Friday, March 20, 2015

TvR Tag Tournament, Round 2 - Is Hockey Better When Played Outdoors?
Tiger and Rabbit took a trip home to California, to watch their beloved San Jose Sharks take part in the awe inspiring spectacle that is the Stadium Series. Joined by Eagle, they watched the Sharks take on their arch rival, the Los Angeles Kings, in the first outdoor game played in Northern California. These furry and feathery friends reminisce about the experience and answer the question, is hockey better when played outdoors?


Rabbit: ^shivering^ Brr…

Tiger: Are you still cold?

Rabbit: Yes! It’s freezing here. I feel like it’s about to snow.

Tiger: *rolls eyes* It’s only 54 degrees out; it’s not cold enough to snow.

Rabbit: It sure feels like it though. I miss the sun.

Tiger: I do too. Man, it was so nice in San Jose, California. A warm 70 degrees out, sun shining, just a great weekend overall. Why are we here again?

Rabbit: ^shaking^ I’m so cold I wish I could light myself on fire.

Tiger: Before we bring in The Partner, let’s talk a little bit about what we did and why we did it.

Rabbit: For the Coor’s Light Stadium Series game!

Tiger: The NHL took over Levi’s Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers, and turned it into an outdoor hockey rink.

Rabbit: So awesome!

Tiger: The game was held on February 21st, 2015 but we left a day early.

Rabbit: Righto! We left super early to give us enough time to travel to the airport and get through security.

Tiger: A whole 5 hours early. Sheesh, I thought it would take forever to get through security but it only took about 15 minutes.

Rabbit: Well, you did take a little longer than me.

Tiger: I have no idea why I had to be scanned twice and then they even patted me down.

Rabbit: Well you are pretty dangerous.

Tiger: *sticks out tongue* Let’s see, after waiting in the airport for 5 hours…

Rabbit: We did have lunch! Fish and chips, yum!

Tiger: We finally got on our flight to sunny San Jose. Two hours later…

Rabbit: Dun-duh-duh-dah!

Tiger: We arrived at our destination. We checked into our hotel, which was right next to Levi’s Stadium…

Rabbit: And that’s where we met Eagle!,2,883&lang=en
Tiger: How was your trip, did it go smoothly?

Eagle: It was smooth sailing, for the most part. Although, my trip was far shorter for me than for the two of you.

Tiger: Ours would've been much shorter if we didn't show up to the airport 5 hours early.

Rabbit: Better safe than sorry! So once we met at the hotel, it was off to dinner. Mongolian BBQ FTW!

Tiger: It was great going back to that place. It's always a hockey tradition to eat Mongolian BBQ before seeing a hockey game. But man it was packed!

Eagle: It was nice of you two to allow me to tag along with your dinner plans. I thought the food was pretty alright. And, you know me... that is a fairly high compliment. The next morning was the best part, though. Rabbit was right on the money with her fear of lengthy lines to be found at the Sharks Store.

Rabbit: ^crosses arms^ Hardy har har. I just wanted to make sure we didn't miss out on anything.

Tiger: By showing up almost 2 hours before the store opened?

Rabbit: You never know! There could have been a run on Sharks beanies or something. Plus, we traveled all that way; I wanted to make sure to get some great souvenirs.

Tiger: I think you got all the souvenirs by the looks of it. I think you buried Eagle in clothes alone, making him carry stuff.

Eagle: I will grant her that... there was a mad rush not long after the doors opened.

Tiger: It definitely did get packed, luckily we were able to escape unscathed. Next up was Nihonmachi or Japantown.

Rabbit: Donburi!

Tiger: Why do we always seem to talk about food?

Rabbit: Because it's awesome. Japanese rice bowls are the best.

Eagle: The quaint shop across the street from the restaurant was nice. I even picked up some training chopsticks. Not for myself, of course.

Rabbit: Kogura Company! I bought a few kokeshi dolls for family and a book about Japanese children's stories. Not for myself, of course.

Tiger: Who are you kidding, it was so for you.

Rabbit: Okay, fine, it was for me but I like those kinds of stories.

Tiger: And what happened next?

Rabbit: More food?

Tiger: *shakes head*

Rabbit: It was dessert this time, ice cream mochi and monaka! Yummy!
Tiger: We took a short break back at the hotel and then it was off to the main reason why we took this trip in the first place - hockey baby!

