hounds game was poor. But our seats were good, costing only $8 for sightlines that would have cost over $100 each at a Blackhawks game at United Center. We were also treated—we, being friends Mark, Jo, and I—to several penalties and subsequent power plays that sadly all ended in an OT loss for the dawgs, and Ft. Wayne going up 2-1 in the series.

But it wasn’t all bad.

Hell, I scored a super-sweet sno-cone for the first time since 1982 at the Lisle Park District Pool.

Now that’s high living.

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