Eagle: Hockey, yeah... woo hoo... Insert enthusiasm here...

Rabbit: It was so awesome!

Tiger: Once we got there.

Rabbit: Hey, the whole parking lot thing wasn't my fault. They could've used better signs to let us know before we got in line for the wrong parking lot.

Tiger: *sighs* Another line.

Rabbit: We did finally make it and didn't have to wait too long until the Fan Feast opened up.

Tiger: Okay, I have to admit, I was excited about getting our picture taken with the Shark Head.

Eagle: Getting in, though. Seems like they had tighter security than government buildings.

Tiger: Yeah, TSA was easier to get through. Once inside Levi's Stadium, the view from our seats was pretty awesome.

Rabbit: The ice! The pools of water with shark fins! The gigantanormous screens!

Tiger: We still had a bit of a wait for the game to start-

Rabbit: Which we filled by getting something to eat.

Tiger: *pulls Rabbit's ears* Stop talking about food.

Eagle: Not for me. For me, it was filled with being rude and texting someone with my fancy "smart" phone... Although, Rabbit was nice enough to bring me something during a later intermission.

Rabbit: Because food makes everything better.

Tiger: Okay, moving on. So, I was pretty surprised by the view from our seats. I totally thought we wouldn't be able to see the puck from that high up.

Eagle: The seats definitely had a great view. The sheen on that ice, in 70 plus degree weather.

Tiger: Yeah, the ice didn't hold up too well as the game wore on but it was still a fun game.

Rabbit: ^claps hands^ We got to do the Sharks' Power Play chomp quite a bit!

Eagle: After enough Badger-ing by a certain bunny, even I joined in on one.

Tiger: Too bad the Sharks scored only one goal.

Rabbit: Poor Tiger, the Kings ended up winning the game 2 to 1.

Tiger: *throws hands in the air* Freaking LA Kings. Freaking had to be LA spoiling our perfect trip.

Rabbit: It was still a good game, I definitely had fun.

Eagle: Even I enjoyed the game and the, even if sometimes overly enthusiastic, company. However, my glum demeanor never really broke.

Rabbit: Our entire section seemed to lack the usual spirit of Sharks' fans. I did hear Tiger yelling throughout the game.

Tiger: *grumbles* Freaking LA.
Rabbit: So that brings us to the topic of this TTT. Is hockey better played outdoors? What say you Eagle?

Eagle: That is a tough one. So long as it is not freezing, I would not mind attending. The ice in this particular instance would probably disagree. But, the changing and less controllable conditions provide for a more interesting challenge on the ice, which makes for better viewing.

Rabbit: So, is that a yes?

Eagle: Sorry, got a little long winded there... yes.

Rabbit: ^throws up arms^ Woohoo! Eagle and I finally agree on something! Who's awesome? We are!

Tiger: I guess we know what your answer is then, Rabbit.

Rabbit: Yup but I'll let you answer before me.

Tiger: Well I think that hockey is better when played indoors. While the whole experience and atmosphere were great during the game, the ice conditions can't be controlled like they can in an indoor arena. And while our seating was pretty great, I don't think the football stadium seating provides the best views of the ice like the seating at SAP center can. Plus, it wasn't the same not seeing the Sharks skate out of their famous Shark Head.

Rabbit: You're just being a party pooper because the Sharks lost. Well, I say that playing outdoors makes hockey a billion times better. Hearing 70,000+ fans cheering for their team, seeing planes fly overhead, and having a crystal clear night out... it was spectacular and it made a lasting impression. Yeah, the ice deteriorated as the game wore on but just being in that setting, it was an amazing hockey game and one Northern California may never see again.

Tiger: Those moths though...

Eagle: Yeah... one of those dreadful creatures almost touched my face.

Tiger: It was a great experience. I'm glad we got to go together.

Tiger & Rabbit: Thank you for coming Eagle!

Eagle: It was definitely a unique experience. Also, it is more I who should be thanking the two of you for allowing me to tag along.

Rabbit: It was fun, we should do it again sometime!

Tiger: Next time, let's make sure the Sharks win. Go Sharks!

Is Hockey Better When Played Outdoors?

Tiger      vs      Eagle      vs      Rabbit

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